Miley Cyrus’ Best Cover Songs, Ranked
By Radio.com Staff
Miley Cyrus‘ ability to make every cover her own has certainly improved over time. We’re not even going to subject anyone to listening to her cover of Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” and chalk it up to the fact that she was a little too young to really “get” grunge. But as she’s grown into her own, shedding her pop-country roots and moving toward a Debbie Harry/Madonna forthcomingness, the other songs she embodies start to ring true to who she is as a singer and an artist.
We’ve collected her best covers, some we wish she’d bring to a formal studio setting, and some that work best in their stripped-down and impromptu setting.
What’s your favorite Miley Cyrus cover? Let us know, and you could win a trip to see Miley in Miami.
10. “Rebel Yell” by Billy Idol
For her performance of “Rebel Yell” at the 2012 VH1 Divas concert, Miley seemed to be channeling Adam Lambert. Unfortunately, her high-pitched down-home squeal didn’t necessarily leave us wanting more, more, more. She did however do a great job of copping Billy Idol’s look of leather and spikes – both the metal ones on her jacket and the bleached blond ones on her head. The number also gave us the first inclination of what she really meant when she swore she couldn’t be tamed.
9. “I Love Rock and Roll/Cherry Bomb/ Bad Reputation” by Joan Jett and The Runaways
Back in 2010, a young Miley was trying to prove she was a little more rock and roll than her Hannah Montana persona allowed. And what better way to do that than with a medley of Joan Jett hits. From the looks of this Rio rendition of the Runaways “Cherry Bomb” she clearly already had Cherie Currie’s jailbait act down pat. And when you hear the young Disney star shout that she doesn’t give a damn about her bad reputation, you can’t help but think she was foreshadowing the twerking that was yet to come. But when it’s all said and done, we really wish she would have taken a shot at Jett’s 1988 brazen pop hit, “I Hate Myself For Loving You” since it’s a sentiment we imagine Miley could relate to.
8. “Girls Just Want To Have Fun” by Cyndi Lauper
With a subtle twang, Miley’s rendition of the 1983 hit off her 2008 album, Breakout, is a kiddie friendly remake perfectly designed to play over and over on Radio Disney. Her rendition also proves once again that it’s nearly impossible to mess up Lauper’s perfect pop ode to female independence.
7. “Lilac Wine” by Jeff Buckley
Though this song was originally written and performed by James Shelton in the ’50s, and covered by Nina Simone in the ’60s, we’ll assume Miley was looking to Buckley’s version off his 1994 album, Grace, as inspiration. Especially knowing the fact that last year she tweeted a quote from Buckley in response to rumors that her and then fiancé Liam Hemsworth were on the rocks. For her backyard rendition of the song, Miley keeps things simple, allowing her to show off her voice without any gimmicks and prove she really can sing. We did however take a few points off for her having to read the lyrics off a piece of paper.
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