Miley Cyrus’ poignant new song Used To Be Young has hidden detail as singer reflects on Wrecking Ball era and her ‘wild’ younger years

Miley Cyrus sent her eager fans wild by finally releasing her hotly-anticipated new single Used To Be Young on Friday.

But the date of the song’s release was seemingly not chosen at random, as it is exactly ten years to the day since the release of her hit track Wrecking Ball.

At the time, she came under fire for her ‘controversial’ music video to accompany the break-up ballad, which saw her strip naked and swing on a bulldozer ball.

And Miley, 30, has seemingly hinted at the backlash by unveiling an aptly-titled ballad with lyrics about being ‘wild’ and ‘crazy’ exactly ten years after Wrecking Ball’s release.

The chorus goes: ‘I know I used to be crazy / I know I used to be fun / You say I used to be wild / I say I used to be young.’


It's here! Miley Cyrus sent her eager fans wild by finally releasing her hotly-anticipated new single Used To Be Young on Friday

Looking back: But the date of the song's release was seemingly not chosen at random, as it is exactly ten years to the day since the release of her hit track Wrecking Ball

Other lyrics in the track see her talk about how she has ‘gone her separate ways’ with who she was ‘yesterday’ as she seems to reflects back on her partying lifestyle.

Some of the final lines of Used To Be Young also see Miley admit that even though she ‘messed up’ during her ‘wild’ younger years, she still had ‘fun’.

She sings: ‘I know I used to be crazy / Messed up, but, God, was it fun I know I used to be wild / That’s ’cause I used to be young / Those wasted nights are not wasted / I remember every one.’


Since the song’s release, Miley has also taken to social media to discuss how she wanted to ‘honour’ who she used to be with her latest single.

She wrote: ‘This song is about honoring who we’ve been, loving who we are & celebrating who we will become.

‘I feel proud when reflecting on my past and joyful when thinking about the future. I am grateful to my loyal fans who make my dreams a reality daily.

‘I am sincerely thankful for the stability of your steadfast support. This song is for you.’


Used To Be Young is not the first time Miley has looked back on her younger years of partying and her drug use, and how her life has changed since then.

Youth: Miley, 30, has seemingly hinted at the backlash by unveiling an aptly-titled ballad with lyrics about being 'wild' and 'crazy' exactly ten years after Wrecking Ball's release

Reflecting: Since the song's release, Miley has also taken to social media to discuss how she wanted to 'honour' who she used to be with her latest single

Earlier this year, Miley – who is two years sober – told British Vogue how she had put her partying lifestyle behind her and recently turned down the chance to sing on a club anthem – instead creating her new ballad.

She told the magazine: ‘It was like, you know, the standard f*****-up-in-the-club track.


‘And I was like, ‘I’m two years sober. That’s not where I spend my time, you know?’

Exactly ten years ago, on August 25, 2013, Miley released her now-hit track Wrecking Ball, and the music video followed just days later on September 9.

The former Disney star caused controversy with the video when she stripped nude, straddled a swinging wrecking ball and smashed up walls in the video.

When it was released, the video raked up a staggering 12.3million views in just 24 hours on Vevo to become its most viewed record.

At the time, then-20-year-old Miley defended the backlash as she urged people to focus on the raw emotion of the song, which was referencing her break-up with Liam Hemsworth.

She said: I think the video is much more, if people get past the point that I’m naked and you actually look at me.

‘You can tell that I actually look more broken than even the song sounds.’

But in 2017, Miley admitted that she regretted making the video, saying: ‘I’m never living that down. I will always be the naked girl on a wrecking ball.

‘I just licked the sledgehammer. I should have thought how long that was going to follow me around. That’s my worst nightmare – that being played at my funeral.’

Following Friday’s release of Used To Be Young, Miley told how she ‘expected’ there to be controversy and backlash surrounding the track as she reflected on her Wrecking Ball era.

She told how she felt like she had been ‘judged’ for her choices for such a long time and finally felt that she could make her own decisions with Wrecking Ball, admitting she still ‘loves’ the track now.

The video followed Miley’s now famous VMA performance, which saw her twerking with Robin Thicke during his performance of a hits medley that included controversial track Blurred Lines.

Wrecking Ball came on her third studio album Bangerz, which also included party track We Can’t Stop, explicit song FU and Adore You.

She stormed to the top of the singles chart with We Can’t Stop, but she came under fire at the time for seemingly referencing drug use in the song.

In the track, Miley sings a lyric referring to ‘Molly’, a term used for MDMA, although her producer claimed the lyrics were in fact ‘dancing with Miley’.

However, she later clarified to MailOnline: ‘It depends who’s doing what. If you’re aged ten it’s ‘Miley’, if you know what I’m talking about then you know. I just wanted it to be played on the radio and they’ve already had to edit it so much.’

‘I don’t think people have a hard time understanding that I’ve grown up,’ she added. ‘You can Google me and you know what I’m up to, you know what that lyric is saying.’

Miley has openly discussed her drug use in her younger years, once joking that her Disney alter-ego Hannah Montana disappeared from the public eye because she had ‘a lot of drugs’.

'Wild' years: Miley (pictured in 2015) also stormed to the top of the singles chart with We Can't Stop, but she came under fire at the time for seemingly referencing drug use in the song

In 2021, Miley told how she had decided to stop experimenting with drugs two years earlier when she turned 26 because she started having fears for her life.

‘[I] haven’t done drugs in years. Honestly, I never try to, again, be a fortune-teller. I try to not be naïve,’ she told Rolling Stone at the time.

‘Things f***ing happen. But from sitting here with you right now, I would say it would have to be a cold day in hell for me to relapse on drugs.’

She went on: ‘Actually, one of the reasons I got sober was I had just turned 26, and I said, “I got to pull my s*** together before I’m 27, because 27 is the time you cross over that threshold into living or dying a legend”.’

Miley admitted she ‘fell off’ and struggled amid the Covid-19 pandemic, telling how she ‘lost herself’, before getting sober again. She is now two years sober.

Since ditching her partying lifestyle, Miley’s music has veered back to her country roots while she has also tried her hand at rock music as she showed off her talents.

She has opened up about her life changes in her music, with many of her hits documenting her on-off relationship with her now-ex-husband Liam Hemsworth.

In 2017, Miley released her hit track Malibu, which saw the singer pay homage to Liam after they rekindled their romance and got engaged for the second time.

Miley and Liam began dating in 2010, when they starred together in The Last Song and in May 2012, he gifted her with a Neil Lane 3.5 carat diamond ring.

However, the on-off couple later called their engagement off and spent three years apart, before rekindling their romance and getting engaged again in 2016.

She then released her song Malibu, which saw her wearing a huge diamond on her ring finger and sing lyrics referring to their three years apart and rekindled romance.

The song was a huge departure from her previous sound as she ditched her hip hop-infused WiLL Made It-produced beats of Bangerz and instead went back to the country sounds that first made her famous.

In November 2018, Liam and Miley then devastatingly lost their Malibu home due to the Woolsey fires, which she later referenced in her 2019 song Slide Away.

One month after the fire, Miley confirmed that she and Liam had tied the knot, but just nine months later in August 2019, the couple confirmed they had separated.

Romance: Since ditching her partying lifestyle, Miley's music has evolved with her hits documenting her relationship with Liam Hemsworth (both pictured)

End: After an on-off romance starting in 2010, two engagements and a wedding, the couple called it quits for the last time in August 2019, as Miley released her track Slide Away

Single: This year, Miley released smash hit Flowers, and she poignantly put out the music video for the song about self-love and being single on her ex-husband Liam's birthday

The same month that their split was confirmed, Miley released Slide Away, which saw her address her break-up with Liam and the loss of their house the year before.

Lyrics included: ‘Once upon a time, it was made for us / Woke up one day, it had turned to dust / Baby, we were found, but now we’re lost / So it’s time to let it go.’

Once again, the song saw Miley move away from her previous party anthems and embrace an emotional sound, as she reflected on the difficult time in her life.

In 2020, Miley then embraced a strikingly different sound as she released her rock album Plastic Hearts and covered Blondie’s hit Heart of Glass in 2020.

She showed off her very versatile style with tracks including Midnight Sky and Angels Like You, before the release of her eighth studio album Endless Summer Vacation earlier this year.

Miley’s song Flowers quickly became a huge hit, and she poignantly released the music video for the song about self-love and being single on her ex-husband Liam’s birthday on January 13.

The pop song’s lyrics allude to her failed relationship with Liam including a double entendre about Miley watching her marriage and the Malibu home they once shared ‘burn’ to the ground.

‘We were right / til we weren’t / built a home and watched it burn,’ she sings.

The self-love track also sees her belt out: ‘I can buy myself flowers / Write my name in the sand / Talk to myself for hours / See things you don’t understand.’

Now, Miley has once again proved she can nail a ballad as she sent fans wild with Used To Be Young, with listeners admitting they were left ‘sobbing’ at the track.

On Twitter, one person penned: ‘Miley Cyrus made me cry with her new song ‘Used to Be Young’. It’s such a beautiful and honest reflection of her journey and growth. She honors her past, loves her present, and celebrates her future.’

‘#USEDTOBEYOUNG BY MILEY CYRUS IS TRULY A MASTERPIECE,’ tweeted another.

Exes: The song's lyrics allude to her failed relationship with Liam including a double entendre about Miley watching her marriage and the Malibu home they once shared 'burn' to the ground

Emotional: Now, Miley has once again proved she can nail a ballad as she sent fans wild with Used To Be Young, with listeners admitting they were left 'sobbing' at the track

Someone else wrote: ‘the fact i’ve already listened to this song 400 times and i’m still getting chills. #UsedToBeYoung will be a CLASSIC.’

‘I’m an emotional wreck right now Beautiful song. I love you so much @MileyCyrus #UsedToBeYoung,’ admitted another fan, while another admitted: ‘I am now sobbing in the dark.. @MileyCyrus #UsedToBeYoung.’

One person gushed: ‘#UsedToBeYoung might be my favorite song of all time USED TO BE YOUNG SOTY OH MY GOD. I CRIED @MileyCyrus #UsedToBeYoung.’

‘Used to be Young is absolutely beautiful, I love the song so much @MileyCyrus #usedtobeyoung,’ added someone else.


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