Cyrus, 21, who has grabbed headlines in the past year for her admitted drug use, suggestive dancing and wearing as little as boots in a music video, said she was surprised by the scrutiny her new persona has attracted.
Cyrus, who rose to prominence as a teen star of the Disney musical TV series Hannah Montana, has become a bad girl of pop music since her performance at the MTV Video Music Awards in September when she “twerked” during a performance of Thicke’s hit Blurred Lines.
“I don’t have a bunch of celeb friends, because I feel like some of them are a little scared of the association,” Cyrus said of her new persona. “This is terrible. I was backstage with (the rising pop star) Ariana Grande. I’m like, ‘Walk out with me right now and get this picture, and this will be the best thing that happens to you, because just you associating with me makes you a little less sweet.’”
Cyrus, whose newest music video Adore You shows her writhing between bed sheets in her underwear, sucking her thumb and rubbing her body, said she feels more free to be herself now that she is no longer under a Disney contract.
“When I was no longer employed by anyone, that’s when I was like, ‘O.K., I’m going to do my own thing.’ But I waited until I felt like I had respectfully finished out what I was supposed to do, you know?” she said.
Cyrus signed with label RCA this year after releasing her first three albums on Disney’s Hollywood Records.
Cyrus, the daughter of country music singer Billy Ray Cyrus, also fired back at pop star Joe Jonas, formerly of the Jonas Brothers, who said Cyrus and pop singer Demi Lovato introduced him to marijuana.
“If you want to smoke weed, you’re going to smoke weed,” Cyrus said. “There’s nothing that two little girls are going to get you to do that you don’t want to do.”