Miley Cyrus is cover girl for the Rebel Issue of V Magazine that is set to hit newsstands on Wednesday, September 10th
Miley Cyrus winning VIDEO OF THE YEAR at the VMA’S. Jesse’s speech!
The homeless man who accepted an award for Miley Cyrus at MTV’s Video Music Awards met the superstar at a Los Angeles nonprofit group that aims to get kids off the street.
Known only as Jesse, he used the opportunity to discuss the state of youth homelessness in Los Angeles when he took the stage after Cyrus won the video of the year award for “Wrecking Ball.”
Cyrus met Jesse through My Friend’s Place, an organization that helps homeless youth find shelter, healthcare and education. He’s 22 years old and originally from Oregon, according to the New York Times, but said during his VMA speech he has lived in shelters all over Los Angeles.
Jesse said he had a “lot of the same dreams” that brought many people to the VMAs, and added, “I’ve been an extra in your movies, I’ve been an extra in your lives.”
"I am accepting this award on behalf of the 1.6 million runaways and homeless youth in the United States who are starving and lost and scared for their lives," he said. "I know, because I am one of those people."
Heather Carmichael, executive director of My Friend’s Place, told ABC News that Jesse’s story is a common one.
"The things he shared last night are typical ways people try to survive here in Los Angeles," she said. "We hear young people all the time talk about being extras, or wanting to be extras, being in the service sector, hotels, fast food, asking for money on the street. So what he described is very real for these young people."
She praised Cyrus for her interest in the organization.
"She stepped into our safe haven, young people wanted to be with her, near her — she was not afraid, she was in it, and she did beautifully," Carmichael said. "These young people need a champion. She might be that champion for them."
Cyrus put Jesse up at the BLVD Hotel & Spa in Studio City and bought the black suit he wore to the awards, the Times reported.
After the show, the pair stopped at In-N-Out Burger, according to a photo posted on Cyrus’ Instagram page.
My Friend’s Place applauded Cyrus’ interest in the cause, thanking her for visiting the group’s Hollywood headquarters on Tuesday.
"Our youth (and staff!) had such a great time hanging out with our very special guest yesterday," the group wrote, sharing photos of the singer at the office.
Miley Cyrus won the biggest award of the night at the MTV Video Music Awards — Video of the Year for “Wrecking Ball” — and she used that worldwide platform for good.
Instead of walking to the stage to accept her Moon Man, she sent her good friend Jesse from My Friend’s Place in Los Angeles in her place to tell everyone his story and shed some light on the issue of homeless and runaway youth in America, “who are starving, lost, and scared for their lives right now.”
Miley, who watched his speech with tears in her eyes from her seat, called in to On Air with Ryan Seacrest on Monday morning to talk more about what inspired her to make the bold move … and how she spent the rest of her night post-VMAs.
“First of all, I have to thank all my fans because they put put me on to the highest platform I could have been on and given me and Jesse the biggest voice we could have,” she explains. “The reason it was so important at the VMAs is because it’s for young people. Jesse is my same age and that’s what this show is for. I think people need to see this … at least, I know I did after last year … to remember what matters.”
And Miley is confident her Smilers will follow her lead and get involved. “My fans love this stuff. My fans live for me to give them a goal and then to prove their love for me by achieving it. And there’s nothing that makes me happier than working with My Friend’s Place right now. I’m just totally so into it!”
Although she’s a big believer in the cause, Miley was so nervous for Jesse up there on the stage and how the rest of the famous faces in the audience would react to his message.
“The courage that he showed to get up there and give that speech,” she says. “I didn’t know how everyone was going to be and seeing his hands shake, it kind of broke me. I wish they wouldn’t have kept putting the camera on me to make it about me crying. I cry when I’m the happiest.”
Miley was inspired to make a bold statement at the VMAs after all the attention (and backlash) following her twerkfest with Robin Thicke on last year’s stage.
“I just didn’t realize my platform, I didn’t realize my power,” she explains. “And I think I really realized it after the VMAs [last year] … there’s something special and there’s only few people that experience this that no matter what I do, there’s no winning or losing, it’s just going to be talked about. Period. I’m going to be on the cover of everything no matter what and I can’t help it. There’s going to be talk, so what do I want them to talk about? If I’m going to be given this loud of a voice and this big of an image and this big of a platform and this huge of an opportunity to talk to young people in American right now, what am I really trying to say? Because I don’t think what I was trying to say is what happened the year before.”
The message was so important to Miley, she didn’t tell anyone about her plan to send Jesse up onstage for fear that the secret would get out. In fact, while sitting next to Katy Perry in the audience, she pretended like he was her date … and then the “This Is How We Do” tried to pour him a drink!
“I’m like, ‘This kid has to give this speech!’” she jokes. “I’m like, ‘Katy, please don’t get Jesse drunk right now’ … I didn’t want to tell her because I was scared if someone found out, they’d try to stop me … no one knew. The only person I told, because I knew that he would respect it, was Juicy [J], who was sitting next to me. I couldn’t hold it in, I was so excited. I knew that he would respect Jesse and it was cool to have someone there who could keep us both calm.”