Cyrus, 27, owned the awards show as she danced in all black against a technicolor backdrop during her funky, fun performance. The musician then channeled her inner “Wrecking Ball” self by jumping on to a disco ball that was swinging from the ceiling.
The 2020 musical moment was the first time Cyrus sang her new single since its August 14 release. Cyrus cowrote the track with Dua Lipa, Max Martin and Ilya Salmanzadeh. She also dropped a colorful corresponding music video, which she directed.
The Last Song actress is nominated for Best Art Direction and Best Editing for “Mother’s Daughter,” which brings her career total VMAs nominations to 14. Both “Mother’s Daughter” and “Midnight Sky” are singles from the musician’s upcoming studio album, She Is Miley.
Cyrus was one of many artists recruited for the live show amid the coronavirus pandemic. Lady Gaga, Ariana Grande, BTS, The Weeknd, Doja Cat, J Balvin, Roddy Ricch, Maluma and CNCO were also set to entertain the virtual audience.
In anticipation of the show, the Hannah Montana alum showed her excitement about the song’s awards show debut via social media.
“S—ts about to get freaky I can feel it,” the “Wrecking Ball” singer wrote via Instagram on August 17. “I hope you’re ready…. I’m performing at the 2020 #VMAs! Tune in August 30 at 8p on @MTV! @vmas.”
The next day, the former VMAs host — Cyrus helmed the awards show in 2015 — shared a clip of herself rocking out on stage during a past performance.
“Me @ the VMAs next weekend… (actually me at the VMAs 7 years ago but who’s countin) ,” she wrote via Instagram alongside a snippet of her 2013 show. The video showed Cyrus in her teddy bear costume dancing inside Barclays Center in New York City.
Throughout quarantine, the “We Can’t Stop” artist has focused on her music and herself — having split from Cody Simpson earlier this month. Us Weekly confirmed the breakup on August 13, which came 10 months after the two first started dating.
A source told Us exclusively that the pair “realized they’re better off as friends than dating each other.”