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The 27-year-old "Mother's Daughter" singer opened up about the devastation of the coronavirus pandemic and how she's found an outlet to discuss the unknowns through her new Instagram live talk show "Bright Minded."
"This isn't Covid-19, what I'm experiencing. My life has been pushed pause on, but really I have no idea what this pandemic is like," Cyrus told WSJ. Magazine for its June cover story.
Cyrus, who has welcomed Elton John, Demi Lovato, Selena Gomez, and even politicians like Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., to her show for candid conversations touching on mental health and staying positive amid global crisis, insisted she knows full well she is not witnessing the impact of the pandemic as others are.
"I am comfortable in my space and able to put food on my table and [I am] financially stable, and that's just not the story for a lot of people," Cyrus continued from her California home.
Cyrus confessed she's been able to book high-profile stars for the show by simply "sliding in" their direct messages on social media. Other times, fellow A-listers reach out to her, but she's cognizant of the fact that many entertainers may be hesitant to participate in an effort to not come across as tone-deaf.
"I'm sure a lot of the hesitation for other people saying yes to doing the show is because it almost doesn't feel right for celebrities to share our experience. Because it just doesn't compare," she said.
Back in mid-March, at the height of the coronavirus surge in the United States, "Wonder Woman" star Gal Gadot and other celebrities including Kristen Wiig, James Marsden and Natalie Portman, came under fire for posting a cover of John Lennon's famous song "Imagine" on social media in an effort to inspire hope.
The initiative backfired rather quickly, with Twitter users dubbing the video "cringy" as a song didn't appear to provide relief for those actually fighting for their lives.
Cyrus credited her past hosting gigs on "The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon" and "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" for equipping her the experience and importance of remaining sensitive.
Still, welcoming "Bright Minded" guests comes with the pressures of mastering the craft, she said.
"This show makes people nervous because it's not the usual talk show format. It's intimate, and you don't have your team when you're [filmling] at home," Cyrus said. "You don't have your publicist and your glam and all the things. You're letting people into your space, and you're controlling the tech and all that stuff."
Cyrus feels a dedication to protecting her guests "no matter how famous or how not."
"I want people to shine," she said.
Cyrus' show began with a peek into how celebrities are managing their time bunkering down at home, and while it's been on a brief hiatus, she plans for its return to shine a light on heroes around the world and what society will look like in the aftermath of the pandemic once it begins to recede.
Cyrus shared upcoming segments will take a closer look at deeper-rooted issues in society, such as the housing crisis and financial instability.
"None of that's going away," Cyrus said. "Many of these issues are being highlighted because of Covid-19, but they existed before and they're going to continue to exist and get worse."
Personally, Cyrus said she's thankful to be able to communicate in new ways with loved ones, but this period has been "the longest" she's gone without physically seeing her mom, Tish Cyrus, and her grandmother.
With the success of "Bright Minded," Cyrus' platform has brought on questions about her future, such as if she'd ever transition into hosting gigs in addition to being a chart-topping artist.
"A lot of what I've represented in my entire career is individuality and gender identity and sexual identity. So yeah, I would love to create a platform where individuality is highlighted and a place for good news and light and activism and optimism and highlighting the folks doing really big work who don't always get the attention that is deserved."