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Here’s How Miley Cyrus’ Surprise Album Got Made

“A Chinese healer ‘sent me into a state where my dog was lifted out of my lungs and placed on my shoulder.’”

August 31, 2015
Here’s How Miley Cyrus’ Surprise Album Got Made Frazer Harrison / Getty Images

Miley Cyrus used her platform as host of last night's VMAs to announce the surprise release of a new 23-song album, Miley Cyrus & Her Dead Petz, which came together with help from Mike Will Made It and the Flaming Lips' Wayne Coyne. The New York Times got the story behind the record in a long conversation with Cyrus at her studio recently. Read highlights from the conversation below.

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On the circumstances that sparked the album’s creation: “First came the passing in April 2014 of [Cyrus’s] beloved dog, Floyd, who was killed by coyotes while the singer was on an eight-month world tour for Bangerz. Two weeks later, after bawling through some performances, Ms. Cyrus was hospitalized for more than a week in Kansas with a severe allergic reaction to antibiotics. There she was visited by Mr. Coyne, 54, long one of her musical heroes, with whom she’d recently begun collaborating.”

On the spiritual origin of the album: “A Chinese healer ‘sent me into a state where my dog was lifted out of my lungs and placed on my shoulder,’ [Cyrus] explained. ‘I pet my dog for like three hours,’ and after finally telling Floyd she had to ‘let go and put his energy out,’ Ms. Cyrus continued, ‘I really think, in a way, his energy went into Wayne’s energy. What he was to me, Wayne has become.’”

On how fast Cyrus is evolving as a person: “It’s really scary. If one of my friends doesn’t see me for two or three weeks, you have to re-get to know me in a way. My soul will still be the same, but everything around me can be different, and I won’t dress the same and maybe different kinds of people will be around.”

On her relationship with Wayne Coyne: “I am 100 percent in love with Wayne, and Wayne is in love with me, but it’s nothing sexual in any way. That would be the grossest.”

On the cost of the album: According to Cyrus, just $50,000, whereas Bangerz “was ‘a couple million.’”

On her label’s thoughts about the album: Cyrus said that RCA did not chip in to help with this project. “They had never heard the record until it was done.”

On her legacy: Mike Will Made It declared, “Why would she drop another Bangerz? Miley is the new Madonna.”

Here’s How Miley Cyrus’ Surprise Album Got Made