Amy Sussman/Getty Miley Cyrus
Miley Cyrus is all for high praise — as long as she feels as though she's earned it.
The "Angels Like You" singer, 28, opened up about the unique space she holds in the music industry in a chat with country singer Mickey Guyton for Rolling Stone's Musicians on Musicians, and explained why she feels the need to always strive to be better.
"I don't even feel that it's enough for me to be considered one of the best rock singers of this generations, because there's not enough of them and I want more competition," Cyrus said. "Not only do I want to share my light, but I love competition."
The star has worn many hats since breaking into the industry as a teen pop star; in addition to pop, she's veered into hip-hop, embraced her folksy side, and most recently, transformed into an '80s glam rocker.
Still, Cyrus said it's important to her that she doesn't stand alone among her peers, so that when she receives praise, she knows she's earned it.
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"I want other people that are like me around, so I know that I deserve my place because I'm fighting for it all the time," she said. "That's the way I think. I have no desire to be the best, because I want to get better. And you don't want to be the best because you're the only."
Guyton — one of the few Black artists in country music — could relate all too well, as she explained to Cyrus that she, too, often feels isolated in her place in the industry.
"In country music, there was Charley Pride. And then there was nobody until Darius Rucker, and then a couple of Black dudes here and there," Guyton, 37, said. "There was Linda Martell, there was Rissi Palmer, and then there was me. I realized that in order to break any of these doors down, it is not enough for it to just be you. That will never work."
As Cyrus later concluded, "You're opening a door and you want to let people in. One is the loneliest number. We need to be stronger together. Open the door, but open the ring, too."
Cyrus recently teased her next era, writing in a letter to fans that her next project would take inspiration from change in both her personal and professional life.
"There has been intense spurts of change in my life personal + professionally (which always co-exist)," she wrote on MileyWorld.com. "I am so [excited] to channel these experiences + use them as inspiration in my next body of work! I am so grateful to never go through these transitional times alone because I have [you]!"