Sinéad O’Connor and Miley Cyrus are both on quests for personal truth, and Nothing Compares 2 U and Wrecking Ball are interesting stopping points and interventions in their journeys. The songs and videos, due to their viral popularity and awarded recognition, have become static markers of the singer’s identity. In 2015, about 29 years after Nothing Compares 2 U hit the airwaves, O’Connor announced that she would no longer be singing the song in public. O’Connor stated that there as no longer any personal content she could use to bring motion to then song: it was over (Larson, 2015). In 2016, Prince would pass away, and Nothing Compares 2 U would be re-released. Buried underneath millions of search results, O’Connor’s version was finally allowed a rest. Cyrus has hinted at feelings of regret for the Wrecking Ball music video, not in terms of the statement she made, but how the performance defined her (Saad, 2017).
The songs have become stories about the bodies of the singers. O’Connor is not a permanently androgynous 20-something wandering around Parc de Saint-Cloud, even though that may the desire of her audience. Miley Cyrus is as unique and rebellious as ever, but has grown out her hair and married at the end of 2018. Both singers brought life to music which was not written for them because they found ways to embody their performance. With soaring and intimate portrayals of loneliness, heartbreak, and power, the artists created new musical pathways. As for their standpoints on feminism and the future of authentic co-creation, Cyrus probably predicted the future best in that original 2013 Rolling Stones interview:
Hopefully an artist 30 years from now will be like, “Yo, you remember that Miley Cyrus video? We gotta do something like that.” (Eells, 2013)
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Eells, J. (2013, September 27). Miley Cyrus on Why She Loves Weed, Went Wild at the VMAs and Much More. Retrieved from https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-news/miley-cyrus-on-why-she-loves-weed-went-wild-at-the-vmas-and-much-more-99493/
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Kval, V. G. (2016). “I can say what I want to”: An audiovisual reading of the identities of Miley Cyrus (Unpublished master’s thesis). University of Oslo. Retrieved from https://www.duo.uio.no/bitstream/handle/10852/51059/Masters-thesis-Kval-2016.pdf?sequence=1
Laurence, R. (2016, April 22). Culture – Prince’s heartbreaking song about loss. Retrieved from http://www.bbc.com/culture/story/20160422-princes-heartbreaking-song-about-loss
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Richter, Lars. “The Rebel Girl and the Wrecking Ball — The Cruel Optimism of Empowerment and the Revival of Feminism in Contemporary Popular Music.” Multilingual Discourses 2, no. 1—2. (Summer 2015): 173—205.
Saad, N. (2017, May 17). Miley Cyrus takes over NBC, regrets ‘Wrecking Ball’ and hopes it isn’t played at her funeral. Retrieved from https://www.latimes.com/entertainment/la-et-entertainment-news-updates-may-miley-cyrus-takes-over-nbc-regrets-1495033381-htmlstory.html
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YouTube. “Miley Cyrus – Wrecking Ball.” Posted by Miley Cyrus. September 9, 2013. https:// www.youtube.com/watch?v=My2FRPA3Gf8.
YouTube. “Sinéad O’Connor – Nothing Compares 2U [Official Music Video].” Posted by officialsinead. July 10, 2017. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0-EF60neguk