After a self-imposed media blackout, Miley Cyrus is getting back to the sunshine, opening up to Billboard about her new music, Liam Hemsworth, quitting pot, being true to herself and unity.

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Cyrus’ new single, “Malibu” drops on May 11, ahead of the release of an untitled album later in the year. The track is a love song about Liam Hemsworth, to whom she was engaged and subsequently broke up with in 2013. The two reunited last year, sharing a Malibu home with their dogs, pigs and miniature horses.

The song, written in an Uber on the way to The Voice, is Cyrus’ way of taking back the power in her much talked about and photographed relationship.

“They’re going to talk about me if I come out of a restaurant with Liam. So why not put the power back in my relationship and say, ‘This is how I feel’?”

Embarking on her own personal journey of growth, contributed to her breakup according to Cyrus. But there was a happy ending around the corner.

“…I needed to change so much. And changing with someone else not changing like that is too hard. Suddenly you’re like, ‘I don’t recognize you anymore.’ We had to refall for each other.”

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Cyrus is also clear-headed these days, certain of what she wants and what direction she wants to go in. For the moment, that doesn’t include pot or drinking, for that matter.

“I used to [resist changing]. But I haven’t smoked weed in three weeks, which is the longest I’ve ever [gone without it]. I’m not doing drugs, I’m not drinking, I’m completely clean right now! That was just something that I wanted to do.”

Cyrus has also come a long way since “that” MTV VMA performance with Robin Thicke. Shock value is not what she is after, nor does she want to manipulate her fans. Her new music is for herself.

“I know exactly where I am right now. I know what I want this record to be. And not in the sense of manipulation — wanting something from my fans or the audience, like some slimy thing — ‘How do I get attention?’ I never thought about that. Dude, I was shocked that people gave a fuck about the [MTV Video Music Awards in 2013, when she ­performed with Robin Thicke] — the ­twerking, the teddy bear. It’s a totally ­different time, and I don’t think that would freak people out anymore.

Cyrus also wants to expand her reach. In the wake of the recent Presidential elections, Cyrus learned a lot.

“I like the way I think right now. But don’t Trump supporters like the way they think? So I’ve also got to be open with the way I approach people with my opinions. That’s the only way to make real change. And it’s not because I want to sell records! I know now the ways that don’t work. Because I went really hard during the ­election. But at the end of the day, we lost. We won, but because the system is fucked up, we lost. I thought, ‘OK. I learned my lesson on this one.'”

Read Miley Cyrus full interview in Billboard’s May 13 issue.


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