But it wasn't just her awkward Nicki Minaj feud, surprise free album drop or even her very naked outfits that got the most people talking — it was her choice of hairstyle for the awards shows: long, blond dreadlock extensions that many deemed as cultural appropriation.
Dreadlocks have been worn by many cultures throughout history, and are strongly associated with black culture. Many were quick to point out that Miley's "appropriating moment" was even more offensive after the critique she gave of Nicki Minaj's Twitter "rant" from July. (Of the rant, Miley told the New York Times: "If you want to make it about race, there's a way you could do that. But don't make it just about yourself.")
And rapper Chance also had some choice tweets for Cyrus' 'do and for calling Snoop "mammy," a term with a lot of negative history.
This isn't the first time the 22-year-old pop star has taken heat for appropriating black culture — at the 2013 VMAs she was called out for twerking and using black women as "props" in her performance.
While we don't know the intentions behind Miley's actions, you'd think from all the backlash she would have learned better by now. And the fact that people are calling the singer's locks "amazing" and "edgy" when Zendaya was infamously described as smelling like "patchouli oil and weed" for wearing the same 'do just goes to show how harmful it is to appropriate black hairstyles.
Because as "Hunger Games" star Amandla Stenberg once said, "when u appropriate black features and culture but fail to use ur position of power to help black Americans by directing attention towards ur wigs instead of police brutality or racism #whitegirlsdoitbetter."
UPDATE: This post has been updated to add historical context on dreadlocks.