2020 has seen a complete renaissance of Miley Cyrus – yes, that’s right, another one. From tween pop star to rebellious and controversial pop culture iconoclast, Cyrus has done it all. The latest version of Miley Cyrus is a ragged, chain-laden rockstar. She has completely embraced the persona, and her signature twangy voice has allowed her to segue into the genre seamlessly. She showed it off in full force once she released her latest studio album Plastic Hearts, which Music Feeds called “her strongest album to date, and one of the strongest of the year.”
But, among her own selection of music, Miley really gained a huge mass of new fans with her stirring and fearless covers. It seemed like every time we saw her, she was ready to give her raw take on a new song – whether it was a beloved classic or a freshly released jam. So, to cap off a shitty year, we want to give a run-through of all of Miley’s covers from throughout it that made it feel a little less shitty.
‘my future’ – Billie Eilish
Billie Eilish’s ‘my future’ is a muted, understated ballad over a largely piano-led and lo-fi melody. It’s a touching moment in her discography after she achieved global domination in 2019, but Miley Cyrus turned it into a roaring ballad for BBC Radio 1’s Live Lounge, using her voice in such a warm way that it floats through every extension of your body.
‘Zombie’ – The Cranberries
The Cranberries’ fierce and political ‘Zombie’ is one of those songs that exist in such a league of their own that it’s best not to cover them. Dolores O’Riordan’s anguish in the original is so legendary that it becomes a part of you as you listen. Miley didn’t quiiiite get there – hard to achieve the impossible – but her version is searing and filled with her own sense of passion, helping a new generation discover one of history’s best songs.
‘Doll Parts’ – Hole
Miley Cyrus in 2020 feels like a more refined version of Courtney Love in her heyday, so it’s no surprise she nails this cover of ‘Doll Parts’ she did for The Howard Stern Show.
‘Maneater’ – Hall & Oates
The rasp when she sings the title of the song is enough to win anyone over.
‘It’s A Heartache’ – Bonnie Tyler
While it’s not a full cover, Miley’s off the cuff and A Capella rendition of this Bonnie Tyler classic feels like it was destined to be. Both singers have such iconic, raspy vocals that it made for a perfect fit. Tyler loved it so much that she’s ready for a duet with Cyrus, and – considering Billy Idol, Joan Jett, and Stevie Nicks all appear on Plastic Hearts – you’d be foolish to rule it out.
— Miley Ray Cyrus (@MileyCyrus) December 11, 2020
‘These Days’ – Nico
Cyrus put a sunlit country twist on Nico’s version of Jackson Browne’s ‘These Days’ and it makes for one soothing listen, especially the ‘la la la’ that concludes it.
‘Wish You Were Here’ – Pink Floyd
‘Wish You Were Here’ is one of two Pink Floyd covers Miley Cyrus has delivered this year, and this one is one for the real diehard fans. If you love the original, you’ll love this. Simple.
‘I Got So High That I Saw Jesus’ – Noah Cyrus
For MTV Unplugged’s Backyard Sessions, Miley did a slew of covers that ranged in genre and decade. The newest song? Her younger sister’s track ‘I Got So High That I Saw Jesus’. Noah joined Miley on the stage, turning the song into a stirring and heartfelt duet.
‘Take It To The Limit’ – The Eagles
While this cover is pretty much exactly what you’d expect, Miley’s explanation on what the song means to her helps it shine in an entirely different light. This one’s truly special.
Take It To The Limit- Dedicated to my Mammie… The Eagles were my Mammies favorite band…. and my mama grew up singing this song on drives in the car w her mom! This is in honor of my grandma ❤️ pic.twitter.com/ywTjFbVSoW
— Miley Ray Cyrus (@MileyCyrus) September 2, 2020
‘Gimme More’ – Britney Spears
The careers of Miley Cyrus and Britney Spears have many parallels, feeling like two akin megastars hounded by tabloids and scandal. While the original is an up-and-down, masterfully produced electro-pop classic, Cyrus turns it into a gritty, sun-drenched number with an unshakable rasp.
‘Communication’ – The Cardigans
A song that cements Miley as a complete vocal powerhouse. We’ll wait patiently for the ‘Lovefool’ cover.
‘Sweet Jane’ – Velvet Underground
Instead of opting to match the original’s sharpness, Miley opted for a more folkly rendition of Velvet Underground’s ‘Sweet Jane’, once again drowning us in the warmth of her incredible voice.
‘Just Breathe’ – Pearl Jam
Absolutely tear-jerking stuff for Miley’s second Pearl Jam cover of the career.
‘Help!’ – The Beatles
The way Miley’s voice can transform a song is undeniable, but it has never been more apparent than what she achieved with her jolting and country-tinged cover of The Beatles’ ‘Help!’ It’s delicate, yet it’s powerful – Miley Cyrus in a nutshell.
‘Heart Of Glass’ – Blondie
Miley Cyrus’ career can be almost completely defined by chapters. Each chapter so radically different than the one that came before it, and each chapter opening with an explosive track. The latest chapter – Miley the Rock Star – opened with a searing and impeccable cover of Blondie’s ‘Heart Of Glass’. And the rest is history.