They Don’t Care About U: Read Sinead O’Connor’s open letter to Miley Cyrus


Sinead O’Connor is concerned about Miley Cyrus, and the veteran singer has penned a lengthy 1,000-word letter to the young pop star. In it, O’Connor warns Cyrus about her current track, and that those in the music industry really don’t give a shit about her.

It’s a pretty good read, and naturally, is good advice for any young lady, whether they are in the music biz or not. O’Connor brings up many good points about exploitation and sexual appeal.

Just recently, Cyrus told Rolling Stone that the inspiration for her latest video “Wrecking Ball” came from the Irish singer’s 1990 breakout hit “Nothing Compares 2 U.” But yeah, we’re not sure this was the response Cyrus was expecting.

Here is O’Connor’s full letter, posted below, which appeared on her official website earlier today. The site seems to be crashing due to the attention the letter is receiving, so you can check it out in full and unedited here on the VL…


Dear Miley,

I wasn’t going to write this letter, but today i’ve been dodging phone calls from various newspapers who wished me to remark upon your having said in Rolling Stone your Wrecking Ball video was designed to be similar to the one for Nothing Compares… So this is what I need to say… And it is said in the spirit of motherliness and with love.

I am extremely concerned for you that those around you have led you to believe, or encouraged you in your own belief, that it is in any way ‘cool’ to be naked and licking sledgehammers in your videos. It is in fact the case that you will obscure your talent by allowing yourself to be pimped, whether its the music business or yourself doing the pimping.

Nothing but harm will come in the long run, from allowing yourself to be exploited, and it is absolutely NOT in ANY way an empowerment of yourself or any other young women, for you to send across the message that you are to be valued (even by you) more for your sexual appeal than your obvious talent.

I am happy to hear I am somewhat of a role model for you and I hope that because of that you will pay close attention to what I am telling you.

The music business doesn’t give a shit about you, or any of us. They will prostitute you for all you are worth, and cleverly make you think its what YOU wanted.. and when you end up in rehab as a result of being prostituted, ‘they’ will be sunning themselves on their yachts in Antigua, which they bought by selling your body and you will find yourself very alone.

None of the men oggling you give a shit about you either, do not be fooled. Many’s the woman mistook lust for love. If they want you sexually that doesn’t mean they give a fuck about you. All the more true when you unwittingly give the impression you don’t give much of a fuck about yourself. And when you employ people who give the impression they don’t give much of a fuck about you either. No one who cares about you could support your being pimped.. and that includes you yourself.

Yes, I’m suggesting you don’t care for yourself. That has to change. You ought be protected as a precious young lady by anyone in your employ and anyone around you, including you. This is a dangerous world. We don’t encourage our daughters to walk around naked in it because it makes them pray for animals and less than animals (a distressing majority of whom work in the music industry and the associated media).

You are worth more than your body or your sexual appeal. The world of showbiz doesn’t see things that way, they like things to be seen the other way, whether they are magazines who want you on their cover, or whatever.. Don’t be under any illusions.. ALL of them want you because they’re making money off your youth and your beauty.. which they could not do except for the fact your youth makes you blind to the evils of show business. If you have an innocent heart you can’t recognise those who do not.

I repeat, you have enough talent that you don’t need to let the music business make a prostitute of you. You shouldn’t let them make a fool of you either. Don’t think for a moment that any of them give a flying fuck about you. They’re there for the money.. we’re there for the music. It has always been that way and it will always be that way. The sooner a young lady gets to know that, the sooner she can be REALLY in control.

You also said in Rolling Stone that your look is based on mine. The look I chose, I chose on purpose at a time when my record company were encouraging me to do what you have done. I felt I would rather be judged on my talent and not my looks. I am happy that I made that choice, not least because I do not find myself on the proverbial rag heap now that I am almost 47 yrs of age.. which unfortunately many female artists who have based their image around their sexuality, end up on when they reach middle age.

Real empowerment of yourself as a woman would be to in future refuse to exploit your body or your sexuality in order for men to make money from you. I needn’t even ask the question.. I’ve been in the business long enough to know that men are making more money than you are from you getting naked. Its really not at all cool. And its sending dangerous signals to other young women. Please in future say no when you are asked to prostitute yourself. Your body is for you and your boyfriend. It isn’t for every spunk-spewing dirtbag on the net, or every greedy record company executive to buy his mistresses diamonds with.

As for the shedding of the Hannah Montana image.. whoever is telling you getting naked is the way to do that does absolutely NOT respect your talent, or you as a young lady. Your records are good enough for you not to need any shedding of Hannah Montana. She’s waaaaaaay gone by now.. Not because you got naked but because you make great records.

Whether we like it or not, us females in the industry are role models and as such we have to be extremely careful what messages we send to other women. The message you keep sending is that its somehow cool to be prostituted.. its so not cool Miley.. its dangerous. Women are to be valued for so much more than their sexuality. we aren’t merely objects of desire. I would be encouraging you to send healthier messages to your peers.. that they and you are worth more than what is currently going on in your career. Kindly fire any motherfucker who hasn’t expressed alarm, because they don’t care about you.

  1. i doubt miley cyrus will read her letter, and if she does, she’s not gonna care, she does what she wants. shes gonna end up in rehab just like everyone else out of control.

    1. Maybe yeah, but Miley has gone on about how Sinead was an inspiration to her. And this is how Sinead responds. It might not change Miley’s attitudes, but someone needed to say this — and coming from a fellow artist/musician it has a greater chance of resonating. We’ll see.

    2. watch what you speak to. words are powerful tools of manifestation. The MOMENT we believe that this is the truth, is the moment we are doomed.

    3. Doubtful, Miley isn’t out of control like many people are saying she is enacting a calculated business plan. This is publicity and money and Miley already has a strong hold on the music industry. She’s already proven herself as a million seller multiple times over. Sinead’s letter is really good though and does point out that the industry doesn’t care about her. It’s also the most insightful response I’ve seen.

  2. BRA-VO! I am humbled by this beautiful piece of literature. As a mother, a Wild Woman, a Musician, this moved me through and through. THANK YOU for saying the words that as a mother I heard some where in the deep recesses of my heart, but my down right shock and anger were too big to get to this side of the table. Eloquently and Lovingly written. BRA-VO Sinead. And Lady, if your reading this, you were a BIG influence on me as a young woman. My Mother never minded me your albums. Your music was and is iconic to me and my journey into Woman. One that is growing into a Wild Woman I love and respect. p.s. Ill bet you’ve read it, but in case, “Women who run with Wolves” is a pretty fantastic read!

      1. Plenty of works of literature contain expletives. Take for example Catcher in the Rye, which is a somewhat profane book and yet takes proud place as one of the classic books of all time. Sinead’s writing is admittedly not necessarily grammatically or politically correct, but she writes in a style that is sensible, powerful and yet still extremely down to earth. I hope Miley takes note from such an amazing role model!

      2. Yeah, I agree. I like the message, but would have expected something constructed a little better. I’m sure SNL will eat this letter alive this weekend when Miley is hosting.

  3. When Ms. O’Connor said “Don’t think for a moment that any of them give a flying fuck about you. They’re there for the money” I think that if Miley read it she’d be thinking “I’m in it for the money.”. When Ms. O’Connor said “I felt I would rather be judged on my talent and not my looks. I am happy that I made that choice, not least because I do not find myself on the proverbial rag heap now that I am almost 47 yrs of age.” I think that if Miley read it she’d be thinking “You chose wrong. You are now desperate because you are running out of money. I am making hundreds of millions of dollars and will be so comfortable at 47 I won’t concern myself with pop stars. Don’t hate because you chose integrity over retirement.

    1. There is not one single line of hate in this letter. Perhaps when you grow up, because you’re clearly not, you’ll realise that integrity goes way further than money in life.

    2. what you say is sadly true. A person that has no value for herself has to find a material way to be valued. Unfortunately once the material possessions are gone, so will be the people around her. It is not hatred that this words come from, its reality.

    3. Sorry to disappoint, but the way Miley is going she will be lucky to reach 37. Million$ won’t help. When she slides off the end will you be there for her to put a nail in her coffin?

  4. She is SO right! This is great advice for ANY woman – Thank you Sinead O’Connor ! “Thank you for breaking my heart, thank you for tearing me apart, Now I’m a Strong Strong heart, Thank you for breaking my heart.”

  5. Miley is far too cocky to listen to this sane advice.For some strange reason she has chosen to publically feel she’s liberating herself from the childhood star to the out there grown up.But who’s idea was it really?..in the long run its Miley’s concentual idea.Not a good choice as she can see a lot of people dont actually like what she’s doing lately.She was raised a precotious brat l think? allowed to do whatever daddy could afford her.Now l’m wondering what her father is thinking of these new moves of hers?…there’s something awefully wrong with this picture l must say!…He recent activities are like that of a porn queen.

  6. AMEN!! Her actions to this point have been completely appalling! So thankful that my daughter is old enough to see that! She watched Hannah Montana growing up, and she cannot believe the lengths Miley is going to. She has an amazing voice, and she is now crucifying her image and possibly bringing other girls who used to watch her Disney show with her! So, so sad, indeed!

  7. I have to agree with Sinead. I have nothing against nudity but I feel this was in bad taste and definitely an exploitation as well as a bad career choice and not an example to set as a role model. If people want to listen to your music they will do it when you have your clothes on, then you know, most of the time, it’s good 🙂

  8. Miley Cyrus is a loser. Does anyone think she’s cool? She’s the typical wannabe, try hard… “I’m hanging out with black people does that make me look cool?!”… She is a poser and a brat.

  9. Wow. So beautifully and lovingly written. I hope Miley takes it the spirit intended. Sinead is right, Miley has talent enough that she doesn’t need to prostitute herself.

  10. Ok..I’m taking this as an answer to a prayer that I asked God to help Miley and Brittney and all others in that evil music industry being used and exploited as described above..I continue to pray for all of them..and that Miley will listen to this wise council. Thank you Sinead for taking the time to pen this!

  11. Young lady? She sounds like a domineering Father or scared, conservative Mother talking down her ‘wayward’ daughter. Myley Cyrus is a woman. A young one perhaps, at just shy of 21, but a woman nonetheless. Young lady? I don’t think Myley is really going for that, and I doubt Sinead ever has either. I say, go girl. Go and express yourself exactly as you please, and you know what? I’m willing to bet that Myley has less of a chance of ending up in rehab than someone who aims to please society at large rather than themselves. This is not easy for her, she is getting huge backlash over this! Freedom of expression, people. This whole thing has me pretty worried about humanity and their knee-jerk reactions which lean towards pitch-forks and burnings at the stake. Sorry, but some of this letter reminded me of the idea of ‘covering’ women due to the uncontrollable, animalistic urges of men, and had little to do with empowering Myley herself. It actually surprises me, coming from a staunch feminist as Sinead. Perhaps the problem is not what women wear or do not wear, but our society’s reaction (and yes, that includes women).

    1. What, exactly, is Miley expressing? You speak of freedom of expression, but you fail to see that what she is expressing is what women of 20th century fought against: the woman, a sexual object, under the dominion of men. And she, or any other person, shouldn’t feed that concept.

  12. To add to this Miley – you’re also inspiring a lot of other men and women to continue look at women as prey. Something sexual, worthless and disposable. I blame women like you, mistakenly acting out your false empowerment, for the fear I feel when I walk alone at night or in any other situation where I sense being preyed upon. Because of your messaging, your thoughtless, inconsiderate messaging, you are creating a world more terrifying for women to live in.

  13. It’s perfect and exactly what Miley needs to hear. SHAME on Miley’s mother for not being the person that explained this obvious concept to her.
    Miley honey, you can express your sexuality and be classy about it too. Your recent behavior is low class and just plain icky. You are better than this Miley. You are better than this.

  14. Great letter Sinead, but girls walking around naked wouldn’t make them “pray for animals” unless, of course, they are ultra religious PETA sorts. And on the subject of being a role model for young people, it would help if you included a few more apostrophes in your writing so that young people could pattern their future lyrics on the correct grammatical model you, yourself,will have set … the contraction of “it is” is it’s, annoying apostrophe and all. Don’t even get me started on your split infinitives. Grammar matters. Or at least it matters to me, the grammar nazi. xxx

  15. Sinead, I don’t know you or the intent behind your outreach to Miley. I would like to say “BRAVO” and thank you for caring enough to speak what most of us are thinking. Miley seems convinced that this is a “plan” worth pursuing and that, in my opinion, serves to pull her deeper under the dark spell of the media. I hope she has enough light in her heart to fight for herself.

  16. It doesn’t matter how beautiful you are in this business, because there will always be someone else who is prettier, more talented and younger waiting in the wings. All anyone needs to do is remember the life of Whitney Houston and how she ended up. Miley won’t always be this provactive because by the time she is 30, some other 20 year old up start will be getting all of the attention. It’s not about what you look like at 20, it’s about what you have to show for your life when you are 80 that matters and speaking from someone who knows all about that, time passes way too quickly.

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