In a world plagued by the irresponsible spirit of entertainers, we are forced to ask ourselves, how truly original is our situation? Miley Cyrus is all the talk now as someone who is changing the industry, arguably in a good OR bad way, but what’s the craze really about?
No doubt, this isn’t the first time a super star grew up to be something less than delightful. Back in the ’80s and ’90s, when pop music was really born, there were countless stories of lead singers giving into drugs, or guitarists with a bad rap. Who are they? Needless to say, their names are as unrecognizable as some of their music, all gone with the wind and lost in the desert of history. But if one were to dig deeper into these stories, a hopeful discovery would not be to far away. Alongside the stories of drug abuse and misdemeanors were similar tales of transformation. Sure, many entertainers fell to the same cycles of temptation and abuse, but luckily for them, it was merely a stage.
Can we say the same for Miley Cyrus? We can only pray.
Depeche Mode was one of the most popular bands of the late ’80s and early ’90s. Their lead singer, Dave Gahan, is a recovering heroin addict and has had four near-death experiences (I think it’s fair to say that Miley has not gotten this far yet). Gahan lived a difficult childhood in which death was a norm and he struggled with an identity. He didn’t know his real father. In fact, he was told his stepfather was his biological dad, and he grew up believing that. Experimenting with death and its consequences earned Gahan the nickname “The Cat,” given to him by the paramedics that served him during his most trying years in Los Angeles. One attempt at suicide was an intentional overdose on a speedball, an intravenous solution of cocaine and heroin/morphine in the same syringe. Although Gahan admits to trying to take his own life several times, he also noted that he did so in ways so that people may be around to find him. And so they did. Gahan’s heart stopped for two minutes before revived during this last cry of help. In one instance, Gahan saw his then girlfriend calling him back to Earth. Gahan is now recovering and living with his wife and children in New York. He has been able to turn his life around for the better by abandoning the drugs that were never there for him.
Miley Cyrus, on the other hand, seems to be struggling more with identity. She was thrust into the industry at a fairly young age and was believed to have had a conservative, Southern upbringing. Yet she was just another unfortunate soul of the business. Her latest sexual antics have brought a negative light to her reputation, although her music is received as some of if not her best thus far. So how far must an entertainer go to be successful? Is her behavior merely a strategy to get attention? Or is she purely trying to discover herself during these trying times? It could be a combination of both. I think its fair to say that regardless of the actual music and lyrics, if an artist can advertise himself/herself, recognition and therefore sales will inevitably go up. Whether or not that fact is Miley’s motive behind her behavior will be a mystery. What we do know is that we have a lot to learn from someone like her. She doesn’t deserve to be ostracized for her journey to self-discovery. She’s not harming anyone along the way. All she is expressing is the aching heart underneath. If anything, we should show words of support and encouragement. I understand that she is not the best role model, but sometimes we need to recognize the bad in order to differentiate between the good. As mentioned before, her talent brought her to light at a young age, and although her family tried to keep her grounded, Miley has temporarily left reality. There is, by no means, a shortcoming of artists who have similarly been through times of difficulty but have turned their lives around. Cyrus is suffering the circumstances of growing up in front of us. Gahan was a far more desperate case, and there was and is hope still. I think the media is getting in the way of what’s really going on in Miley’s life, and distorting the facts to get attention from the public eye. Let’s not be fooled by heartless, money-hungry thieves but rather reach out to a fellow sister in Christ and pray that she may find her way back to the Lord in whom she has affirmed her belief.
This lone statement attests to the hope that exists for not just Miley or other entertainers, but anyone who is facing doubt and still remains faithful to the all-powerful and loving God who provides for us no matter what.