Wrecking Ball

Wrecking Ball

Part of a series on Miley Cyrus. [View Related Entries]

Updated May 07, 2020 at 03:48PM EDT by 3kole5.

Added Sep 27, 2013 at 03:27PM EDT by amanda b..

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"Wrecking Ball" is a 2013 pop song performed by singer-songwriter Miley Cyrus and the second single for her upcoming fourth studio album Bangerz. Similar to her first single from the year We Can't Stop, the music video for the song spawned a slew of parodies upon its release in mid-September 2013.


On September 9th, 2013, the VEVO YouTube channel premiered a new music video for Cyrus’ second single “Wrecking Ball” , directed by Terry Richardson featuring nude scenes of the singer in which she demolishes a room with a sledge hammer and wrecking ball (shown below).

In the first 24 hours, the music video garnered more than 12.3 million views, breaking the record for the most viewed video within a a day previously held by the English boy band One Direction.[1] Within 18 days, the video has been viewed more than 161.1 million times.


Despite its record-setting performance on YouTube, the music video was met by mixed critical reception. On the day the video was released, the New York Daily News[2] called the video "overtly sexual," suggesting the song was a metaphor for her on-again-off-again relationship with Liam Hemsworth and Mashable[3] likened it to Sinéad O'Connor's iconic 1990 music video for "Nothing Compares 2 U," in which the singer is filmed crying in a similar manner. The following day, Fox News[4] compiled a number of negative tweets from fans disappointed by the video. Also on September 10th, Vine user Frank McDonald uploaded the first parody of "Wrecking Ball" in which he is shown re-enacting the nude scene from the music video with an outdoor tire swing (shown below).

On September 11th, Cyrus’ father Billy Ray spoke out[5] about the video, calling the song a “smash.” The same day, Cyrus was interviewed on New York City radio station Z100[6] where she asserted that the music video
is about her emotional vulnerability rather than sexualized imagery and that the crying scene wasn't staged. Meanwhile, parodies of the music video continued to surface on Vine[7] and The Onion,[8] while Funny or Die[9] also joined in with a series of photoshopped images depicting Cyrus riding other spherical objects. By September 12th, a slew of parodies had appeared on YouTube, including a gender-swapped version (shown below, left) and a Nicolas Cage version (shown below, right).

On September 13th, BBC Radio's Greg James uploaded his own parody video. That week, compilations of parody videos and vines appeared on CBC News[10], Canada.com[11] and Metro UK.[12] A number of parodies (shown below) were captured at Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Michigan atop of a 1973 sculpture[13] of a 42-inch bifilar pendulum by artist Dale Eldred, causing the school to remove the installation[14] on September 17th. The removal led to the creation of the novelty Twitter account @GVSUWreckingBal[15] and hashtag #ReinstallTheBall.[16] As of September 25th, a student committee comprised of people enrolled in the physics and engineering departments have been selected to decide the fate of the sculpture.[17]

Throughout the following week, "Wrecking Ball" parodies were featured on dozens of entertainment sites and internet culture blogs including Billboard[18], Chicago Now[19], AdWeek[20], The Pet Collective[21], College Humor[22], Mashable[23], Heavy[24] and AOLOn.[25] On September 25th, What's Trending released a compilation video (shown below) of some of the song's notable parodies.

Notable Examples

Search Interest

External References

[1] CBS News – Miley Cyrus' "Wrecking Ball" breaks most-viewed video record

[2] New York Daily News – Miley Cyrus cries, swings around completely naked in 'Wrecking Ball' music video

[3] Mashable – Miley Cyrus Cries and Goes Nude in 'Wrecking Ball' Video

[4] Fox News – Miley Cyrus' sex-crazed 'Wrecking Ball' video shatters records, earns lots of criticism

[5] Entertainment Tonight – EXCLUSIVE: Billy Ray Reacts to 'Wrecking Ball'

[6] Hollywood Life – Miley Cyrus Confesses She Is ‘Broken’ & ‘Sad’ In Naked ‘Wrecking Ball’ Video

[7] Mashable – 10 'Wrecking Ball' Vine Videos That Will Destroy You With Laughter

[8] The Onion – 10 Jaw-Dropping Moments From The Miley Cyrus ‘Wrecking Ball’ Video

[9] Funny or Die – Improved Wrecking Balls for Miley Cyrus to Ride

[10] CBC News – Miley Cyrus swapped with Nic Cage in 'Wrecking Ball' parody

[11] Canada.com – These Miley Cyrus Wrecking Ball parodies are terrifying

[12] Metro UK – Top 10 must see viral videos of the week: Wrecking Ball parody to Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo

[13] Digital Collections – Sculpture installed in Campus Center by artist Dale Eldred

[14] Huffington Post – GVSU 'Wrecking Ball' Miley Cyrus Parodies Halted After Sculpture Removed (VIDEO)

[15] Twitter – @GVSUWreckingBal

[16] Twitter – Tweet Results for #reinstalltheball

[17] All Michigan – GVSU students will help decide fate of sculpture used in nude parodies of Miley Cyrus 'Wrecking Ball' video

[18] Billboard – Miley Cyrus 'Wrecking Ball' Parodies: 10 Hilarious Clips Even Billy Ray Would Love

[19] Chicago Now – The Top 7 Miley Cyrus "Wrecking Ball" parody videos

[20] AdWeek – This Spoof of Miley's Wrecking Ball Is Quite Vivid

[21] The Pet Collective – Miley Cyrus – Wrecking Ball Parody – Tennis Ball

[22] College Humor – Wrecking Ball Hedgehog Parody

[23] Mashable – 'Wrecking Ball' Puppy Parody Could Start Cuteness War

[24] Heavy – WATCH: Hilarious Literal Parody of Miley Cyrus’ Wrecking Ball


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