The deep loneliness of Miley Cyrus or why more and more pop stars refuse to tour | Celebrities, Vips | S Fashion EL PAÍS

The indisputable song of the year must continue to be heard on various platforms, radios or venues. Flowers, the song that has broken all listening records this 2023 and that has once again raised Miley Cyrus to the top of the charts, will not be able to be enjoyed live by the singer’s fans after her refusal to present it all over the world his new album. “I love performing, especially for my team, but singing in front of hundreds of thousands of people isn’t really my favorite thing. There is no connection. There is no security. I find it very difficult to please 100,000 people simultaneously. Plus, it’s unnatural. You feel isolated because you are in front of 100,000 people, but you are alone, ”confessed the artist, who has not toured since 2014, in the British edition of Vogue. The fiery reaction of her followers later forced Cyrus to post an explanatory note on her Instagram account – “this is not disrespectful to my fans, I just don’t want to continue preparing in a locker room” – although the decision of the interpreter of Wrecking Ball It’s just the last straw in the overflowing glass of music stars who are taking a temporary farewell to the stage at the height of their success.

Up to 70 concerts that were supposed to make tens of thousands of groupies all over the world scream during 2023 and 2024 were canceled by Justin Bieber last February, claiming that “exhaustion had surpassed him.” “I realized that I am not trained to keep up with this pace.” Similar reasons were put forward by the other Canadian king of pop, Shawn Mendes, who postponed all the concerts on his tour Wonder because of the exhaustion and stress they caused. “After discussing it with my team and working with an incredible group of healthcare professionals, I have realized that I need to take the time that I have never personally taken to find myself and come back stronger,” he explained. Adele did the same thing last year at her Las Vegas residency; Zayn Malik, a former member of One Direction and now solo, has not performed live since 2017 because going on stage caused him “panic attacks” and artists like Selena Gomez or Becky G have shamelessly recounted the negative effects that constant travel have on your health. “Low blood circulation, muscle cramps, dehydration, anxiety and inflammation in certain areas. I realized that my mental space was becoming more and more difficult to control,” said the artist from no pajamas. In Spain, singers like Pastora Soler, Amaia Montero or Mai Meneses de Nena Daconte also decided to stop their brilliant careers after being overwhelmed.

Justin Bieber canceled his tour for good last March. Photo: Getty

Loneliness is one of the feelings that stars have wanted to confess the most about, thus demolishing all the aspirational, enviable and glamorous factor that surrounds stardom. Like Miley Cyrus, a Lady Gaga “married to her loneliness” opened up about this during a call to designer Brandon Maxwell, in the documentary she starred in for Netflix: “I’m alone, Brandon. Every night. And all these people will leave. They’ll leave and then I’ll be alone. And I will go from being touched and talked to all day to complete silence.” Florence Welch, from Florence and the Machine, confessed that the reason for starting his career as a vocalist was “to be able to drink and party”, and that everything changed when he stopped drinking. “At first her sobriety was very lonely. I was the first to stop drinking around me and those two years were very hard.

Awards don’t buy happiness, as Taylor Swift demonstrated when she asked herself, right after winning the Grammy for Album of the Year, “if I should have someone to call now.” In a television interview, Michael Jackson also referred to the gold prison in which he lived most of his life: “I used to sit in my hotel room and cry alone because I couldn’t go outside. There were fans everywhere and helicopters and the press… ”, he evoked. However, the case of Miley Cyrus resonates with special intensity in the industry as she stands as the example of an artist who has been squeezed without consideration from the earliest childhood. As the tweeter remembers @milesholy In a thread celebrated by the singer’s fans, at just 14 years old she already offered tours with 70 appointments in just three months and she herself complained that no one took care of her: “It did not seem important to them to give days of vocal rest to someone who he gave so much money to such a large corporation because it meant losing money. I had no decision-making power,” she explained.

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Miley Cyrus assured that she did not want to “sacrifice her well-being” by taking to the road. Photo: Getty

The progressive visibility of mental health in all aspects of society has also reached the dressing rooms of the leading figures in the music industry, who no longer hesitate to put a stop to their million-dollar machinery if the self-destructive spiral threatens to harm their emotional state. “There are a lot of artists who are just starting out and aren’t aware of the dangers of touring. Mental health when you’re on the road is something that has always been pushed aside until this generation has decided to deal with it. We have seen the effects of this life as an artist on our predecessors and I think we have realized that we cannot manage it like this, that we have to talk to someone”, recounted the prestigious British musician James Blake. Perhaps that is why those intimate, acoustic and close tours are currently in fashion, held in small capacity and with the essential elements, and which Pablo Alborán to U2 or Led Zeppelin claim today.

Ten-hour road trips, lonely hotel rooms, continuous flights, schedules that are incompatible with rest or social life, poor diet, addictions, media focus… the B side of a tour is far from idyllic. In addition, the crisis in the sale of physical records multiplied the number and importance of live shows when it comes to assessing the success and profitability of an artist. So much so that, according to a study by the Help Musicians UK foundation, 71% of musicians considered touring as a problem for their well-being and 60% suffered from depression. In Spain, a survey on mental health among musicians carried out in 2022 by the psychologist and guitarist Pau Rodríguez indicated very high rates of anxiety, stress and depression.

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The last concert of the singer Zayn Malik dates from more than six years ago. Photo: Getty

Given the avalanche of this type of episodes, the promoter Live Nation –the largest multinational of live events globally– has acquired up to 3,000 copies of the manual. Touring and Mental Health which will be distributed from this very month of May in the changing rooms of concert halls around the world. Written by Tamsin Embleton, a psychotherapist specializing in the music industry, the book aims to help to “all those who work in live music to identify and cope with the various physical and psychological difficulties that can occur during or as a result of touring”. Will any of those mentioned follow the example of the vindicated Kate Bush, who spent 35 years without stepping on a stage?

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The deep loneliness of Miley Cyrus or why more and more pop stars refuse to tour | Celebrities, Vips | S Fashion EL PAÍS