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It was a beautiful and surprising moment, Sunday Night at the MTV Video Music Awards (VMA), after Jimmy Fallon announced, 'Wrecking Ball' by Miley Cyrus, was the night's big winner. Cyrus stood up with a young man, walked with him to a certain point, and then surprised the audience by stopping and letting man walk up onto the stage alone. There he began speaking about the plight of many:
"Though I may have been invisible to you on the streets, I have a lot of the same dreams that brought many of you here tonight," he told the crowd.
"…outside these doors are 54,000 human beings who have no place to call home."
The man now known as, 22-year old Jessie Helt, was speaking about the homeless, and he was speaking about himself.

Here is the video:

This is quite a change from the Miley Cyrus the world witnessed at the VMAs (Video Music Awards) in 2013. On that award show, Cyrus made and international, somewhat awkward, sensation, 'twerking' on stage with pop singer, Robin Thicke.

The 22-year old daughter of country singer/actor, Billy Ray Cyrus, first made her debut in the entertainment world as Disney's, Hannah Montana. Many believe Miley Cyrus's VMA performance was her way of breaking ties from her 'goodie two-shoes' image, that seemed to follow her, after her many years as a child star. If that was the reason, it worked. She, indeed, broke away, and sadly, the hate quickly followed on social media. It was cruel and ghastly. Cyrus stood her ground and remained unapologetic. Some feminists came to her defense, while others scorned her. Most, if not all, of her fans were shocked.

On Sunday night, Miley Cyrus seems to be far from the young woman we saw last year. The audience and millions of viewers around the world saw a young, mature entertainer who was able to bring a great amount of awareness to an incredibly important cause.

Here is Miley's personal appeal on YouTube:

On her Facebook page she writes:

"Help me raise awareness and funds to end youth homelessness! This is just the beginning for me, but we’re going to get started now by focusing on My Friend’s Place, a homeless center for young people in Hollywood. You can support the cause by making a donation here:! For every $5 donation, you’ll be entered to win a trip for 2 to Brazil to hang out with me at my show in Rio de Janeiro on Sept 28th. You'll get the full VIP experience, including 2 of the best seats in the house." ‪#‎MyFriendsPlace‬ ‪#‎VMAs2014‬
It's reported,'My Friends Place'received over $200,000 in donations by Monday afternoon. 
Here are some photos from the award show:
In 2013, The National Alliance to End Homelessness estimates there are approximately 550,000 unaccompanied, single youth and young adults up to age 24 who experience a homelessness episode of longer than one week. Approximately 380,000 of those youth are under the age of 18.
(Per title reference, here is the late great Marlon Brando's Oscar Win.)

Originally posted to Leslie Salzillo on Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 09:03 PM PDT.

Also republished by An Ear for Music.

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