Maybe you remember Sinead [shuh-NADE] O'Connor. The Irish singer-songwriter had a global hit in 1990 at age 24 with her cover of the Prince song "Nothing Compares 2 U." Fast-forward 23 years, with Miley Cyrus telling Rolling Stone that her "Wrecking Ball" video was inspired by O'Connor's "tough but pretty" video for "Nothing Compares 2 U."
Those comments caught Sinead's attention, and have prompted the now 46-year-old to offer this advice: "The music business doesn't give at sh*t about you."
O'Connor's open letter to 20-year-old Miley, which she posted on her blog, is actually equal parts tough love and admiration for Miley's talent.
"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," Sinead writes. "It is in fact the case that you will obscure your talent by allowing yourself to be pimped, whether it’s the music business or yourself doing the pimping."
Sinead goes on to say, "The music business doesn’t give a sh– about you, or any of us. They will prostitute you for all you are worth, and cleverly make you think its what YOU wanted. ….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."
O'Connor knows more than a little about controversy. In 1992, she delivered a performance on Saturday Night Live in which she tore up a photo of then-pontiff Pope John Paul II, declaring "Fight the real enemy." The act, which she said was meant as a protest over sexual abuse in the Catholic church, torpedoed her U.S. fame. It's ironic to note that, given Miley's controversial VMAs performance, Sinead had already won three MTV Video Music Awards for "Nothing Compares 2 U" before her SNL appearance.
Sinead ends her letter to Miley by saying, in part: "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. ….The message you keep sending is that it’s somehow cool to be prostituted.. it’s so not cool Miley.. it’s dangerous."
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