‘SNL,’ Backyard Sessions and Beyond: The 24 Best Miley Cyrus Covers (Critic’s Picks)

Miley Cyrus has never been one to shy away from covering some of her favorite artists. From inserting covers into concert set lists to starting her own series of acoustic covers through Happy Hippie Presents: Backyard Sessions, Cyrus has a large repertoire of cover tunes.

From Cyrus’ cover of Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here” on Saturday Night Live in April 2020 to her fan-favorite Backyard Sessions series and everything in between, Billboard has compiled her best covers below (in no particular order).

This article has been updated.


“Wish You Were Here” — Pink Floyd

Cyrus took on Pink Floyd’s classic with producer Andrew Watt on acoustic guitar during the April 25, 2020 episode of Saturday Night Live (at-home edition).

“My Future” — Billie Eilish

Returning to BBC Radio 1’s Live Lounge, Cyrus took on Eilish’s 2020 track “My Future,” giving it a laid-back rock twist.

“The First Time I Ever Saw Your Face” — Roberta Flack

Cyrus performed this cover during BBC Radio 1’s Live Lounge at her very own Malibu Rainbowland Studios.

“No Freedom” — Dido

Two years prior to enlisting Adam Sandler to cover the song with her on The Tonight Show, Cyrus performed the song for her Happy Hippie Presents: Backyard Sessions. The song was revived recently to honor the victims of the Oct. 2 terrorist attack on Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas.

“Don’t Dream It’s Over” — Crowded House

Cyrus and pal Ariana Grande snuggled up in animal onesies to perform this cover. During the benefit following the terrorist attack on Ariana Grande’s Manchester concert, the duo covered the song once again.

“Androgynous” — The Replacements

Cyrus showed off her punk side as Laura Jane Grace of Against Me! and Joan Jett joined her during Happy Hippie Presents: Backyard Sessions for their take on the classic.

“I’ll Take Care of You” — Etta James

Deep into the Bangerz era, this Australian performance forcefully reminded the world that Cyrus can absolutely wail. Watch through the end for some of the biggest notes you’ll ever hear the singer let out.

“Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds” – The Beatles

The Flaming Lips enlisted Cyrus and Moby for this cover on their album With a Little Help From My Fwends. Miley keeps the verses super low-key before the chorus opens up with almost crunchy effects placed on the iconic hook.

“Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High?” – Arctic Monkeys

Cyrus killed this cover on MTV Unplugged back in 2014 when still promoting Bangerz. She absolutely blew the crowd away when she took the last chorus up the octave as she stomped around the stage.

“Lilac Wine” — Jeff Buckley

This cover started the entire Happy Hippie Presents: Backyard Sessions series off oh-so-well. Cyrus surrounds herself with her acoustic band, the standup bass thumping along and pulling the set together with her country roots.

“Happy Together” — The Turtles

Cyrus’ strong alto range lent itself well to her melancholy take on this hit. Her smiley face body suit and matching earrings only make the positive message seem even more sinister, but in the best way.

“Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” — Brenda Lee

Both songs that Cyrus covered in 2017 for her exclusive holiday Spotify Singles pack are great, but it’s her take on Brenda Lee that’s really swell.

“Jolene” — Dolly Parton

Cyrus returns to her godmother’s classic track time and time again, but the stripped down version from the first installment of Happy Hippie Presents: Backyard Sessions absolutely takes the cake.

“Rebel Yell” — Billy Idol

Dressed in full-Billy-Idol-adorned garb, Cyrus held her own as she took to the stage with Billy Idol. The audio alone could easily convince listeners that Cyrus had been a rock ‘n’ roll star of yester-year in an alternate universe.

“You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go” – Bob Dylan

An oldie but a goodie, Cyrus performs this Bob Dylan classic as part of Amnesty International’s 50th year celebration back in 2012. Cyrus is joined by Johnzo West on background vocals and guitar.

“50 Ways to Leave Your Lover” — Paul Simon

The melancholy mood stays strong during the second installment of Happy Hippie Presents: Backyard Sessions, at least until the chorus when Cyrus cracks a smile and the groove really gets going on this Paul Simon track.

Summertime Sadness” — Lana Del Rey

It’s almost as if Cyrus’ voice was meant to parallel the original. Stripping the track back to acoustics only improves this BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge performance.

“Landslide” — Fleetwood Mac

Even in the early days Cyrus was performing classics on tour. She did the song justice plenty of times on tour, including during her 2011 tour in Australia.

“The Scientist” — Coldplay

Nobody said compiling a list of Cyrus’ best moments covering other huge artists would be easy, and her incredibly wide range in music taste proves this task most difficult. Cyrus played it a bit more current during the Bangerz tour with her rendition of “The Scientist,” putting her usual up-the-octave twist on the end to wow the crowd.

“Babe I’m Gonna Leave You” — Led Zepplin

Another rock standard that Cyrus absolutely kills. Not exactly the first song one would expect to hear on the Bangerz tour, but by the time Cyrus is screaming into the mic a little over four minutes in, it’s impossible not to be entirely sold on this performance.

“New York State of Mind” — Billy Joel

Stay tuned until the second verse to hear Cyrus belt her love for the Big Apple, much to the crowd’s delight. Billy Joel and Miley Cyrus is a collaboration the world didn’t know it needed, but deserved.

“These Boots Are Made For Walkin’” — Nancy Sinatra

Fringe and sparkles top of Cyrus’ full circle return to country during the 2017 iHeartRadio festival. Cyrus played much more closely to the original on this number, only amping up the backing band, and it definitely paid off.

“Baby I’m in the Mood For You” — Bob Dylan

The Roots joined Cyrus during a performance on The Tonight Show. Cyrus played showrunner, taking a break in the middle of the song to talk to the crowd and calls out to host Jimmy Fallon. “Let’s all give it up for our host who is always so much fun, unless you’re Donald Trump, and then don’t even think about messing with my hair. I’m serious,” Cyrus asserted.

“Heart of Glass” — Blondie

Miley Cyrus rocked out to Blondie’s No. 1 hit “Heart of Glass” during the 2020 iHeartRadio Music Festival, and after “popular demand,” she released the cover to streaming services in late September 2020. Blondie lead singer Debbie Harry also gave the cover the stamp of approval, writing, “We think @MileyCyrus nailed it.”

William E. McEuen, Producer and Manager for the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band & Steve Martin, Dies at 79

William (“Bill”) Eugene McEuen, a record producer and manager best known for his work with Steve Martin and country rockers the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, died on Thursday (Sept. 24) at age 79.

“It is with tremendous sorrow that I share news that my brother William Bill Eugene McEuen (aka Bill) has passed away in Kona, Hawaii – a place he loved,” revealed McEuen’s brother and Nitty Gritty Dirt Band founding member John McEuen on Facebook.

McEuen managed the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and produced several albums for them, including their commercial breakthrough Uncle Charlie & His Dog Teddy and the sprawling, landmark 1972 album Will the Circle Be Unbroken, which enlisted a collection of country and bluegrass legends including Earl Scruggs, Doc Watson, Merle Travis, “Mother” Maybelle Carter, Roy Acuff and Jimmy Martin. The latter album became notable for introducing these older performers to a younger generation and reviving their careers; it now holds a place in the Library of Congress and the Grammy Hall of Fame.

Later in his career, McEuen would become a key force in the rise of comedian Steve Martin, producing four of Martin’s comedy albums — including the platinum Let’s Get Small in 1977 and the double-platinum A Wild and Crazy Guy in 1978 — as well as the novelty single “King Tut,” which peaked at No. 17 on Billboard’s Hot 100. During this period, McEuen and Martin also established the recording studio Aspen Recording Society and production company Aspen Film Society, through the latter of which McEuen would produce or executive produce such films as Martin’s big screen breakthrough The Jerk and the 1985 hit Pee-wee’s Big Adventure.

Also a songwriter and guitarist, as a teenager McEuen served as a “musical mentor” to his younger brother John, teaching him how to play guitar and later shepherding the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band through their most successful period. His creative contributions included co-writing the song “Dismal Swamp,” a cut off the group’s self-titled 1967 debut album. He was also the dealmaker behind the band’s State Department-sponsored 1977 tour of the Soviet Union, where they would play a total of 28 shows, and garnered Grammy nominations for designing the album packages to Uncle Charlie & His Dog Teddy and Symphonian Dream.

McEueun worked with several other acts over the course of his career, including Starwood, LeRoux, comedians Robert Schimmel and Steven Wright, The Sunshine Company and Allman Brothers Band precursor The Hourglass.

In addition to his brother John, McEuen is survived by his wife and business partner Alice McEuen.

Carlos Vives to Receive Hall of Fame Award at 2020 Billboard Latin Music Awards

Carlos Vives will be honored with the Billboard Hall of Fame Award at the 2020 Billboard Latin Music Awards set to take place Oct. 21.

Announced by Telemundo and Billboard on Wednesday (Sept. 30), the Colombian superstar behind Latin anthems including “La Gota Fría” and “Fruta Fresca” will not only be recognized for his career as a singer-songwriter, but also for his multifaceted career as a host, actor and philanthropist.

In 2015, he launched the “Tras la Perla” initiative, which aims to improve people’s quality of life in his native Santa Marta and its surroundings, with educational and environmental programs. He is also the founder of the Rio Grande music school in Bogotá, where children develop their artistic skills.

Vives, who is confirmed for a Q&A with Gustavo Dudamel during Latin Music Week, will also perform during the awards ceremony taking place live from the BB&T Center in Sunrise, Fla.

The Billboard Hall of Fame Award is given to artists who have achieved worldwide recognition for their work, transcending musical genres and languages. Previous winners of the coveted award include José José, Vicente Fernández, Rocío Dúrcal, Marco Antonio Solís, Joan Sebastian, Marc Anthony and Alejandro Fernández.

The Billboard Latin Music Awards will kick off at 7 p.m. ET with a red carpet pre-show followed by the three-hour awards show featuring live performances by today’s top Latin artists to honor the most popular albums, songs and performers in Latin music.

The complete list of finalists was announced earlier this year, with Bad Bunny and Ozuna leading the list with 14 mentions each. Daddy Yankee and J Balvin both have 12 finalist mentions; Anuel AA has 11; and Farruko has 10. See the complete list of finalists here.

The awards will coincide with Billboard’s Latin Music Week, a three-day virtual experience dedicated to Latin music, culture, and entertainment. Celebrating its 30th anniversary, the event will take place October 20-23 and will feature intimate artist conversations, industry panels, exclusive performances and more. or more information and to RSVP, visit BillboardLatinMusicWeek.com.

P!nk Had a Lot of Thoughts About the First Presidential Debate

Like a lot of Americans, P!nk stayed up late on Tuesday night (Sept. 29) to watch and react to the first presidential debate, running off a string of tweets urging us all to do and be better.

Also like a lot of people watching, the singer took issue with Fox News debate moderator Chris Wallace’s seeming inability to stop Pres. Trump from constantly interrupting him and Democratic challenger former Vice President Joe Biden during the heated, chaotic debate that some dubbed the worst in modern memory.

“I feel like the moderators of our debates now need to be preschool teachers in order to deal with the sulking clown that is Donald,” P!nk tweeted, kicking off a string of reactions that included her endorsing calls for prolific actor (and four-letter word master) Samuel L. Jackson to moderate the next showdown between the White House rivals.

The bottom line, though, was that her vote is going to “an adult with experience that acts as well or better than I expect my children to behave. JOE BIDEN,” she wrote.

When a Twitter user tried to troll the singer by twisting her words and saying Trump won the night, well, you know what happened next. “Oh I did Honey cakes. My vote goes to JOE BIDEN because I don’t believe in racists and liars,” she replied.

From there, she just got more amped up, encouraging her 32 million followers to help vote out this “racist, childish, ignorant, tax evading, DRAFT DODGING CLOWN OUT OF OFFICE” on a night when Trump was widely condemned for refusing to condemn white supremacists when explicitly asked to do so by Biden and Wallace.

Her next message went out to parents who may have been watching the debate with their children. “America, Are you okay with this dips–t? Seriously?,” she wrote. “I’m so ashamed that we’ve lowered ourselves to even consider another term for this shameful loser. Even if you think it’s still defendable behavior. Your children are watching.”

P!nk wasn’t alone in her visceral reaction to the cringe-worthy debate, with many other stars weighing in with their hot takes, even as she went on to say that what is currently happening is not working and that Americans need to come together at one in order to move forward. “We are all one people,” she said. “Even though the racist in charge has confused things because he himself is confused, we are ALL better than this. Even Trump supporters know this. We are ALL BETTER THAN THIS.”

Check out P!nk’s tweets below, including some support from Sam Smith.