Miley Cyrus Explains Homeless Date, Unexpected VMA Speech: I've Realized My Power...

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For the second consecutive year, Miley Cyrus made headlines at the MTV Video Music Awards.

This time around, though, Miley didn't Twerk, abuse a foam finger or even perform on stage at all.

Instead, she used her Video of the Year victory to shine a spotlight on the issue of homelessness, inviting a special guest named Jesse as her date to the ceremony and having him give a speech on her behalf.

Miley Cyrus and Jesse

"I am accepting this award for the 1.6 million runaways and homeless youth in the United States who are starving, lost and scared for their lives right now," Jesse told the crowd, helping Cyrus raise awareness for her new fundraising campaign for My Friends Place, a homeless center in Hollywood.

Miley has received some flak for what some perceive to be a self-serving, exploitive act... but she explained her motivation in a chat with Ryan Seacrest this morning.

Referencing the duet with Robin Thicke that drew such a scathing rebuke, Miley said she "didn't realize [her] platform" last year and "didn't realize [her] power" to influence as a celebrity.

"There’s going to be talk, so what do I want them to talk about?" she said. "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?"

Cyrus said the only other person who knew about Jesse was Juicy J, who was seated next to her at the event.

"The courage that he showed to get up there and give that speech," she said of Jesse. "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 also added that Jesse will be keeping her VMA trophy.

What do you think of Miley's act? Selfless or selfish? Admirable or exploitive?

Relive the 2014 Video Music Awards (GIF style!) and sound off now!

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Miley Cyrus Biography

Miley Cyrus Hair
Miley Cyrus has evolved tremendously over the years. Initially known for portraying Hannah Montana, the singer/actress made an effort to... More »
Franklin, Tennessee
Full Name
Destiny Hope Cyrus

Miley Cyrus Quotes

Thank you guys for all your support. Without you, none of this would be possible. I love every one of you and I could not be more appreciative. God bless you.

Miley Cyrus [at a concert, soon after photo scandal broke]

I have let myself down. I will learn from my mistakes and trust my support team. My family and my faith will guide me through my life's journey.

Miley Cyrus [on lewd photos]