Miley Cyrus Defends VMAs Performance: "We Could Have Taken It Further"

Robin Thicke's duet partner says she wanted to have "fun" since it wasn't "the Grammys or the Oscars"

By Zach Johnson Sep 24, 2013 5:35 PMTags
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Miley Cyrus toed the line between sexy and skanky when she sang "We Can't Stop" and "Blurred Lines" at the MTV Video Music Awards in late August. Though it proved to be a divisive performance, the 20-year-old pop star has no regrets about her duet with Robin Thicke. In fact, what viewers saw was a watered-down interpretation of what Cyrus had originally envisioned.

"Honestly, that was our MTV version," she says in the Oct. 8 issue of Rolling Stone. "We could have even gone further, but we didn't. I thought that's what the VMAs were all about! It's not the Grammys or the Oscars. You're not supposed to show up in a gown, Vanna White-style. It's supposed to be fun!"

Even so, the single star admits she was nervous before the broadcast. It wasn't until Kanye West popped by her dressing room for a pep talk that she felt confident enough to twerk it on stage.

"He came in and goes, 'There are not a lot of artists I believe in more than you right now,'" she recalls. "The whole room went quiet. I was like, 'Yo—can you say that again?!'"

Cyrus adds, "I just kept repeating that over and over in my mind, and it made me not nervous."

After the VMAs, she joined West at a Manhattan recording studio to work on a remix for his single "Black Skinhead." The next day, the rapper sent Cyrus a text: "He said, 'I still can't quit thinking about your performance.'"

Since then, the two have become fast friends. "Kanye is the s--t," Cyrus says of the hip-hop artist. "I kind of have a good relationship with him now. It's good to have someone you can call and be like, 'Yo, do you think I should wear this?' 'Do you think I should go in the studio with this guy?' 'Do you think this is cool?' That's what homies are supposed to do."

Cyrus also shares text messages she received from Pharrell Williams and Lil' Kim in her Rolling Stone cover story. According to the article, Pharell's text was more than 1,000 characters long. "The VMAs was nothing more than God or the Universe showing you how powerful anything you do is," he wrote. "It's like uranium—it has the power to take over lives or power entire countries. Now that you've seen your power, master it."

"You're not a train wreck," he continued. "You're the train pulling everyone else along."

By comparison, Lil' Kim's text was slightly less eloquent. "My little pumpkin, I just had to tell you you're so f--king smart. I love you and all the press you are getting," she told Cyrus. "Sad I didn't run into you at the VMAs. Keep killing it, boo."