Kaitlynn Carter supported Miley Cyrus backstage as the singer performed her new emotional single "Slide Away" at the 2019 MTV Video Music Awards

By Claudia Harmata
August 27, 2019 09:05 AM

After her emotional performance at the 2019 MTV VMAs, Miley Cyrus stepped out with “romantic” friend  Kaitlynn Carter in Manhattan.

On Monday night, following the MTV award show in Newark, New Jersey, the singer was snapped holding hands with Carter as they walked into Up and Down nightclub in New York City. The Hills: New Beginnings star was all smiles and she walked hand-in-hand with Cyrus — both opting for a pair of light jeans and white t-shirts, though vamped up in their own personal style.

Earlier in the evening, Carter shared a selfie of her outfit and makeup on Instagram — crediting her glam squad, James Kaliardos and Bob Recine, for the look.

RELATED: Miley Cyrus Supported by Kaitlynn Carter as She Debuts Performance of ‘Slide Away’ at 2019 MTV VMAs

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MTV made a surprise announcement Monday afternoon that Cyrus would be joining the cast of VMAs performers to sing her new break-up ballad, “Slide Away,” for the first time on stage.

Carter, 30, joined the singer and supported her backstage ahead of her performance.

DIGGZY/SplashNews.com

As Cyrus prepared for her performance behind the curtains, MTV cameras caught a moment between the pair with Carter placing her hand on the singer’s head before she went on the Prudential Center stage.

The 26-year-old put on a passionate, yet the chilling performance of the heartbreaking single, changing some of the words, in what was her first public appearance since her split from Liam Hemsworth.

RELATED: Miley Cyrus Debuts New Breakup Tattoo on Stage at the VMAs After Liam Hemsworth Files for Divorce

Jamie McCarthy/VMN19/Getty

Earlier this month, a rep for Cyrus and Hemsworth confirmed the couple’s split, which came after less than one year of marriage.

“Liam and Miley have agreed to separate at this time,” began a statement from the couple’s rep, exclusively obtained by PEOPLE on Aug. 10. “Ever-evolving, changing as partners and individuals, they have decided this is what’s best while they both focus on themselves and careers. They still remain dedicated parents to all of their animals they share while lovingly taking this time apart. Please respect their process and privacy.”

Following news of the breakup, Cyrus was snapped enjoying an Italian getaway where she was spotted kissing Carter, who had also recently announced her split from husband, The Hills star Brody Jenner.

The reality show couple wed in 2018 in an exclusive ceremony at the Nihi Sumba Resort on the island of Sumba, off the coast of Indonesia.

RELATED VIDEO: Miley Cyrus ‘Isn’t Trying to Hurt’ Liam Hemsworth but Needs to ‘Focus on Herself’: Sources

Since Cyrus and Carter’s return from Italy, a source told PEOPLE that the newly single ladies are “staying together” in Los Angeles.

“Miley is very close with Kaitlynn. It’s romantic, but also a friendship,” the insider said. “They are both going through similar stuff right now and are bonding over it.”

Hemsworth, 29, filed for divorce on Wednesday, Aug. 21, citing “irreconcilable differences.”

A week before filing, Hemsworth broke his silence on Instagram, posting a photo of a sunset with the caption: “Just a quick note to say that Miley and I have recently separated and I wish her nothing but health and happiness going forward.”

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