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Miley Cyrus says pranks, controversy are all about having "fun"
After twerking her way into as many headlines as record sales last year, Miley Cyrus wants her Bangerz Tour to be about something more substantial.
"I want it to become something that's worth going to see," the 21-year-old singer and former star of the Disney Channel's "Hannah Montana" told reporters during a pre-tour conference call. "I know people sometimes make me seem like I'm one thing and All I know how to do is come out and shock people and that's my purpose in this industry. But that isn't what it is in my show.
"I'm really focused on people walking around and being as excited as me as a singer. I want people to walk away being like, 'OK, she did some things that were crazy, but at the end of the day it was about her voice. So I really want to stay focused on that."
Cyrus, however, certainly knows how to do crazy things.
Last year the Nashville-born daughter of country singer Billy Ray Cyrus blew up any vestiges of her clean-cut Disney image with her bump 'n' grind workout with Robin Thicke at the MTV Video Music Awards, the provocative video for her single "Wrecking Ball" and her pot smoking display at the 2013 MTV Europe Music Awards, where she took home two trophies. She feels no need to apologize for any of it, though.
"More than anything the past year has been just kind of fun and carefree," Cyrus explained.
She certainly hasn't suffered for the fun. "Bangerz," Cyrus' fourth album under her own name, debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and is already platinum. The first single, "We Can't Stop," hit No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100, while "Wrecking Ball went to No. 1. She made a memorable, and redemptive, appearance hosting "Saturday Night Live" during October and ranked third for Time magazine`s Person of the Year for 2013 -- but did top Maxim's Hot 100 list.
And Cyrus hasn't exactly dialed down the spectacle on the Bangerz Tour, either. The show, drawn primarily from "Bangerz," features plenty of props and stunts -- including a tongue-shaped slide, a flying hot dog, dancing animals and extensive video production that includes illustrations by "Ren & Stimpy" creator John Kricfalusi --and a variety of risque outfits. "I feel like clothes for me, or lack thereof, say a lot," acknowledged Cyrus, whose stage costumes were designed by Mark Jacobs and Jeremy Scott, among others.
There's been some hew and cry since Cyrus kicked things off on Valentine's Day in Vancouver, and there were even rumors -- quickly denied -- that the whole tour was in danger of being scuttled by complains that it was too risque. Cyrus, however, claims the antics -- created with show producer Diane Martel -- are meant to parody the outsize controversies surrounding "Bangerz" and poke a little fun at what's become her image.
"I don't have a hard time making fun of myself," she said. "The whole thing is kind of making me the way people perceive me, doing that a little bit more and making me a kind of caricature of myself. It's been really fun to do that, and like everything I do I don't want anything about it to be unoriginal and seem safe in anyway."
Moreover, she added, "The best thing for an artist to see is people singing your songs," and Cyrus is confident her predominately young and female fan base gets it.
"The whole thing has a really good energy about it," Cyrus explained. "There's a feminist energy there. I think a lot of my fans, that's kind of why we're so close is because they look at me and they feel like they can be really who they are, and I hope my fans are inspired by my show to take them to the next level.
"Y'know, it's not to be different or prove a point. It's just because you ARE different and being proud of that and owning that and not going out there to be what other people consider sexy or what other people consider right or wrong. It's being truly who you are and what makes you feel good and feel right. We put a lot of love into it, and...anything you put a lot of positive energy into, I can't imagine there really being a negative outcome."
Miley Cyrus and Icona Pop perform at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 12, at the Palace, Lapeer Road at I-75, Auburn Hills. Some tickets, prices $22.50-$92.50, remain. Call 248-377-0100 or visit www.palacenet.com.
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