As she’s wont to do, Miley Cyrus is in the midst of yet another rebirth, which kicked off with her comeback at the very end of November in the form of a pop culture martyr in the music video for her new single with Mark Ronson, “Nothing Breaks Like a Heart.” Then, the next week, she popped up alongside Kendall Jenner and Hailey Baldwin (who’s undergone a recent rebrand herself, transforming into Hailey Bieber) on Carpool Karaoke to join them in performing her 2009 bop “Party in the U.S.A.” And then, over the weekend, she appeared on Saturday Night Live to perform her new single and yet another new one: her and Sean Lennon’s new cover of John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s “Happy Xmas (War Is Over).”
Just a couple of days later, Cyrus proved she’s not finished just yet. Her latest appearance, however, saw her nod to another name of the moment: In addition to playing “Nothing Breaks Like a Heart,” she took a break from performing her original songs to cover Ariana Grande‘s “No Tears Left to Cry” with Ronson and even a string ensemble during their taped appearance at BBC Radio 1′s Live Lounge in London on Monday. (Aka two days after Grande’s ex, Pete Davidson, introduced her on SNL.)
Cyrus isn’t the first to cover the hit, from Grande’s album Sweetener: Fall Out Boy’s Patrick Stump also released an acoustic cover of “No Tears Left to Cry,” though Cyrus definitely showed him up with that string ensemble. (Although Mumford & Sons, who like Alessia Cara and the 1975 have also covered Grande this year, admittedly tapped an even larger orchestra to perform “Breathin” at the BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge in November.)
Cyrus and Grande have teamed up in the past; they covered Crowded House’s 1986 song “Don’t Dream It’s Over” in 2015. And Grande, for her part, recently returned the love by promoting Cyrus’s “Happy Xmas (War Is Over),” which Cyrus responded to with an enthusiastic “Love u sweet baby Ari!” Come to think of it, Cyrus’s “No Tears Left to Cry” cover might just end up serving as her audition to appear on Grande’s upcoming breakup album.
Miley Cyrus Bares All in W Magazine
“Pillow Tweets,” February 2014. Photo by Mert & Marcus, styled by Edward Enninful.