has been through a lot
in her career - from Hannah Montana to the Bangerz
era to her recent reconnection with her roots, the Disney-star-turned-superstar has experimented with plenty of sounds and personas. Regardless of her various eras, though, she has been pretty consistent in her fondness of covering some of her favorite songs for live sessions and shows. So, we put together a list of some of the best of these performances that show Miley Cyrus is more than the sum of her crazy personas - at her core, she's a singer who appreciates a good song.
1. "Jolene" - Dolly Parton cover
In general, Miley Cyrus does really well with country music, so her cover of Dolly Parton's "Jolene" is a perfect fit. The timbre of Miley's voice works especially well with the melodies throughout the song. This is one of my favorite covers Miley's done; although she released it back in 2012, I've continued to revisit it through the years just because it's so good.
2. "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" - Roberta Flack cover
This cover was released just a few days ago for BBC Radio 1's Live Lounge
, and was recorded at Miley's own Rainbowland Studios in Malibu. Her cover of "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face," first made popular by Roberta Flack in the 70s, is raw and full of emotion. It feels simple and stripped down, but powerful. She even says at the very end as she's turning away from the mic, "That was hard. Made me wanna cry."
3. "I'll Take Care of You" - Etta James cover
Aside from "Jolene," this cover is definitely one of Miley Cyrus' strongest. For her performance on Australia's Sunrise
morning show at the famed Sydney Opera House, Miley pulled out all the stops for a vocal performance that successfully reminded anyone who saw it that despite being in the thick of her controversial Bangerz
era, she could put on a powerful show with just the strength of her voice.
4. "Summertime Sadness" - Lana Del Rey cover
Miley Cyrus made another, earlier appearance on BBC 1's Live Lounge
back in 2013 with a cover of Lana Del Rey's "Summertime Sadness." Miley's version of the song doesn't have any of Lana's airy mystery, and instead keeps the melancholy of the original while sounding more upbeat. Her voice shines especially on the bridge around the 3:00 mark.
5. "Happy Together" - The Turtles cover
One of the best things about Miley's "Happy Together" cover is the way it fits so well with her naturally low vocal range. Everything about the cover sounds easy and unstrained.
6. "Why'd You Only Call Me When You're High" - Arctic Monkeys
Despite the sequined-denim look and her pelvic-thrust-filled moves, which don't really fit the MTV Unplugged acoustic vibe, Miley Cyrus actually sounds pretty good singing Arctic Monkeys. The energy in her high notes toward the end is definitely impressive. I think I still prefer the original - I mean, it's a classic - but Miley does it justice.
7. "Look What They've Done To My Song" - Melanie cover
For this Backyard Sessions cover, Miley Cyrus really captures the original spirit of the song. Her voice and emotion is as raw as it should be for this cover, and does the song justice. She even ended up doing another cover with Melanie Safka herself a few years later for Happy Hippie Presents.