Put your clothes on, a motherly Sinead O'Connor advises Miley Cyrus

Story highlights

  • Cyrus responds, references O'Connor's past struggles with mental illness
  • You're sending a bad message and hurting yourself, O'Connor warns Cyrus
  • "I am extremely concerned for you," O'Connor writes in letter to the former Disney star
  • The music industry just wants to make money off Cyrus' youth and beauty, she says

Stop stripping. Stop letting yourself be "pimped." And for heaven's sake, stop licking sledgehammers, Miley.

That's the advice from Irish singer Sinead O'Connor, who's penned a motherly, if expletive-laden open letter to former Disney star Miley Cyrus in the wake of a controversial video music awards show performance and the video for her latest single, "Wrecking Ball."

"Nothing but harm will come in the long run, from allowing yourself to be exploited, and it is absolutely NOT in ANY way an empowerment of yourself or any other young women, for you to send across the message that you are to be valued (even by you) more for your sexual appeal than your obvious talent," the 46-year-old singer says in the letter posted on her official website.

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Cyrus, 20, was the subject of widespread scorn in August, when she danced provocatively in a skimpy outfit during MTV's Video Music Awards show. Soon after, she released the video for her latest single, in which she rides a wrecking ball while nude and suggestively licks a sledgehammer.

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Gauging reaction to Sinead O'Connor's open letter to Miley Cyrus

"I am extremely concerned for you that those around you have led you to believe, or encouraged you in your own belief, that it is in any way 'cool' to be naked and licking sledgehammers in your videos," O'Connor wrote. "It is in fact the case that you will obscure your talent by allowing yourself to be pimped, whether it's the music business or yourself doing the pimping."

In a Rolling Stone article, Cyrus compared her look in the "Wrecking Ball" video to O'Connor's style in her iconic 1990 video for "Nothing Compares 2 U." But O'Connor said she chose the shaved-head look in direct defiance of music industry executives who wanted her to present a sexier appearance.

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She said the music industry doesn't care much about Cyrus.

"They will prostitute you for all you are worth, and cleverly make you think it's what YOU wanted," she said.

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While Cyrus hasn't directly commented on the letter, she appeared to respond Thursday with a pair of tweets. One made apparent references to O'Connor's previous struggles with mental illness, and the other showed a picture of O'Connor tearing up a picture of Pope John Paul II in 1992.

O'Connor was in the news in 2011, when her online efforts to find a "sweet sex-starved man" went viral.

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