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Miley Cyrus Addresses Panic Attack During Summerfest Performance

Miley Cyrus
Ashley Osborn for Lollapalooza

Miley Cyrus performing at Lollapalooza 2021 at Grant Park in Chicago.

Miley Cyrus’ is the epitome of a confident pop star, an artist in control, who’s appeared on screen and the biggest stages since before she could walk and talk.

The “Wrecking Ball” singer is also just like the rest of us.

During her performance last Friday (Sept. 17) at Milwaukee's Summerfest, Cyrus could sense a panic attack creeping up on her. Rather than fight it, or flee, she discussed it with the audience.

Thanks to the pandemic, Cyrus, and every other performer on the planet, is out of practice, certainly when it comes to turning it on before tens of thousands of music fans.

"Like everyone else, for the last year and a half I’ve been locked away and isolated and it is very stunning to be back in a place that used to feel like second nature. Being on stage used to feel like being at home, and it doesn’t anymore because of how much time I spent at home locked away. And this is very drastic," Cyrus explained.

Being caught up in the health crisis, she continued, "was startling and terrifying and coming out of it is also slightly terrifying. So I just wanted to be honest with how I’m feeling. Because I think by being honest about that, then it makes me less afraid."

Cyrus turned the anxiety into triumph, with a career-spanning set that featured a handful of covers, including the Prince-penned “Nothing Compares 2 U” and Janis Joplin's "Maybe.” As the end drew near, Cyrus pronounced that this was "the greatest concert in the world,” according to a review of the show, published by Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Following its release in 2020, Cyrus’ seventh and most recent studio album, Plastic Hearts, opened at No. 2 on the all-genre Billboard 200 chart, and led the Top Rock Albums survey.

The No. 2 bow on the Billboard 200 was Cyrus’ highest rank since one-week ruler Bangerz in October 2013. In the intervening years, she accrued two No. 5s with Younger Now (October 2017) and the She Is Coming EP (June 2019).