Change came in like a Wrecking Ball for Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth in 2013. That year, the Last Song couple broke off their engagement—Cyrus, reveling in the success of her album Bangerz, was perpetually in the spotlight after an infamous stint at the MTV VMA Awards, while Hemsworth was increasingly locking down starring roles in big budget movies. Despite the split, there was still love between the two.
In early 2016, the couple reconciled and Cyrus again wore her gorgeous Lorraine Schwartz engagement ring, fueling speculation that the wedding planning was back on. Though she’s remained largely coy about the on-again engagement, Cyrus finally opened up to Billboard in a new interview about her relationship with Hemsworth and how he inspired her upcoming single “Malibu.”
“They’re going to talk about me if I come out of a restaurant with Liam,” the former Disney star, 24, told the magazine. “So why not put the power back in my relationship and say, ‘This is how I feel.’”
Cyrus said the split was a good time for self-reflection. “I needed to change so much. And changing with someone else not changing like that is too hard,” she mused. “Suddenly you’re like, ‘I don’t recognize you anymore.”’ We had to re-fall for each other.”
Cyrus wrote her single during the commute to The Voice. “I drive myself everywhere, but that day I decided to Uber, and I was trying not to sing out loud because someone else was in the car,” she cracked. There was one day when her fiance suggested she skip work, and that was the morning after the election.
“I wanted to go to rehearsals,” she said of the following morning last November. “Liam was like, ‘Just don’t go. You’re not there. And you don’t know how everyone feels on that set.’ Everyone’s from all different parts of the country, so he was like, ‘Don’t go and get into it with people right now.’ Because clearly unity is what we need.”
Ultimately, Cyrus says she’s now changed drastically. For example, she’s choosing to remain sober. “This is crazy, but I haven’t smoked weed in three weeks!” she told the mag. “I like to surround myself with people that make me want to get better, more evolved, open. And I was noticing, it’s not the people that are stoned. I want to be super clear and sharp, because I know exactly where I want to be.”