Following a Reinke's edema diagnosis -- that is, swelling of the vocal cords due to the presence of fluid -- Miley underwent surgery in November 2019.
"Over the last year I noticed a really big change to my voice, kind of a heaviness to it,” she explains. “And I experienced some heavy things. I feel like it is a reflection. It is a kind of scar in a sense. But also kind of having the surgery was a gift because I was able to understand my instrument.”
Cyrus started early in showbiz. Looking back, the years and the lifestyle took a toll.
"I started touring at probably 12 or 13,” she recounted. “The adrenaline that you have after a show -- it's not really the singing that affects your voice as much. It's afterwards, you're totally on and it's really hard to get that sleep. You stay up, talking all night. Later, the talking all night turned into smoking all night. And now, this is kinda where we're at.”
The voice, she figures, can be like a face. “It collects wrinkles and it tells a story."
Older, wiser, the wild child is all grown up. And she’s not hanging with hangovers anymore.
"I don't smoke anymore, and I'm sober. I've been sober, pretty much the vocal surgery kind of did it for me because I just learned so much about the effects,” Miley admits. “You're just taught it's not really the drinking, it's the staying up all night. Once you have your drink, you end up smoking."
The pop star was back in the spotlight when she performed "Midnight Sky" from her upcoming album She Is Miley Cyrus during the 2020 MTV VMAs on Sunday (Aug. 30). A release date for the new LP has yet to be announced.
Watch the interview below.