When VH1 first announced the lineup for this year's "VH1 Divas" show, it was definitely a one-of-these-things-is-not-like-the-others scenario. How on earth would Miley Cyrus, one of the night's scheduled performers, ever hold her own against vocal powerhouses like Kelly Clarkson, Kelly Rowland, Keri Hilson, Natasha Bedingfield, Jordin Sparks, Melanie Fiona, Ledisi, and Adam Lambert? And how on earth would the former Hannah Montana pull off singing Billy Idol's punk-rock rebel anthem, "Rebel Yell"?
However, Miley's performance shockingly turned out to be one of THE most rockin' highlights of Sunday evening's already highlight-laden "VH1 Divas" broadcast. Performing live Sunday at Los Angeles's Shrine Auditorium, a punked-up Miley showed up looking like Billy Idol's little sister, rocking a peroxided, sheared hairdo not unlike Billy's circa 1983, not to mention enough black leather and metal spikes to make even Billy's streaked tips stand on end.
Making a grand entrance by crowd-surfing her way to the flames-engulfed "Divas" stage, Miley proceeded to give the fist-pumping, crotch-grabbing, pyro-blasting performance of a lifetime, astounding and winning over all doubters.
Sitting in the audience, Adam Lambert's guitarist, Tommy Joe Ratliff, tweeted: "Mmkay growin up a fan on @billyidol ... @mileycyrus just gained a fan! That performance was [expletive] great!!!" And later, Billy Idol himself even tweeted, "I enjoyed seeing @MileyCyrus having fun rockin' out with Rebel Yell on vh1divas!"
Miley ended the performance by showing her softer, less punk-rock side, dedicating the wild spectacle to a fallen furry friend, shouting, "That was for you, Lila!"--a tribute to her 2-year-old, Yorkie-mix dog, who died on Wednesday.
I am sure many people out there hated this performance. I expected to hate it. But I have to say, Miley really rocked it. She truly was a diva.
Other "Divas" highlights of the evening included show host Adam Lambert's Bowie and Madonna covers; Ciara's homage to Michael Jackson; Natasha Bedingfield, Australian hip-hop star Iggy Azalea, and funk legend Bootsy Collins's groovy rendition of Deee-Lite's '90s floor-filler "Groove Is In The Heart"; and a moving Whitney Houston tribute by Jordin Sparks, Melanie Fiona, and Ledisi. Below is the full setlist from "VH1 Divas":
Adam Lambert - "Let's Dance"
Kelly Clarkson - "Catch My Breath"
Ciara - "Billie Jean"/"Got Me Good"
Kelly Rowland, Keri Hilson & Adam Lambert - Donna Summer tribute
Metric - "Heart Of Glass" (Blondie tribute)
Demi Lovato - "Give Your Heart A Break"
Paloma Faith - "Picking Up The Pieces"
Miley Cyrus - "Rebel Yell"
Natasha Bedingfield, Iggy Azalea & Bootsy Collins - "Groove Is In The Heart" (Deee-Lite tribute)
Metric - "Breathing Underwater"
Adam Lambert - "Ray Of Light" (Madonna tribute)
Jordin Sparks, Melanie Fiona & Ledisi - Whitney Houston tribute
Pitbull - "Don't Stop The Party"