In Tune - ‘Dear Miley...’

Do you remember being 16 years old? I was a school-going boy in standard 10, copying my friend's Nirvana and Guns N' Roses albums onto TDK cassettes. Sneaking a cigarette during school break. Mornings spent at school, afternoons with friends. A normal, happy childhood.

This week a 16-year-old from New Zealand made us all feel like underachievers. Ella Yelich-O'Connor, stage name Lorde, bumped Miley Cyrus off the #1 spot on the US music charts. Her breakthrough, surprise hit is called 'Royals'. She released her first LP when she was 14. Two years later her song is bigger than 'Wrecking Ball' by sledge hammer-licker Cyrus. Her musical style is refreshingly different to the dance-pop style Cyrus, Britney Spears and Selena Gomez are known for. Interestingly, the last 16-year-old with a #1 was Tiffany in 1987 with 'I Think We're Alone Now'.

Miley Cyrus was at the peak of her TV career when she was the same age as Lorde. Hannah Montana was the biggest show on TV, spinning off a multi-million dollar product licensing franchise. Five years later Cyrus is the most-talked about music star on the planet, albeit for the wrong reasons. Today controversial Irish musician Sinéad O'Connor published an open letter to Cyrus - an attempt she says to show Miley the wood for the trees. Here's an extract:

"I wasn't going to write this letter, but today I've been dodging phone calls from various newspapers who wished me to remark upon your having said in Rolling Stone your Wrecking Ball video was designed to be similar to the one for Nothing Compares ... And it is said in the spirit of motherliness and with love. I am extremely concerned for you that it is in any way 'cool' to be naked and licking sledgehammers in your videos. It is in fact the case that you will obscure your talent by allowing yourself to be pimped. I've been in the business long enough to know that men are making more money than you are from you getting naked. As for the shedding of the Hannah Montana image ... whoever is telling you getting naked is the way to do that does absolutely NOT respect your talent, or you as a young lady. Your records are good enough for you not to need any shedding of Hannah Montana. She's waaaaaaay gone by now ... Not because you got naked but because you make great records."

Chillingly accurate, right? And a reminder to us to keep those we love safe from harm's way. And that sometimes you have to shout really loudly to be heard.

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