Cyrus made her live music comeback at KIIS FM’s Wango Tango in Los Angeles on Saturday as a special guest performer, where her younger sister, Noah, also took the stage during the annual star-studded concert in addition to Katy Perry, Maroon 5, Niall Horan, Zedd, Camila Cabello, Hailee Steinfeld, Halsey and more.
After opening her set with “Malibu,” the singer spoke to the audience about how much the song meant to her.
“I want to thank all of you that made ‘Malibu’ number one on the charts this week, and the music video,” she said. “I gotta tell you, I just kind of got tears in my eyes when I was singing that last little part of the song, when I was singing, ‘I never would’ve believed you if three years ago you told me I’d be here writing this song,’ and I never would have believed that I would be here, surrounded by all of you loving people, bouncing around with these rainbow balloons, while my dog, Emu, is behind me.
“I just want to thank you guys from the bottom of my heart because I really do feel like this is a dream come true, being able to sing this song ‘Malibu’ for all of you all, right here, right now, and I so look forward to continuing to release music that hopefully makes you all smile and dance and be happy and be full of peace and love,” she continued.
Cyrus then said that she had learned about making music from her “aunt” Dolly Parton (who is actually her godmother and a close family friend) before launching into a cover of the country icon’s “Jolene.” Cyrus finished off her short set with “Party in the U.S.A.”
Cyrus also joined her younger sister Noah to wish their mother Tish Cyrus a happy birthday during Noah’s set. Noah paused her set to bring out Tish with Miley wheeling out a cake. The siblings then sang “Happy Birthday.” Before the set, all three Cyruses were spotted dancing to Perry’s opening performance.
As her first solo pop single in four years – the lead preview from her upcoming sixth studio album, due out later this year – the tune marks a noteworthy shift from her daring Bangerz and Dead Petz days to rekindling her relationship with Liam Hemsworth and “leaning into her roots more than I’ve ever heard,” her father, country singer and actor Billy Ray, told Billboard.
“I never would’ve believed you if three years ago you told me I’d be here writing this song,” she wrote in the song. Cyrus tells the magazine, “[People are] going to talk about me if I come out of a restaurant with Liam. So why not put the power back in my relationship and say, ‘This is how I feel?'”
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“I haven’t smoked weed in three weeks, which is the longest I’ve ever [gone without it],” the famously pro-pot 24-year-old singer revealed in her Billboard cover story. “I’m not doing drugs, I’m not drinking, I’m completely clean right now! That was just something that I wanted to do.”
Additionally, the “We Can’t Stop” singer will return for her second run as a coach on The Voice for season 13 alongside returning coaches Adam Levine and Blake Shelton, and first-timer Jennifer Hudson.
- Reporting by REAGAN ALEXANDER