You never know what you’re going to come across in the New York Subway. It could be a pizza rat, hero ballet dancers, a secret Miley Cyrus concert. You just never know.
Yes, Miley Cyrus, as part of a segment for Wednesday evening’s episode of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, decided to forgo the luxuries of fresh air and a rat-free environment to perform two songs underground at the 47–50 Street Rockefeller Center subway station. “No one knows this is going to happen. No one knows it’s Miley Cyrus,” Fallon teased before they donned some light disguises.
Perched on a platform and armed with simply a microphone—Fallon, meanwhile, flails around with various instruments—Cyrus started the short set with a raspy rendition of her godmother Dolly Parton’s country staple “Jolene.” Subway-dwellers quickly realized Cyrus’ voice was perhaps a little too good for an underground setting, and by the time the second chorus came around, the duo was swarmed with spectators.
“This is my first time at the subway station, this is exciting as s— for me!” Cyrus proclaimed before breaking out her second tune, the fan favorite “Party in the U.S.A.” And the crowd (rightfully) went wild, taking out their phones and singing along to the improvised lyrics of “party in the subway.” (We guess Miley is saving “Malibu” for her next underground gig.)
The appearance stems from Cyrus taking over The Tonight Show for an entire episode, where she also discussed the surprising reason she stopped smoking weed (and how Fallon was connected to it): she kept appearing on the late-night show while high, and she realized it wasn’t fulfilling for her anymore. “I stopped smoking because, to sit here and to talk about what I’m doing, I want to be really clear,” she explained. “Because I’m the most passionate about what I’m doing with this record … this record for me, at this moment, is the most important record I’ve ever made, so I wanted to make sure I’m super clear about the way I’m talking.”
Correction: The author of this piece is Devon Ivie.
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