miley cyrus, vmas

Miley Cyrus Performs ‘Slide Away’ Live On VMAs In First Performance Since Liam Hemsworth Split

Miley Cyrus has been dominating the headlines lately after her split from husband Liam Hemsworth and the drama surrounding the end of their relationship. However, after her performance of her latest single “Slide Away” at the 2019 VMAs, held at Newark’s Prudential Center on Monday, she’s getting attention for totally different reasons. 

Cyrus’s performance was her first since the announcement that she and Hemsworth, who only married in December 2018, had decided to go their separate ways. Taking to the stage in a tight mini-dress and Courtney Love-circa-1992 styling, she delivered an incredibly emotional rendition of “Slide Away,” a track which mourns love lost.

Her vocals were totally on point and full of the pain and heartache you’d expect from someone who’s recently said goodbye to the person they were entangled with for more than a decade.

It was an important performance not only because it continued to cement Miley Cyrus as an artistic powerhouse but because it brought the focus back where it should be: on her artistry rather than the rumors surrounding her relationship with Hemsworth and its ending.

After all, just last week, Cyrus had to clarify that they didn’t break up because she cheated—a statement she likely felt compelled to make after she was photographed making out with Brody Jenner’s ex Kaitlynn Carter on a yacht not long after the split was announced. 

She stood center-stage, just her and a mic and a few background singers in the shadows behind, and sang her heart out. Part of the power of the performance was its simplicity; Miley Cyrus has never needed bells and whistles to stand out (something she seemed to have forgotten during the Bangerz era, unfortunately) and she proved it again on Monday night. It was a faultless execution that you couldn’t help but admire even if you aren’t a Cyrus fan, and isn’t that what good music is all about? 

More 2019 VMAs winners and losers: