From bringing a homeless teen onstage at the MTV Video Music Awards to slamming the Indiana governor over the state’s controversial religious freedom law, Miley Cyrus isn’t afraid to tackle pressing social issues head on. With that in mind, the Bangerz singer has established the Happy Hippie Foundation, an organization that aims to bring awareness towards issues affecting homeless youth and other vulnerable populations such as the LGBT youth community.
To help raise funds and awareness for her new foundation, Cyrus has teamed with Facebook for the Backyard Sessions, which will find the singer teaming with another artist for a unique performance filmed in Cyrus’ own backyard. Joan Jett, Ariana Grande, Against Me!’s Laura Jane Grace and Melanie Safka are among the artists who will collaborate with Cyrus for the sessions. Each video will debut exclusively on Facebook with an option to donate toward the Happy Hippie Foundation.
In the first Backyard Sessions video, Jett joins the Bangerz singer on a rollicking rendition of the self-affirming anthem “Different,” a track off Jett and the Blackhearts’ 2013 LP Unvarnished. “I think what Miley’s doing is wonderful and important to help people find their authentic selves,” Jett tells Rolling Stone of the Happy Hippie Foundation. “I’m proud to be a part of it.”
“Pointless judgment and its effects are unfortunately something that is way too common. All humans have valid feelings and rights! I want to use my voice as a megaphone to young people everywhere and encourage human evolution,” Cyrus said in a statement. “No one should have to hide who they really are, no matter what his or her name, gender or status. That’s why Happy Hippies are here to say that every life is valuable!”
When Cyrus inducted Joan Jett into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, she spoke of collaborating with Jett on the Backyard Sessions. “I do want to say one final story about when I knew that I loved Joan so fucking much,” Cyrus said. “And this shit kind of fucks me up because it’s the day that she was dedicating her time to an upcoming project for my foundation, supporting the LGBT homeless youth. She was running around our backyard. She was with my dogs, playing with my pig, and I played the Tibetan bowls for her at sunset.”
Visit Cyrus’ Happy Hippie Foundation for more information or to donate.