Miley Cyrus won the first broadcast award of the evening at last night’s Grammy Awards, beating out Doja Cat, Billie Eilish, Olivia Rodrigo and Taylor Swift, to win Best Pop Solo Performance for “Flowers”.
It’s her first ever Grammy (although she won another later in the evening) — which is wild, because I think she’s one of the best performers (and possibly vocalists) of my generation. But, to be fair, the general public is just starting to give her her flowers after peeling back the layers of shocking imagery and rebellious antics that helped her shed her Disney era, so the Grammys just getting hip to Miley’s artistry makes sense because the Grammys are famously late to the party, despite it y’know… being their job.
Miley seemed to reference her lack of love from the academy in the classiest of ways in her acceptance speech. Inspired, after receiving the award from Mariah Carey, she told a story involving Mariah’s favourite symbol: the butterfly. Miley talked about a little boy who wanted so badly to catch a butterfly for his birthday, so his parents gave him a net and he tried and tired but couldn’t.
“With no luck, he sat down on the ground, he finally let go and he surrendered. And he was okay that he wasn’t going to capture this beautiful butterfly. And right when he did, is when the butterfly came and landed right on the tip of his nose. This song ‘Flowers’ is my butterfly. Thank you.”
Performing “Flowers” later in the show, Miley opened her performance by calling out the audience for being stuffy: “Why are ya’ll acting like ya’ll don’t know this song?” You can say that when your song spends 8 weeks at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. She used the performance to celebrate her win and shade her ex-husband, Liam Hemsworth — the widely alleged inspiration for the song — by adlibbing some (extra) lyrics into the bridge…
“I didn’t wanna leave (but had to),
I didn’t wanna fight (but we did),
Start to cry, but then remembered I (just won my first Grammy!)”
Ugh, we love messiness! You could say, why does she keep shading him years after the divorce and when he’s not really mentioned her? But it’s a personal song she wrote about her personal life and she’s reminding us this isn’t some smash hit, breakup anthem penned by a songwriting farm paid for by her label — this is her real-life experience channeled into music. And a cheeky adlib only added to the specialness of this performance, which honestly… she was rude to tease us with since she’s made the mental health decision to take an indefinite hiatus from touring.
But I loved watching her take a victory lap of the Grammys stage, proving she’s a modern day rock star and paying tribute to the Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll, Tina Turner, with her wardrobe as well as remixing “Flowers” to a “Proud Mary”-esque rhythm, before tossing her mic-stand to the ground and walking off. How can you not say mother?