Miley Cyrus looked elated while winning her Grammy Awards. What happened behind the scenes was a different story.

On Sunday February 4, 2024, the 66th Annual Grammy Awards were all about Miley Cyrus.

There she stood center-stage with teased Dolly Parton-inspired hair, bright eyes, and a shimmering Bob Mackie dress that punctuated her every move. 

Cyrus is a star and while performing her hit song "Flowers" everyone in the world knew it, the video of her performance now has nearly 40 million views on YouTube.

She isn't short on iconic moments (see: Disney career and the "Wrecking Ball" video clip) but for Cyrus, the Grammy's came with her first real confirmation of industry acclaim. After performing "Flowers" the night was always going to be hers but receiving her first-ever Grammy Award was the cherry on top. 

That night she won the Grammy Awards for Best Pop Solo Performance and Record Of The Year, and it was as if she had finally crossed over from celebrity musician to bonafide hit-maker with the backing of her industry.

On Grammy's night it seemed like Miley Cyrus had finally arrived, but what was happening behind the scenes was a different story. 

When Miley addressed the crowd during her performance of "Flowers" and remarked, "why are you acting like you don’t know this song?" we all just chalked it up to a bit of tongue-in-cheek sass.

But perhaps underneath the zing of her public comment, there was something deeper simmering away that spoke to how she felt unsettled about the accolades coming her way. Perhaps all the puffed-up praise wasn't exactly sitting right with Cyrus.


In a new cover story with W Magazine Cyrus has candidly opened up about how she felt during that fateful Grammy's night, which from the outside looked like a well-deserved feather in her cap. But inside she has mixed feelings about it all.

"No shade but I’ve been doing this for 20 years, and this is my first time actually being taken seriously at the Grammy's?" she said during the interview. 

"I’ve had a hard time figuring out what the measurement is there, because if we want to talk stats and numbers, then where the f**k was I? And if you want to talk, like, impact on culture, then where the fuck was I? This is not about arrogance. I am proud of myself."

Miley Cyrus accepting a Grammy Award in 2024. Image: Getty.


When reading over her comments it's not hard to see where she's coming from. So often women — regardless of their profession — can feel invisible. After years of hard graft, it's clear Cyrus feels a certain uneasiness about never receiving the compliments of The Recording Academy until now.

Long before "Flowers" broke records around the world, Cyrus was trailblazing in her own kind of way. She successfully emerged from the cocoon of being a Disney child star to making music that resonated with an audience who had moved on from the Mickey Mouse-eared era. 

The 2010s was a musical rebirth in many ways for Cyrus who released worldwide hit tracks including "We Can't Stop" and "Wrecking Ball" before giving the world her fourth studio album Bangerz

Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth, 2010. Image: Getty.


In the decade that has passed, she has been through a number of personal highs and lows including a wedding, a fire that destroyed her home, and a public breakdown of her marriage to Liam Hemsworth. Amid the turmoil she continued to channel all of her energy into creating music that served as a catharsis for not only her but also for her fans.

And perhaps that means something far greater than any Grammy Award on a mantel. Maybe that's the measurement that holds more weight than the stats and figures Cyrus refers to. We are so conditioned to think that physical accolades and public congratulations are all we need to solidify our success that we forget about the other less-seen positive outcomes of creating work that has an impact.

When speaking about performing "Flowers" that fateful evening, Cyrus referenced how the moment affected her personally. 


"I really wanted "Flowers" to be a celebration of ­bravery, because I perform out of fear," she said during her interview with W Magazine. 

"I didn’t always have the fear of performing that I have now. But going from spending two years alone and seeing no more than one person a day during lockdown to knowing that millions of people watch the Grammy's is a big shock to the nervous system. 

Anyone who’s ever put themselves in a position to be observed or judged is brave. It doesn’t matter if it’s eight or eight million people—that fear is there. Before I went onstage, right as that curtain was about to lift, I was screaming at the top of my lungs, 'I am free!'"

While Cyrus may feel like her recognition from The Recording Academy has come some years too late, she should feel proud that her music found the audience it was always meant to long before she clutched the awards in her hands.

That's the metric that will live on long after the red carpet of the Grammy Awards is rolled up. Making music that resonates with people is what it really means to be brave and bold and wake up each morning with a desire to have a positive impact.

The Grammy Awards will always be there and artists will always covet them but perhaps through reaching that high Cyrus has finally figured out what is most important to her. 

Feature Image: Getty 

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