The Truth Behind Miley Cyrus’ Single “Flowers” and Liam Hemsworth

Miley Cyrus’ latest single tells the story of her most high profile relationship to date.
By Madison E. Goldberg
(Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)

On January 13, 2023, Miley Cyrus dropped her latest single “Flowers” from her upcoming album Endless Summer Vacation. Before the single dropped, Cyrus’ latest work included her new year’s eve special with her godmother, acclaimed country artist Dolly Parton, and her 2022 live performance album Attention: Miley Live, which included some of her original songs and some classic rock and grunge covers. 

But it’s “Flowers” that has fans revisiting Cyrus’ past–in particular her relationship with actor Liam Hemsworth. The song was released on Hemsworth’s 33rd birthday, and samples Bruno Mars’ 2012 hit When I Was Your Man.

The internet then took to sleuthing to uncover the choice of sample, and came up with an interesting story. Liam Hemsworth allegedly dedicated the song to Miley Cyrus when they got engaged, and the song’s lyrics are a direct response to Mars’ lyrics.

@sweetmelodies._

Miley Cyrus answering the Bruno Mars song ‘when I was your man’ with her new song ‘Flowers’! #mileycyrus #flowers #mileycyrusflowers #brunomars #brunomarswheniwasyourman

♬ suono originale – Sweet Melodies

After the accompanying music video for the song was released, more theories began to surface–including one about the shooting location. For years, the tabloid media reported stories of Miley’s alleged lifestyle of partying leading to the downfall of her marriage to Liam Hemsworth.

Now that a song on the situation has been released from Miley’s perspective, some are changing their tune. The music video for flowers depicts Miley strutting confidently through a southern California home, donned in vintage gold YSL, black lingerie, and a black oversized suit.

The property was allegedly used by Liam Hemsworth to cheat on Miley Cyrus with over 14 women during their marriage. Neither Cyrus nor Hemsworth have issued a statement on the cheating allegations, but this didn’t stop fans from having a field day over it on social media.

@yourbestfriendjoshua

So you know that beautiful house in Miley Cyrus’ new music video for ‘Flowers’? Well there’s a (not so) funny story behind it… She’s reclaiming her power with this boss move.👏🏼 @Miley Cyrus #mileycyrus

♬ Flowers – Miley Cyrus

The Backstory

The couple met on the set of the 2010 film The Last Song, and subsequently started dating. At first, they were America’s sweethearts–two wholesome teens, one an ex-Disney star and one a rising talent from Australia.

Over the next few years, the couple would repeatedly break up and rekindle their relationship. In 2018, the pair decided to get married, after dating on and off for nearly a decade. Cyrus has stated that Hemsworth was her first serious relationship, and her longest one in the public eye.

Fans of “Flowers” were also quick to note the oversized suit that Cyrus parades through the elegant house in. Allegedly, it pays homage to a very specific red carpet moment.

At the 2019 Avengers premiere, which the couple attended to support Liam’s brother Chris Hemsworth in his role as Thor, a now viral clip has made its way across TikTok and Twitter showing Liam saying “can you just behave for once?” after Miley pretended to lick him.

@julielouise1975

Replying to @Tribaltripper_67 yikes!! They definitely looked like a cpl who were in a fight but pretending for the crowd. Think this is the jacket she’s wearing in the video? #mileycyrus #mileycyrusflowers #flowers #liamhemsworth #mileyandliam

♬ Flowers – Miley Cyrus

Liam Hemsworth, who continued to skyrocket to a new plane of fame after his role in The Hunger Games franchise starting in 2012, was untouchable in the eyes of the entertainment press.

Miley, on the other hand, was an easy target–a former child star who had perceivably gone rogue around the same time, at her 2013 VMA’s performance with Robin Thicke. Now, fans new and old are realizing that Miley’s sexuality has always been her decision, and that Liam Hemsworth may have never really accepted her whole identity. Even moreso, Hemsworth did not do much to protect her image amid their relationship.

Her “Flowers” lyrics could confirm this, as she sings, “found a dream that can’t be sold/we were right, till we weren’t/built a home and watched it burn/I didn’t want to leave you, I didn’t want to lie.”

@mileyshigh

miley cyrus singing about her malibu house burning down that she shared with liam hemsworth #mileycyrus #liamhemsworth #flowers #endlesssummervacation #miam #thelastsong #hannahmontana

♬ original sound – Miley Cyrus Fan Account

Media Reactions

Miley is one of several female celebrities that fans (and even some former critics) are seeing in a different light post-Free Britney. Once Britney Spears’ conservatorship came to the forefront of public attention, entertainment media organizations slowly began to change their coverage of female celebrities, specifically surrounding their mental health and sexuality. In the early 00’s to the mid 10’s, celebrities like Miley Cyrus and Britney Spears were critiqued for being perceived as unruly, while celebrities like Taylor Swift were criticized for being too emotional and writing music about past romantic relationships.

Despite the bad girl image critics gave Miley at this point in her life and career, her own music depicts the deep emotional connection she shared with Hemsworth, despite the eventual breakdown of the relationship. Specifically, “Wrecking Ball”, off of her Bangerz album details her inner conflict about leaving Hemsworth in 2013 amid allegations that he cheated on her with actress January Jones. Cyrus said on The Howard Stern Show that the song is still difficult for her to perform, as it transports her to that time.

@adamjlucas

Replying to @ashhhlaaay Miley Cyrus on the #1 Hit she almost didn’t record @Miley Cyrus #mileycyrus #in2023 #mileycyrus #wreckingball #liam #divorce

♬ original sound – Just Adam

The “Flowers” phenomenon could even be compared to Taylor Swift’s “All Too Well (10 minute version), as both revisit past relationships that impacted the artists. Both songs were initially scoffed at by some critics, but prevailed in popularity among listeners. Now that both artists are in their 30s and reflecting on these situations, fans hope that it will bring healing and peace to them, and to fans who have been in similar situations.

@theketchclan

Thanks Miley 🤍🎶 this song is such a mood on its own and has been on repeat in our house 🌸 @mileycyrus #CapCut #flowers #myleycyrus #newsong #newrelease #trends #dance #sing #healing #healingtiktok #music #musicheals #danielcraig #vodka #youarestrong #beautiful #repeat #myfavv #fyp #fypシ #foryou

♬ Flowers – Miley Cyrus

Swift’s October release of Midnights (3 a.m. Edition) included the track “Would’ve Could’ve, Should’ve”, in which she belts “living for the thrill of hitting you where it hurts/give me back my girlhood it was mine first.” The song is allegedly referencing John Mayer, who was 12 years older than Taylor Swift, who was 19 during their relationship. The song has also widely circulated on TikTok, with women who have also been in emotionally manipulative age gap relationships sharing their stories.

@livsigg

my tears ricochet and tolerate it just got company 😍 #taylorswift #swifttok

♬ Would’ve, Could’ve, Should’ve – Taylor Swift

Miley’s upcoming album Endless Summer Vacation is off to a strong start with the self love anthem that is “Flowers.” The single demonstrates her staying power as an artist through multiple different genres and choices of expression, and this album could cement her as a feminist songwriter alongside Taylor Swift, Alanis Morissette, and more. Endless Summer Vacation is set for release on March 10.