When we first read about Cyrus' "cat song," titled "The Twinkle Song," we thought, "Here we go again, insert eye roll here." Cyrus says she has crazy dreams (purple drank will do that to you) and that her friend's dead cat told her what to say to help her friend get through the loss. After Cyrus "mentally prepares" by taking a swig of alcohol, she reminds us why we can't dismiss her entirely. Gurl can sing. This is a great unfiltered performance (excuse the language when she screws up briefly).
Ellen DeGeneres says it all when she describes Cyrus as "one of the most talented 20-year-olds I know." That's saying a lot — DeGeneres has featured a lot of talent on her set. Cyrus proves Ellen's point with this acoustic version of "We Can't Stop." This isn't our favorite live performance of Cyrus — she's a little nasal-y and her voice is a stitch wobbly, but what we love about Cyrus is she proves that she can leave the studio and still sound amazing. So many pop artists today can't perform live without Auto-Tune and/or lip-synching.
When Cyrus hit the stage with The Flaming Lips for the 2014 Billboard Music Awards, the usual commentary ran through our heads — what's with the Muppets costumes, what's with her love affair with The Flaming Lips and we bet The Beatles who have passed on are flopping around in their graves right about now. Then she has to shut us up with an incredible performance. Damn her.
If you missed Cyrus' MTV Unplugged show, you missed a rare opportunity to see Cyrus at her best. The vocals were insane, the costumes weren't too obnoxious and her duet with Madonna sort of made Madge look like a has-been (sorry Madge, it had to be said). Her Arctic Monkey cover was a standout, especially when she belts out, "Why'd you only ever call me when you're high?"
Cyrus sang "Jolene" during her Unplugged show for MTV, and it may have been our favorite performance of the night. Have you ever tried to sing this song? Give it a try. It's hard. Cyrus nails it.
Cyrus dropped by the Live Lounge to cover Lana Del Rey's "Summertime Sadness" and reminded us why we love her when you strip away all the bulls***. Her voice is haunting and hypnotizing. For all the nonsense, you can't take live performances like this away from her. (Note in this performance she is dressed conservatively from head to toe, allowing us to focus on just her voice and take her seriously.)
How many of your favorite singers have performed live on Saturday Night Live, and you had to look the other way because it stunk or because they were lip-synching during a "live" performance? Don't feel bad, it's happened to all of us. Here again, Cyrus proves she's just as good live as she is in a studio.
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