Both Miley Cyrus and Billy Ray Cyrus covered Tom Petty‘s 1994 song “Wildflowers” on Thursday’s Tonight Show. Sweet and simple, you can even hear a hint of Dolly Parton come out with Miley’s vibrato.
Miley led with her one-of-a-kind vocals, flooded with soul and emotion. Her father found refuge behind his acoustic guitar, face hidden beneath his cowboy hat. He also added simple, beautiful harmonies which played well with his daughter’s tone. Miley certainly played up the father-daughter connection as well, asking, “Are you ready, Dad?” before the instrumental section of the song and even hugging her father at the end.
About Tom Petty’s “Wildflowers”
“Wildflowers” is a simple and serene single from Petty’s album of the same name. Petty wrote the album following his heartbreaking and unfortunate divorce.
“I just took a deep breath and it came out. The whole song. Stream of consciousness: words, music, chords. Finished it. I mean, I just played it into a tape recorder and I played the whole song and I never played it again. I actually only spent three and a half minutes on that whole song. So I’d come back for days playing that tape, thinking there must be something wrong here because this just came too easy. And then I realized that there’s probably nothing wrong at all.”
-Tom Petty on Writing “Wildflowers”
Miley has been promoting her new album “Younger Now” all week on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.” On Wednesday, she and Fallon even teamed up for a tribute to Dolly Parton’s and Kenny Rogers‘ 1983 duet “Islands in the Stream.”
You can experience the bewitching simplicity of the Cyruses’ cover of Petty’s “Wildflowers” at the start of the article. During a time of mourning and heartache it is refreshing to witness younger artists cover the poetic musical brilliance of those we have lost. Way to go, Miley–this is a major win.