Miley Cyrus opened up to Ryan Seacrest on his radio program on Monday, August 25 about her reason for bringing a homeless man named Jesse to 2014 MTV Video Music Awards. She said that her duet with Robin Thicke last year made her realize that she needed to use her fame for social good.
"I just didn't realize my platform, I didn't realize my power," the former "Hannah Montana" star told Ryan, "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."
Miley added, "No matter what I say or do ... there's going to be talk, so what do I want them to talk about? You know? That's what I really had to prioritize. If I'm going to be given this loud of a voice ... and this huge of an opportunity to talk to young people in America right now, what am I really trying to say? Because I don't think what I was trying to say was what happened the year before, really." She told Ryan that "Jesse's keeping the award."
In another interview with AP, Miley said that her philanthropic work is more valuable than praises. She claimed, "This fills you up and it feels good for a long time. I feel incredible today. I feel like I have a jet strapped to me and I am ready to take off from this. I feel like there's a way that I can incorporate everything I do in the future around youth homelessness... It just gives me more of a purpose."
She continued, "I mean, dying a pop star is not what I want to have on my tombstone. With anything right now, I am just focusing on being the happiest and the best I can be because there were years I had to give out a lot of energy and now it's taking it all in. I just haven't been giving myself any kind of pressure. I grew up where I had pressure as a kid to work and to always have the next record... and it's not really about that for me anymore."
At the Sunday awards-giving event, Miley let Jesse accept the Moonman and deliver the acceptance speech on her behalf at the VMAs. Jesse told the audience at that time, "I am accepting this award on behalf of the 1.6 million runaways and homeless youth in the United States who are starving, lost and scared for their lives. I know this because I'm one of these people."
Miley opened a campaign on Facebook to help raise awareness for homeless youth and asked fans to donate to My Friend's Place. Fans who donate will have a chance to win a trip for two to her upcoming concert in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on September 28.