Two years ago, the Woolsey Fire in Malibu, Calif., destroyed Cyrus and her then-husband Liam Hemsworth’s home, which she expressed devastation over on social media at the time. “My house no longer stands but the memories shared with family & friends stand strong,” she tweeted after her evacuation in November 2018. But within her house, she also ended up losing three records she’d recorded and prepared to release as part of an EP trilogy.
“We talked about me losing my house in the Malibu fire, and I had three records already. I’m always ahead of myself, so I had three records already in my back pocket that I had made, that I was going to do this kind of EP series,” she told Idol, with whom she sings “Night Crawler” on Plastic Hearts. “…. And then when I lost my house, all those songs went with my notepads and my computers. And my producer still had them, but it was almost like life tried to give me a gift and say, ‘These aren’t for you.’ So I never really looked back at them.”
But she told the “Mony Mony” singer that she found inspiration while recording Plastic Hearts “from starting from zero” due to the wildfire. She also lost her bedroom shrine to Elvis Presley that she said goodnight to every night, which was made up of replicas of his cars and motorcycles that her father Billy Ray Cyrus passed down to her after he got them from a fan in the 1990s.
“Once I lost that and having kind of nothing and no ground to stand on, that was the greatest inspiration I could have ever been given,” the “Prisoner” performer said.
Her shrine to the King also featured irreplaceable Polaroids of him that her grandmother had after she had waited in line for three days to meet him in the early ’60s. “She has all these incredible photos, and I think that maybe could have been dangerous if we would’ve met. It’s probably a good thing,” she teased after previously telling Idol that Elvis was the one act from any era she’d want to see live. “I would hope that I would’ve been his ex-wife or something sitting here.”
Watch Cyrus and Idol’s interview in full below.