A Love Lost and a Love Found: Miley Cyrus’ “Flowers”


Miley Cyrus drops her newest single, “Flowers,” Jan. 12, 2023 PHOTO//Universal Music Group

Hannah Osborne, Editor-in-Chief

On Jan. 12, 2023, pop superstar Miley Cyrus dropped her newest single, “Flowers.”

“That level of success is such an eclipse,” says Cyrus, during her Apple Music ‘Plastic Hearts’ interview. “It can eclipse anything I ever make because when something is so bright, and something is so big, like Hannah Montana…or Wrecking Ball; and then every time I make another music video someone’s wondering ‘Is she ever gonna make another wrecking ball? Is it ever gonna be like that again?’ I don’t know.”

A little over two years later, Cyrus did just what she questioned may never happen again. 

The hit single, “Flowers,” debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100

For two consecutive weeks “Flowers” broke the record for “most-streamed song in a single week in Spotify history.” Jan. 19, Spotify announced that Cyrus had beaten the record, then only a week later, the streaming service announced in a tweet that she had beaten her own record the following week. 

The upbeat, self-love anthem is allegedly directed at Cyrus’ ex-husband, Liam Hemsworth, with who the star shared a 10-year on-again, off-again relationship before ultimately ending in divorce in 2020. 

Listeners may notice that the lyrics and tune of the song seem eerily familiar. “Flowers,” mirrors another hit song, Bruno Mars’ “When I Was Your Man,” which was reportedly dedicated to Cyrus by Hemsworth at a time when they rekindled their romance.

Cyrus sings, “I can buy myself flowers,” while Mars sings, “I should’ve bought you flowers.” Additionally the songs parallel with lyrics like, “I can take myself dancing,” versus “Take you to every party ’cause all you wanted to do was dance,” and the similarities don’t stop there. 

If the realization of the mirrored lyrics didn’t quite scratch the itch, that’s due to the fact that Cyrus also sampled Aretha Franklin’s “I Will Survive,” for the song. 

Along with the samples of other hit songs, fans were quick to draw conclusions to discreet messages Cyrus left in the music video. Some fans speculate that the house “Flowers,” was filmed in is the house in which her ex-husband allegedly had more than 14 affairs. 

Eagle-eyed fans theorize that the oversized suit she wears in the video is the same one Hemsworth wore on the red carpet premiere of “Avengers: End Game,” in 2019. Videos at this event show Cyrus pretending to lick Hemsworth before he whispers something to her and she pushes him away; many have tried deciphering what he said by reading lips, leading to speculations that he tells Cyrus, “Can you behave yourself for once?”

While all of the hidden messages and meanings of the song are exciting to decipher. The message of the song rings much louder than the drama that is behind Cyrus.

When news of the couple’s divorce broke, many were quick to assume that Cyrus’ bold personality was to blame for the failed relationship. Even now, Cyrus shares the same critics that Taylor Swift has in regard to how many songs she makes off of the same relationship. In addition to nothing being wrong with expressing their feelings through their craft, Cyrus met Hemsworth when she was only 17 years old on the set of “The Last Song,” meaning that a third of her life was defined by this relationship. 

“Flowers” is a reclamation of failed expectations in a relationship that was years in the making and the realization that Cyrus doesn’t need a partner to feel love; she can achieve that all on her own.

This is a pivotal moment in every young person’s life, that they aren’t defined by the love they receive from others. This is an especially remarkable feat for Cyrus who fell in love at such a young age and spent nearly a decade working on sustaining that love. 

An introduction to Cyrus’ newest era of music, the spunky hit single “Flowers,” delivers a message of self-love and resilience.