Hued in various primary colors, Cyrus brought the rock star swagger from the new single’s video into her VMA performance. The live take included a few new elements, including a drum fill before the chorus. The opaque colors turned Cyrus into mostly a silhouette as she writhed around the floor. As the color lifted, Cyrus recreated her “Wrecking Ball” video by riding a disco ball with a spotlight bringing her into focus.
Cyrus famously hosted the VMAs five years ago and at last year’s ceremony, she performed the heart-wrenching “Slide Away,” which she released in August 2019. Following the single, Cyrus joined Ariana Grande and Lana Del Rey for “Don’t Call Me Angel,” released off the Charlie’s Angels soundtrack.
Earlier this summer, Cyrus participated in Global Citizen’s Global Goal: Unite for Our Future, where the pop star covered the Beatles’ “Help!” in an empty Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena, California.
She also spoke extensively on Covid-19 and fighting inequality: “Many of us don’t want to go ‘back to normal,'” she said, “to where we were as a society before Covid-19. We want to move forward to a more just and equal world. Everyone deserves a healthy future, no matter what their skin color, how they identify, where they’re from or how much money they make.”