Miley Cyrus decided to use her appearance at the MTV Video Music Awards on Monday to raise awareness about homeless youths after realising the "power" she possessed following last year's (13) scandalous performance with Blurred Lines hitmaker Robin Thicke.
The Wrecking Ball singer caused controversy at the 2013 awards by grinding against Thicke as they belted out the catchy tune, and Cyrus admits the fall out from that headline-grabbing show made her rethink how best to use her fame in future.
She tells Los Angeles DJ Ryan Seacrest, "I just didn't realise my platform, I didn't realise my power. I really realised it after the VMAs (last year)... there's something special and there's only few people that experience this that no matter what I do, there's no winning or losing, it's just going to be talked about. Period.
My Friend's Place representative Jesse (right) accepts Video of the Year with singer Miley Cyrus (left) for Wrecking Ball on stage at the MTV Video Music Awards.
Photo / AFP
"There's going to be talk, so what do I want them to talk about? If I'm going to be given this loud of a voice and this big of an image and this big of a platform and this huge of an opportunity to talk to young people in America right now, what am I really trying to say? Because I don't think what I was trying to say is what happened the year before."
Cyrus invited a displaced male simply known as Jesse to be her date for the California ceremony, pretending he was her new boyfriend, and sent him up onstage to accept her award for Video of the Year for Wrecking Ball on behalf of the "1.6 million runaways and homeless youths in the United States, who are starving, lost and scared for their lives right now".
He then added, "I know this because I am one of these people..."
Cyrus kept Jesse's real identity a secret from everyone around her and the singer reveals it became a real challenge as pal Katy Perry, who was seated next to the pair, tried to get Jesse drunk before his big moment.
Cyrus recalls, "I'm like, 'This kid has to give this speech!' I'm like, 'Katy, please don't get Jesse drunk right now...' I didn't want to tell her because I was scared if someone found out, they'd try to stop me... no one knew."
The star has since allowed Jesse to keep her Moonman trophy as a memento of the star-studded night.