Noah Cyrus on Inevitable Comparisons to Sister Miley: 'I've Been Expecting That, And It Doesn't Bother Me'

Joseph Llanes
Being compared to Miley “doesn’t bother me,” says Noah Cyrus.

Noah Cyrus says she was a “tour bus baby,” learning how to harmonize while on the road with her dad, Billy Ray. Still, the 16-year-old wasn’t sure she would follow in the footsteps of her sister Miley and brother Trace (of Metro Station) while growing up on the family farm in Nashville. 

“For years I had been riding horses and staying away,” Noah Cyrus tells Billboard. “Then two years ago, I started writing in sessions, and I fell in love with it. This is what I want to do.”

On Nov. 16, Cyrus released her debut track “Make Me (Cry),” a solemn duet with British R&B star Labrinth that was written earlier in 2016. The song was released through Barry Weiss’ Records venture, and its Sophie Muller-directed music video received 1.4 million YouTube plays in its first 24 hours. On this week’s Hot 100 chart, the song makes its debut at No. 98, marking the teenage Cyrus’ first chart appearance after raking in more than 2 million streams in its first chart weeks, according to Nielsen Music.

"Every day has been different for me — the first day [the song came out] I was in pure shock, and didn’t know how to handle it,” she recalls. "The day the song came out, the morning of, I was getting all these great responses, and I looked at my mom and said, 'I finally did it. It’s out.' My mom cried. It was a very emotional moment."

Meanwhile, Noah says that Miley has been “so supportive,” and has also informed her little sister that having thick skin is the most important part of a pop career. “She told me to not look myself up, ever,” she says. "I’ve turned my comments off on Instagram. I think that was the best thing I could have done right now.”

Noah will be writing for her debut album in the coming months, and understands that whatever she releases will be compared to Miley’s work. “We’re going to be told that we sound alike,” she says. “I’ve been expecting that. It doesn’t take me by surprise, and it doesn’t bother me."

A version of this article originally appeared in the Dec. 10 issue of Billboard.