Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Punk’D: Miley Cyrus’s “Plastic Hearts” Album with Joan Jett and Billy Idol was Her Latest Sales Disaster


Miley Cyrus’s constantly changing personae have led to sales disaster after disaster.

The most recent one is “Plastic Hearts,” released six weeks ago, featuring Joan Jett and Billy Idol. This was Miley’s “punk” “new wave” album, the latest in a series of genre zig zags since her last actual hit, “Bangerz,” over five years ago.

So far, “Plastic Hearts” has sold a total of 36,000 CDs and downloads. Counting in streaming of all the songs, the total bulks up to 200,000, according to Buzz Angle. But the pure sales number says it all: Cyrus has scared away whatever her core audience was. Considering her still relative youth, that’s quite a statement.

For some reason, Miley didn’t even anchor “Plastic Hearts” with her actual hit, “Nothing Breaks Like a Heart,” with Mark Ronson. Instead, she opened the album with a song that really said it all : “WTF Do I Know?” Indeed.

Contrast this to Taylor Swift, her peer, who has stayed a strong course and not mixed it up terribly much. Miley is three years younger than Swift, and has frittered away her career extolling her love of pot, mixed bag of public romances, and raunchiness that runs counter to her potential country audience.

Swift, on the other hand, now has the two best selling albums of 2020. Even with controversies surrounding her old catalog, Swift has risen to the challenge of maintaining a long term career.

Cyrus’s celebrity may not be enough to sell concert tickets when that business returns next fall. She’s going to have to be packaged with one or more acts.


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Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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