Miley Cyrus’s Best Covers, Ranked
miley cyrus has long recognized the power of a good cover and has the voice to back it up, bending songs to her will for the better part of a decade. With her new cover of Blondie’s “Heart of Glass” now streaming and a “Backyard Sessions” special on MTV Unplugged premiering October 16, here are Cyrus’s top five.
5. “Don’t Dream It’s Over” 2015 (Crowded House) with Ariana Grande
The “Backyard Sessions” take of this cover is the definition of casual, with Cyrus and Ariana Grande wearing onesies and hanging out like longtime friends, talking during the instrumental break and messing up their lines. They’re a good match musically, too: Grande’s silky vocals balance Cyrus’s smokier tone. When they revived the cover at Grande’s “One Love Manchester” concert, it took on new meaning as a song of resilience, even as it provided a muchneeded moment of levity.
4. “Androgynous” 2015 (the Replacements) with Laura Jane Grace and Joan Jett
She doesn’t take a verse or chorus for herself, but Cyrus is the glue that holds together this cover of one of the better songs ever written. Her joy is infectious as she harmonizes with her hero Joan Jett and rock trailblazer Laura Jane Grace. Eventually, Cyrus turns to passionate shouting that should make Paul Westerberg proud; a month later, when she came out as gender-fluid, fans would learn what the words truly meant to her.
3. “Lilac Wine” 2012 (standard, written by James Shelton)
Cyrus wasn’t even old enough to drink when she delivered what may well be the definitive take of this then-62-year-old standard—outdoing Eartha Kitt and Nina Simone. Her voice is as entrancing as the elixir she’s singing about, but she performs with unmatched control, pushing and pulling the notes toward a huge, stunning finale.
2. “my future” 2020 (Billie Eilish)
Condolences to Billie Eilish, because Cyrus sang this song as if she herself had written it, and she turned it into a master class in restraint. Her raspy belt makes the it sound bigger than you ever thought it could, before she reins her voice back in for smooth runs that string you along. The conviction she brings to each line allows Cyrus to make Eilish’s anthem for a generation at a crossroads into her own, turning it into a statement from an oft-misunderstood artist entering the next stage of her career. 1. “Peace Will Come (According to Plan)” 2015 (Melanie) with Melanie Safka
You can see in Cyrus’s face just how excited she is to be singing with Melanie Safka, a ’60s folk icon she first covered back in 2012. Or you can hear it after the second chorus, when Cyrus emotes with a religious fervor she has never quite matched. That’s the standout moment of this performance, but hearing Cyrus and Safka gently land their duet is impressive in its own right, as their voices meld and make them sound like the intergenerational soul sisters they are. To listen to it is to experience a perfect minute of the peace they’re singing about.