TODAY   |  October 07, 2013

Miley Cyrus to Matt: ‘This is just who I am’

On TODAY to perform on the plaza, singer-actress Miley Cyrus tells TODAY’s Matt Lauer that her provocative performance at the MTV VMAs and on the “Wrecking Ball” music video aren’t calculated to offend people; she says that she is just being herself.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> singing father, a mom who is in talent management and what every girl wanted, a fairy god mother who was dolly parton and now at 20 years old she is in a new area of her career. a new album called bangers and music on the top of the charts and a great showing on saturday night live. how did you do?

>> it was awesome. it's two very opposite things. we went on a little late because of the game so now i'm up very early. it was very late to very early.

>> were you nervous?

>> no, i'm excited to be there. this is what i'm born to do just from doing sitcoms and balancing both. it was a dream thing for me to do it. it was fun.

>> we started promoting you were going to be here.

>> did people start sleeping here already.

>> they started sleeping here but i had people come up to me and say i know what i want to hear. are you surprised by the attention you're getting right now?

>> not really, i mean. it's kind of what i want. i'm an artist so i'm hoping i get a little attention otherwise my record sales might be a little sketch.

>> you talked about the vmas and you said people called it a hot mess but it was a strategic hot mess. did you go there and say i'm going to do something. some people are going to love it. some people are going to be offended by it but people will be talking about it the next morning, was it your plan?

>> i don't ever really plan to offend people but sometimes that just happens because i think people, they're not open to what they don't understand but that's why what i'm doing is for my fans because they're all really young so they understand what i'm doing.

>> did it go exactly as you planned?

>> it went exactly as planned. it's a month later and we're still talking about it.

>> it's amazing. a lot of it was very provocative. i'm never going to go to a sporting game and seeing a foam finger.

>> without doing this with it.

>> i probably won't do that but i'll be thinking about it. add to that the naked shot on the wrecking ball for your video, it's very clear that you are navigating.

>> that also you can't help but every time you go by a wrecking ball you want to get naked and get on top of it.

>> i don't pass a lot of wrecking balls.

>> i've seen a trillion.

>> that's true.

>> you're navigating tricky territory between child star and adult performer. is it harder than you thought it would be.

>> no. because this is just like who i am. i think it's only hard if you're trying to be something you're not. being who you are is really easy if you're really true to that.

>> is it a phase? is this a phase? is the sexual side of you that we're seeing a lot of something that's going to be here for awhile and move on to something else.

>> i heard when you turn 40 things start to go a little less sexual. so probably around 40, i heard that's when people don't have sex anymore. i guess maybe around then.

>> do you know how old i am?

>> i'm going to guess 40?

>> i love you again.

>> 55.

>> 55. oh, well, then you're really definitely not sexual.

>> any do overs? terms of your career right now? is there something you would like to do differently than you have done.

>> i can't change anything. i can't go back. i can do a lot of things but i can't change the past. nothing. anything i can't control i don't really think about. i just live my life the way it is and i don't really regret anything.

>> one of the things you have done is you have answered some of your critics. one comes to mind in particular, sinead o'connors. your thoughts on her.

>> i think she is an incredible artist and i was inspired by her for my wrecking ball video which started the whole thing. i don't know how someone can start a fight with someone that's saying i respect you and love what you did. you suck and i don't like you. that was crazy but i'm a big fan of hers. so it doesn't really matter.

>> do you wish you would have stayed out of the fray. you did fire back.

>> it's all good. you can write as many open letters as you want. that's what blogging is. i get open letters every day. it's nothing too new for me.

>> what are you going to do next? do you have a five year plan? you said you don't plan things a second ago. i think you meant overnight but do you have a five year plan?

>> not really. i'm focused on when i get to go on tour which is going to be next year which i'm really excited about so that's really my focus. my plan is focussing on right now and continuing what i'm doing. i'm the happiest i've ever been in my whole life. i'm happy to be here.

>> you're getting a lot of attention. everybody i talked to about you miley says this young lady has real talent. do you ever worry that some of the things that go on around you draw people's attention away from the talent.

>> i don't worry about anything because i know who i am and i know that i'm an artist and put this time and effort into my record and my record is proof of really who i am and, you know, i said something before where for me the most important thing is being a really good person and that doesn't depend on what you do on stage. that depends on how you treat people when you're off stage and i know how i treat people so i'm not too worried about it.

>> talk to me about your parents.

>> my mom is over there somewhere. there she is. so that's pretty awesome.

>> do they still have influence over you at 20? the same kind of influence they may have had over you at 14?

>> yeah, for me my parents have always been about being really who you are and figuring that out and what's good about that is as i trust them a lot so i can go to them with pretty much anything than a lot of kids that have to hide things from their parents that i don't have to. my parents are accepting. that's what real love is is unconditional and that means it doesn't depend on what you're doing. it's just that means they love you no matter what and that's what parents are supposed