Miley Cyrus owned Thursday night’s (Sept. 10) Tonight Show, performing two entrancing songs and chatting with host Jimmy Fallon from her eye-popping, colorful Peter Shire-designed “throne” (named “Giza”), while wearing a sharp-shouldered, multi-colored jumpsuit that would have made David Bowie jealous.
When Fallon asked about the sly “Edge of Seventeen” sample in Miley’s “Midnight Sky” single, Cyrus, of course, had an amazing story about how she sent Stevie Nicks the song and asked for her blessing to use the snippet of the Fleetwood Mac singer’s 1981 solo hit. “I said, ‘I have an alternate melody if you don’t want to kind of like pay tribute to you and your greatness and how much you’ve inspired me,’” Cyrus recalled.
“And she said, ‘you can borrow from me anytime,’” Cyrus said, still gobsmacked at how artists like Nicks, godmother Dolly Parton and punk godmother Joan Jett are so “open and welcoming” to younger artists coming up and happy to offer them mentorship. “Everyone looks up to Stevie Nicks, but having that direct relationship has been, you know, kind of life-changing and just so important.”
The singer also counted her blessings and talked about her drive to work as hard as possible, describing how her feet hurt and her voice is “burning” after a long day of rehearsals and jamming out to Metallica and Led Zeppelin. “I love to work and I love to kind of be needed and I think one thing that’s been really powerful through 2020 is that there’s been some amazing releases,” she said, giving props to all the other artists putting out great music and helping her, and all of us, get through the pandemic.
“That just reminds me of how lucky I am to be in an industry that can bring this kind of peace and joy,” she said. “There’s something that makes everything feel more normal knowing that I’m in a freaky chair swinging around in my underwear on a disco ball. Somehow it feels like all is right and well in the world.”
Cyrus hit the stage twice, first kicking off with a fog-shrouded rumble through “Midnight Sky,” performed with a fully masked, distanced band. Channeling a 1970s Midnight Special-style vibe, complete with a green neon sign bearing the song’s title and soft-focus camera work, she rocked a Cher-like black, sequined dress with daring cut-outs, deep blue glittery eyeshadow and a Carter-era mullet as she crooned the song about a tortured love.
She returned later, in a red, sparkly minidress and matching purse, for a revved-up cover of Hall & Oates’ 1982 hit “Maneater,” transforming the pop ditty with a touch of Nashville giddyup in the beat and her signature raspy vocals, which put some extra stank on Daryl Hall’s silky, Reagan-era pop/soul original. And, not for nothing, earlier she explained the cover by telling Fallon that it was a warning to her “future ex-husband” that “I warned your first.”
Watch Cyrus’ performances and chat with Fallon below.