Jesse Grant/Getty Images Liam Hemsworth and Miley Cyrus
On Friday, the singer-songwriter and former Hannah Montana star released the uptempo new song as well as its music video — the first taste of what's to come from her upcoming album Endless Summer Vacation.
"Flowers" finds Cyrus, 30, reflecting on a past relationship and affirming that everything her ex-partner did for her, she can do for herself. "I didn't want to leave you, I didn't want to lie / Started to cry, but then remembered / I can buy myself flowers," she sings on the positive, anthemic track.
Upon the song's release, fans across social media quickly began drawing comparisons between its lyrics and specific moments in Cyrus' decade-long relationship with Hemsworth, 33.
The pair met in 2009 while filming The Last Song, the movie adaptation of the popular Nicholas Sparks novel, and entered an on-again, off-again relationship over the next few years before getting engaged in 2012. Cyrus and Hemsworth then postponed their wedding in April 2013 and called off the engagement altogether in September of the same year.
After a few years apart, they got back together and reignited their engagement in early 2016. Cyrus and Hemsworth then tied the knot in December 2018 before separating in August 2019, and they officially divorced in February 2020.
Kevin Winter/Getty Images Liam Hemsworth and Miley Cyrus in March 2010
Here are the reasons fans think Cyrus is nodding toward the breakup in her "Flowers" lyrics and music video:
The song and video's release date coincided with Hemsworth's birthday.
Rumors that "Flowers" references the relationship began swirling when Cyrus announced its Jan. 13 release date, aka the Hunger Games actor's 33rd birthday.
The "Wrecking Ball" performer first announced the date via social media on Dec. 31, 2022. Later, she revealed the song would technically drop on Jan. 12 in the United States and noted that it'd be out at 11 a.m. in Australia, Hemsworth's home territory — which one fan speculated was particularly intentional.
"The original announcement was Friday, Jan 13. Usually they get released midnight ET. Not her going out of her way to make sure it gets released on Liam's birthday in Australian time," wrote the Twitter user.
John Sciulli/Getty Images Liam Hemsworth and Miley Cyrus in January 2019
Cyrus seems to reference when the pair's house burned down in a 2018 wildfire in the song's first verse.
"Flowers" kicks off with reflective lyrics about a past relationship and how it ended. "We were good, we were gold / Kind of dream that can't be sold / We were right 'til we weren't / Built a home and watched it burn," sings Cyrus, who may be nodding toward the loss of their Malibu home to the 2018 Woolsey Fire.
"Completely devestated [sic] by the fires affecting my community. I am one of the lucky ones. My animals and LOVE OF MY LIFE made it out safely & that's all that matters right now. My house no longer stands but the memories shared with family & friends stand strong," the Grammy-nominated musician tweeted in November 2018 following the fire.
In a 2020 interview with Rolling Stone, Cyrus cited the incident as one reason she decided to marry Hemsworth. "In a way, it did what I couldn't do for myself. It removed me from what no longer was serving its purpose," she told the outlet at the time. "And then as you drown, you reach for that lifesaver and you want to save yourself. I think that's really what, ultimately, getting married was for me. One last attempt to save myself."
The lyrics of "Flowers" seem to respond to "When I Was Your Man" by Bruno Mars.
Once the song dropped, fans began drawing parallels between the lyrics of "Flowers" and Mars' 2013 hit, which they think Hemsworth once dedicated to Cyrus — though no reports have officially confirmed such speculation.
"I can buy myself flowers / Write my name in the sand / Talk to myself for hours / Say things you don't understand," sings Cyrus on the track's chorus. "I can take myself dancing / And I can hold my own hand / Yeah, I can love me better than you can."
Meanwhile, "When I Was Your Man" features the lyrics: "I should've bought you flowers / And held your hand / Should've gave you all my hours / When I had the chance / Take you to every party / 'Cause all you wanted to do was dance / Now my baby's dancing / But she's dancing with another man."
Cyrus wears an oversized suit, which appears to resemble one Hemsworth wore alongside her, in the music video
In one of the scenes from the "Flowers" video, Cyrus can be seen donning a large black suit, which some fans online have compared to the outfit Hemsworth wore on the Avengers: Endgame premiere red carpet in 2019.
While the suits don't exactly match each other, fans have speculated that the look could potentially serve as a reference to a viral clip of the couple captured on the carpet, in which Cyrus pretends to lick Hemsworth.
One of Cyrus' dance moves in the video's teaser seems to call back to another one of the couple's red carpet appearances
Ahead of the official release of "Flowers," Cyrus posted a clip of herself in one of the music video's picturesque Los Angeles locations. While walking down an empty street, she can be seen moving her shoulders and shaking her behind for a quick dance — which fans have likened to a video of the couple at the Vanity Fair Oscar party in 2019.
While speaking to Access Hollywood for an interview at the event, Cyrus began grinding on Hemsworth, who quickly backed away from her and said, "We're not doing this. Not on the carpet," per the outlet.
Cyrus and Hemsworth have not commented on any speculation regarding connections between the song, music video and their relationship.
"Flowers" is available to stream and purchase, and Endless Summer Vacation is out March 10.