Smart or smut?

If you thought former Disney star Miley Cyrus couldn't get any more controversial than her foam hand performance at the MTV Video Music Awards, you were wrong.

In the music video for her new single Wrecking Ball, which premiered on Monday, the 20-year-old US pop star is first shown crying on camera, before she gets naked and, suggestively licks a sledgehammer (yes, that's correct).

The controversial video, which also sees a naked Cyrus swinging from and riding a wrecking ball, has already racked up more than 14 million views in 24 hours, breaking the record held by UK boy band One Direction, whose video for Best Song Ever got 12.3 million views.

Wrecking Ball was directed by photographer Terry Richardson, known for his controversial shoots, notably a 2010 GQ spread which enraged Glee fans for portraying the show's stars as sex kittens.

The album is Cyrus' second single off her album Bangerz, due out on Oct 8.

The music video, which some media reports have described as soft porn, follows the controversy surrounding her first single We Can't Stop, which, in addition to referencing drugs in the lyrics, showed simulated sex scenes and Cyrus' now-famous twerking habit.

Addressing the controversy then with the New York Daily News, she said: "I don't think people have a hard time understanding that I've grown up. You can Google me and you know what I'm up to."

While Wrecking Ball has its fans, others are not so impressed with the video or with Cyrus in general.

"OMG! What is she thinking? It's like watching porn. PUT IT AWAY!" read one tweet.

 

"From the point of view of any publicity is good publicity, you can see it as a pretty savvy move on her part, because she's getting the views," said HOT FM91.3 DJ Charmaine Yee.

"But I couldn't sit through the video because there's too much nakedness. Britney Spears and Pink have gone naked before, but this makes me go 'eww'."

Yee also pointed out that Cyrus has already "paid the price somewhat" for her shenanigans - Anna Wintour axed her Vogue cover, slated for December, after the MTV performance.

Said to a source who spoke to gossip site HollywoodLife, the former Hannah Montana star went naked in the latest video because she wanted to display vulnerability.

"Miley loved the idea of going naked because it suits the song - she's showing her naked emotions. It's her vulnerable side and it's not something she shows very often, so nudity made sense," said the source.

Another source told the website that Cyrus took inspiration for her crying scenes in the video from real-life fiancé, actor Liam Hemsworth.

"When Terry wanted her (to) cry, he told her to think about losing Liam and, boom, she went from happy to breaking down. It was very intense and wasn't an act - the song is obviously very personal for her," said the source.

Fellow HOT FM91.3 DJ Boy Thunder,aka Gerald Koh, said he loves the video. He said: "It's unfortunate that she came from an innocent background, so now she gets slammed for doing things like this.

"I think Miley should go on in this direction.

I'm not sure what else she can do that can be more controversial, but I've seen Lady Gaga, so nothing else can shock me."


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