It seems like it was just a few weeks ago when artists were delivering humbling live performances from the safety of their living rooms. But during Global Citizen‘s Global Goal: Unite for Our Future livestream event on Saturday (June 27) — a production that featured interviews and live performances from the likes of Chloe x Halle, Christine and the Queens, and Justin Bieber — Miley Cyrus set the bar high for socially distant concerts moving forward.
The singer performed her own Miley-fied take on the Beatles classic, “Help!” An appropriate tune for the event, which was meant to bring attention to the marginalized communities most vulnerable to COVID-19, Cyrus appeared in an empty Rose Bowl football stadium. There, wearing a belly-bearing teal gown — a sparkling outfit by French designer Alexandre Vauthier inspired, per Vogue, by the Beatles’ original album artwork — she stood within the base of a giant exclamation point, part of a stage spelling out the song’s title.
Accompanied only by a microphone, Cyrus lent a country twang to the rock-and-roll staple. “Help me get my feet back on the ground,” she sang on the refrain, as if pleading to her virtual audience. “Won’t you please, please help me?”
“For me, the magic of performing is sharing and celebrating music together…being surrounding by people and feeling their energy,” she tweeted on Saturday about the show. “I dedicated this performance to everyone who is working tirelessly for testing, treatments and vaccines so all of us can come together in places like this empty stadium…. I can’t wait to be together again.”
Also during Global Citizen’s broadcast, Miley sat on panel that included Prime Minister Erna Solberg of Norway to discuss the disproportionate toll of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic on marginalized communities, as well as the protests that have erupted around the world in the wake of the killings of unarmed Black Americans at the hands of police.
“My generation is hungry for change and is leading that charge in many ways,” she said. “I’ve just been a student, over the last few months and especially over the few weeks in my home country. I’ve been a student of these organizers and being able to learn and educate myself. That’s kind of what my time is filled with at this moment, even through Global Citizen, just educating myself. I think that’s the first step to making change.”
Cyrus, who has leveraged the platform of her nonprofit, the Happy Hippie Foundation, to amplify the voices of Black activists on the ground, recognized the power of young voices. “Young people are using their voices every day to demand that change, and especially now in this activism, even though change is taking time, we want it to lead to lasting change,” she added. “And something that has been in my mind was wanting to go back to normal, but this new normal of ‘We don’t want to go back to the way things were before. We want to go to a more improved, inspired way of life.'”