No one in music generated more controversy this year than Miley Cyrus.
Thanks to some provocative music videos, outlandish wardrobe choices and that much talked-about twerking VMA performance, the 21-year-old pop star broke out in a big way in 2013. But as she reveals to The New York Times, it was all part of a plan.
"I went from people just thinking I was, like, a baby to people thinking I'm this, like, sex freak that really just pops molly and does lines all day," Cyrus told the Times about her MTV Video Music Awards performance. "It's like, 'Has anyone ever heard of rock 'n' roll?' There's a sex scene in pretty much every single movie, and they go, 'Well, that's a character.' Well, that's a character. I don't really dress as a teddy bear and, like, twerk on Robin Thicke, you know?"
Her latest music video, for new single "Adore You," might be the singer's raciest display yet. Cyrus is seen wearing nothing but a bra and panties, and rubbing her hands all over her body underneath white sheets.
But the "Wrecking Ball" singer revealed to the Times that she studied other pop stars' performances and music videos before making her own mark.
"I watch everyone's music videos, to the point where I'm O.C.D., looking at every single thing they're wearing and what they're doing," she revealed to the Times. "Before, because I didn't have my own personal self yet, it was hard for me to watch that kind of stuff. I was so jealous of what everyone else got to do, because I didn't get to truly be myself yet."
"But now I realize how much they're not being themselves either," Cyrus added. "You don't have to be signed to Disney Channel to be put in a box, or to be rated PG. I'm with artists sometimes, and I'll take a picture of them or whatever. They make me delete it."
No longer under contract from Disney (the parent company of ABC News), the former "Hannah Montana" star said, "I would rather have everything I do be 100 percent honest. I just want to be who I am."
That includes not letting Joe Jonas off the hook for his recent New York magazine essay in which he said he was pressured to smoke marijuana the first time by Cyrus and Demi Lovato.
"If you want to smoke weed, you're going to smoke weed," Cyrus told the Times. "There's nothing that two little girls are going to get you to do that you don't want to do. I thought maybe he was saying that like it was going to make him look bada**."
Cyrus accepts her role as music's newest bad girl ("I don't have a bunch of celeb friends, because I feel like some of them are a little scared of the association," she said), but knows someone else will take her place in a couple years.
"When I hear that - that someone, two years from now, is going to be the next kind of provocateur - like, I can't wait to collab with whoever the hell that is, you know? I'm like, whoever that is, I'm going to ride that wave," she told the Times.