Is Miley Cyrus's New Song About the California Wildfires?

In true Miley fashion, the singer-songwriter released her first song since 2017 with a politically charged music video. "Nothing Breaks Like a Heart," which she cowrote with Mark Ronson, is full of symbolism. But she may also be hinting at a more personal pain.

In true Miley Cyrus fashion, the singer-songwriter released her first song since 2017 with a politically charged music video. "Nothing Breaks Like a Heart," which she cowrote with producer Mark Ronson, is visually symbolic, from comments about gun culture and police violence to recent politics. But the lyrics may also be hinting at a more personal pain—the fact that her house with fiancé Liam Hemsworth burned down in the devastating California wildfires.

Via Genius, the lyrics read:

"These silver bullet cigarettes, this burning house
There's nothing left, it's smoking, but we both know it
We got all night to fall in love
But just like that we fall apart, we're broken, we're broken"

Of course, Miley's lyrics could just be referencing metaphorical pain—after all, she did just lose her house three weeks ago, and it's not clear when the song was penned. It's clear that the song generally, seems to reflect strife and suffering, from "This world can hurt you / It cuts you deep and leaves a scar" to "We live and die by pretty lies" and "Nothing, nothing, nothing gon' save us now."

Miley shared a picture of her home after the wildfires and, in a separate tweet, said "My house no longer stands but the memories shared with family & friends stand strong."

Either way, Miley's absolutely making a statement, like she often does. She's spoken before about her own stress in today's political climate, which may be part of her message. Plus, we know the singer doesn't shy away from big statements—see also "Wrecking Ball," which made headlines for her nudity but which hinted at violence and pain in a bad relationship.

It's a big return for Miley after many months out of the spotlight. Last we saw her on the red carpet, it was at the Heavenly Bodies-themed Met Gala in May with a down-to-there black dress—surprisingly feminine and effortlessly chic for the singer and actress. She and Hemsworth continue to be freakishly adorable and low-key, and he's been posting video of the two even after she wiped her social media clean for a "long needed break." Well, she's back now, in a huge way.

For more celebrity news, beauty and fashion advice, savvy political commentary, and fascinating features, sign up for the Marie Claire newsletter.


Katherine J. Igoe
Contributing Editor

Katherine’s a contributing syndications editor at Marie Claire who covers fashion, culture, and lifestyle. In her role, she writes stories that are syndicated by MSN and other outlets. She’s been a full-time freelancer for over a decade and has had roles with Cosmopolitan (where she covered lifestyle, culture, and fashion SEO content) and Bustle (where she was their movies and culture writer). She has bylines in New York TimesParentsInStyle, Refinery29, and elsewhere. Her work has also been syndicated by ELLEHarper’s BazaarSeventeenGood Housekeeping, and Women’s Health, among others. In addition to her stories reaching millions of readers, content she's written and edited has qualified for a Bell Ringer Award and received a Communicator Award. 

Katherine has a BA in English and art history from the University of Notre Dame and an MA in art business from the Sotheby's Institute of Art (with a focus on marketing/communications). She covers a wide breadth of topics: she's written about how to find the very best petite jeanshow sustainable travel has found its footing on Instagram, and what it's like to be a professional advice-giver in the modern world. Her personal essays have run the gamut from learning to dress as a queer woman to navigating food allergies as a mom. She also has deep knowledge of SEO/EATT, affiliate revenue, commerce, and social media; she regularly edits the work of other writers. She speaks at writing-related events and podcasts about freelancing and journalism, mentors students and other new writers, and consults on coursework. Currently, Katherine lives in Boston with her husband and two kids, and you can follow her on Instagram. If you're wondering about her last name, it’s “I go to dinner,” not “Her huge ego,” but she responds to both.