Why is Miley Cyrus’ Voice Raspy?

Miley Cyrus is one of the best-known and vocally-powerful pop singers today. But over the years, her fans have noticed a drastic change in the tone of her voice. So, why Is Miley Cyrus’ voice raspy?

Miley Cyrus underwent surgery which left her voice raspy, hoarse, and deeper. The surgery was due to a condition called Reinke’s Edema, which was caused, in part by the fact that Cyrus smokes a large amount of marijuana, and together with alcohol and continuous touring, her vocal cords had swollen.

Many fans still associate pop star Miley Cyrus with Disney’s Hannah Montana and her sweet youthful voice.

Although Miley’s voice has long been known for a fairly low range, recent interviews clear that her sound is noticeably coarser in regular conversation than you would expect given her recent surgery.

During a recent interview on The Joe Rogan Experience podcast in 2020, she explained she learned a lot from her surgery and vocal issues and is focusing more on her music now. But is Miley still under the influence? Did she ever stop smoking?

Let us find out more about her lifestyle:

Did something happen to Miley Cyrus’ voice?

Miley Cyrus’ voice has changed a lot as she has gotten older and due to the throat surgery she underwent as a result of the medical condition Reinke’s Edema. 

The evolution in her singing voice has resulted in a more husky, lower, gravelly, deep, and coarse sound.

If you listen to Miley’s recent albums, you may have noticed she sounds more gravelly and deeper than her early Hannah Montana days. And she doesn’t quite sing the high parts the same way.

People can notice a shift in her voice- it sounds mature while maintaining the same tone.

But if you believe Bethraors.com, the real shift in Miley’s voice happened around 2013-14. Her voice became stronger, and it stayed similar until 2017. She sounded very strong in 2017. She developed a huskier edge and raspier voice.

A kind of a heaviness is evident in her voice when she speaks.

Miley’s unique voice slowly changed over these years, which could have resulted from an undetected disease called Reinke’s Edema, as Miley only discovered this issue in her vocal cords many years later. And the gradual build-up impacted her voice significantly and made a big difference in her overall sound.

In relatively current issue of Interview Magazine with Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich, Cyrus told him:

“We’ve talked about how lucky we are to have that. I stuck, on some level, to the melody. I even went down to some of those octaves, because singing those super-low lead vocals is so satisfying. My whole life, whether in vocal training or just continuing to hone my craft, it’s always been about, “Why do you sound like a man? Where’s your fucking falsetto, bitch? Why can’t you sing the high octave of ‘Party in the U.S.A.’ anymore?””

Of course, Cyrus famously covered Metallica’s “Nothing Else Matters” at the Glastonberry Music Festival in 2019, with Ulrich’s approval. Her low register was perfect for the song and her voice remained strong all the way through to the end of the song.


Does the amount of pot Miley Cyrus smokes affect her vocal cords?

Experts suggest that the amount of pot Miley Cyrus smokes could be a major factor that affected her vocal cords and how they have changed. She had quit. But in 2017, had started again. However, she does not smoke pot while recording or performing.

People love Miley’s wild and free lifestyle, but unfortunately, it has many downsides. One of them was developing Reinke’s Edema.

In simple terms, Reinke’s Edema is the swelling of vocal cords that can be caused by:

  • Vocal abuse
  • Improper singing technique 
  • Smoking 
  • Lifestyle 
  • Skipping rest days
  • Insufficient vocal training 

According to experts, smoking contributes as the main factor in Reinke’s Edema. Almost 97% of people with Reinke’s Edema are habitual smokers; often cigarettes, but pot can cause it too. (source)

In Miley’s case, there was a phase when the singer indulged in drugs and alcohol.

In addition to drugs, Miley was constantly working. This means she was pushing her voice limits in the past without a break. As a result, she was told to get surgery.

Since her surgery, smoking pot was the first thing that she stopped. 

She used to smoke marijuana all the time (just listen to her episode of Carpool Karaoke with James Corden). And while she even tried quitting it, her mother recently reintroduced her to cannabis.

So while she doesn’t smoke as much pot as she used to, she does do it occasionally.

Does Miley Cyrus smoke cigarettes?

Miley Cyrus does not currently smoke cigarettes but has in years past. Quitting smoking is partly because of a surgery she underwent in 2019 and partly to focus on self-care. 

So, cigarettes are out for Miley, at least for now.

Miley has never been shy about her addiction to marijuana. She has spoken about it openly a number of times. But she stopped smoking back in 2017 for a very bizarre reason.

Here is what she told Jimmy Fallon on Entertainment Tonight:

“I had a dream where I would die during my monologue because I was smoking a lot of weed. I googled it. No one has ever died from smoking weed, but no one’s ever smoked as much as I did.”


She recently appeared as a guest on the Zach Sang Show:

Just listen to the Interviews Podcast where she talked about her new single “Midnight Sky.” When the topic of her sobriety came up, she threw some shade at her mother, saying her mother smokes enough to make up for her sobriety.

Specifically, Miley said: 

“My mom does all the weed. I don’t smoke. My mom has managed to take over the kush throne. I do not smoke right now. I’m also not really looking to be a face of sobriety.”

Miley Cyrus said that she was traumatized over the past two years, and she needed to deal with it from a super sane, sober space.

Did Miley Cyrus undergo surgery on her vocal cords?

Miley Cyrus went under vocal cord surgery in November of 2019 after being diagnosed with Reinke’s Edema, swelling of the vocal cords that can be caused by voice overuse, and smoking both marijuana and tobacco. 

Miley appeared for an interview on The Joe Rogan Experience, where she talked about her vocal surgery. She said:

“My vocal surgery was a gift because I was able to understand my instrument.” 

She also added that after 15 years of touring on and off, her voice was deeply affected, not necessarily by singing but rather because of the stress of singing to the cords.

Her opinion is that her surgery taught a lot about obtaining more longevity in her voice which included vocal rest, off days, and getting sober.

Here is what Miley said: 

“I’m sober. The vocal surgery did it for me because I just learned so much about the effects, which, again, you’re just not taught. It’s not drinking; it’s staying up all night. Once you have your drink, you end up smoking.”

Miley also added that alcohol was never her problem. Now she avoids drinking because she likes to wake up at 110 percent.

How does Miley Cyrus’ voice differ before and after surgery?

Miley Cyrus’s voice sounds deeper and huskier following her vocal cord surgery in 2019 as a result of her Reinke’s edema diagnosis. 

Soon after the surgery, her fans began to notice a big change in her voice. Even Miley recognized that her raspy voice had changed a lot.

Miley told Billboard: 

“Over the last year, I noticed a really big change to my voice, a kind of heaviness to it. And I experienced some heavy things. I feel like it is a reflection. It is a scar in a sense.”

Cyrus also told Showbiz her lifestyle took a toll. 

“I started touring at probably 12 or 13. The adrenaline you have after a show is not the singing that affects your voice as much. It’s afterward, you’re on, and it’s really hard to get that sleep. You stay up, talking all night. Later, the talking all night turned into smoking all night. And now, this is kinda where we’re at.”

Losing your voice can be scary for any professional singer.

Luckily, Miley was diagnosed in time. But the severe damage required surgery. And now, after recovering from it completely, one can notice the impacts on her voice. Miley’s voice has become intense and heavy after vocal cord surgery.

But many people love Miley’s newfound gravelly texture and the dramatic low notes that she can now hit.

Miley Cyrus Gets Honest About Drug Use, Sobriety


While growing up with her famous father Billy Ray Cyrus, Miley Cyrus was very vocal about the dangers of substance abuse.

However, as she got older, the Hannah Montana star took a complete turn. She got involved in drugs, smoking, and the overuse of vocals which caused swelling of her vocal cords.

Miley has been touring since she was 12, and the worst part of it is not staying up late but a lot of other stuff that ultimately takes a toll on singers.

Her stressful life and abuse of the voice showed in her stressed vocals, for which she had to undergo surgery.

Fortunately, the surgery went well. But it left some after-effects on Miley’s voice. Her voice became raspier and deeper following the operation, but fans are loving her hoarse voice.

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