Host Joe Rogan immediately commented on Miley Cyrus’ speaking voice when she appeared on a September 2020 episode of his podcast. “You have a fantastic voice, not just a singing voice, but your talking voice — it’s very unusual,” he said, prompting Cyrus to agree that “it’s a heavy voice.” But after the two got to talking about how her voice hadn’t always held as much depth, the “Wrecking Ball” singer got candid about undergoing surgery in November 2019 to correct her swollen vocal chords. She added that they’d swollen as a result of Reinke’s edema, which, according to The Voice Foundation, features “the build-up of gelatinous fluid within the vocal chords.”
“Over the last year I noticed a really big change to my voice, kind of a heaviness to it,” Cyrus explained. “And I experienced some heavy things. I feel like it is a reflection. It is kind of a scar in a sense. But also kind of having the surgery was a gift because I was able to understand my instrument.” That instrument is something she hadn’t previously known how to protect, as she explained she never learned how to. As someone who started her career in showbiz as a preteen, the songbird unintentionally began a years-long pattern of unhealthy voice abuse — and now, she’s doing what she can to fix things.