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Miley Cyrus Chokes Up Over "Wrecking Ball" at Pre-Super Bowl Performance With Joan Jett and Billy Idol

Kaitlin Reilly
·3 min read
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Miley Cyrus brought some fellow rebels to the Super Bowl this year, and turned the event into a true rock n' roll show. However, it wasn't one without some heavy emotions.

The singer, who headlined Super Bowl LV's "TikTok Tailgate" at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Bay, donned a cheerleader uniform in order to celebrate the kickoff of the football game in front of thousands of frontline workers who have already been vaccinated for the coronavirus.

While Cyrus performed a cover of Toni Basil's "Mickey" (changing the lyrics to "Miley," of course), her 2020 hit "Prisoner" and a cover of Blondie's "Heart of Glass" solo, she also included some interesting collaborators into her career-defining performance.

The former Hannah Montana star was joined by Joan Jett, an artist who clearly had a great deal of influence on Cyrus' latest album Plastic Hearts, for renditions of three of the former Runaways member's most memorable hits: "Bad Reputation," "Bad Karma" and "I Hate Myself for Loving You."

It wasn't just Jett who Cyrus included in the pre-show. Billy Idol also graced the stage, where he and Cyrus performed their joint Plastic Hearts track "Night Crawling" and a duet of his song "White Wedding."

Miley Cyrus' Most Candid Confessions

Miley's performance also included covers of Nine Inch Nails' "Head Like a Hole," Bikini Kill's "Rebel Girl"—for which Cyrus showed off a treadmill performance of on Instagram earlier this week—and Dolly Parton's "Jolene," which she famously released a version of on YouTube in 2012.

She also rocked out to her new tracks "Nothing Breaks Like a Heart," "Edge of Midnight" and "Angels Like You," and threw it back to her more pop-focused past with hits like "We Can't Stop" and "Party in the U.S.A."

Things took an emotional turn, however, when it came time for Cyrus to perform her 2012 hit "Wrecking Ball," which is rumored to be about her now ex-husband Liam Hemsworth. During the performance, Cyrus had to stop to choke back tears and restart the number. She told the crowd before she finished the song, "I wear a lot of glitter and I wear a lot of armor, but I also wear my heart on my sleeve, and it gets broken a lot."

The artist made it through the other side, though. Following "Wrecking Ball," she went into her ballad from Hannah Montana: The Movie, "The Climb," making it the final song of the night.

Miley Cyrus, Billy Idol, Super Bowl 2021
Miley Cyrus, Billy Idol, Super Bowl 2021

Cyrus has a long history with both Jett and Idol. In 2015, she gave a speech during Jett's induction into the Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame.

She said of the artist at the time, "I listened to her talk about her days with the Runaways. She talked about music…I was getting to have this moment with someone that, to me, is superwoman. What superwoman really should be."

Miley Cyrus, Super Bowl 2021
Miley Cyrus, Super Bowl 2021

In addition to collaborating with Idol on Plastic Hearts, Cyrus joined the '80s icon on stage in 2016 to perform his song "Rebel Yell."

While it may have been challenging to get through every song on her set list, Cyrus' Super Bowl performance proved she's a true rock star.