Photo: Getty Images
By Kathleen Perricone
Miley Cyrus won the biggest award of the night at the MTV Video Music Awards — Best Music Video for “Wrecking Ball” — and she used that worldwide platform for good.
Instead of walking to the stage to accept her Moon Man, she sent her good friend Jesse from My Friend’s Place in Los Angeles in her place to tell everyone his story and shed some light on the issue of homeless and runaway youth in America, “who are starving, lost, and scared for their lives right now.”
Miley, who watched his speech with tears in her eyes from her seat, called in to On Air with Ryan Seacrest on Monday morning to talk more about what inspired her to make the bold move … and how she spent the rest of her night post-VMAs.
“First of all, I have to thank all my fans because they put put me on to the highest platform I could have been on and given me and Jesse the biggest voice we could have,” she explains. “The reason it was so important at the VMAs is because it’s for young people. Jesse is my same age and that’s what this show is for. I think people need to see this … at least, I know I did after last year … to remember what matters.”
And Miley is confident her Smilers will follow her lead and get involved. “My fans love this stuff. My fans live for me to give them a goal and then to prove their love for me by achieving it. And there’s nothing that makes me happier than working with My Friend’s Place right now. I’m just totally so into it!”
Although she’s a big believer in the cause, Miley was so nervous for Jesse up there on the stage and how the rest of the famous faces in the audience would react to his message.
“The courage that he showed to get up there and give that speech,” she says. “I didn’t know how everyone was going to be and seeing his hands shake, it kind of broke me. I wish they wouldn’t have kept putting the camera on me to make it about me crying. I cry when I’m the happiest.”
Miley was inspired to make a bold statement at the VMAs after all the attention (and backlash) following her twerkfest with Robin Thicke on last year’s stage.
“I just didn’t realize my platform, I didn’t realize my power,” she explains. “And I think I really realized it after the VMAs [last year] … there’s something special and there’s only few people that experience this that no matter what I do, there’s no winning or losing, it’s just going to be talked about. Period. I’m going to be on the cover of everything no matter what and I can’t help it. There’s going to be talk, so what do I want them to talk about? If I’m going to be given this loud of a voice and this big of an image and this big of a platform and this huge of an opportunity to talk to young people in American right now, what am I really trying to say? Because I don’t think what I was trying to say is what happened the year before.”
The message was so important to Miley, she didn’t tell anyone about her plan to send Jesse up onstage for fear that the secret would get out. In fact, while sitting next to Katy Perry in the audience, she pretended like he was her date … and then the “This Is How We Do” tried to pour him a drink!
“I’m like, ‘This kid has to give this speech!’” she jokes. “I’m like, ‘Katy, please don’t get Jesse drunk right now’ … I didn’t want to tell her because I was scared if someone found out, they’d try to stop me … no one knew. The only person I told, because I knew that he would respect it, was Juicy [J], who was sitting next to me. I couldn’t hold it in, I was so excited. I knew that he would respect Jesse and it was cool to have someone there who could keep us both calm.”
And after their big moment, Miley and Jesse went to the ultimate post-party: dinner at In-N-Out! But she didn’t exactly get what she wanted.
“A veggie burger at In-N-Out … don’t let them trick you!” she laughs about her order. “It means it’s lettuce and tomato only on a piece of bread.”
Miley is asking for fans to get involved and help donate to My Friend’s Place. Go here for more details!
Photos: Getty Images