Musicians everywhere have spent the week paying tribute to the late Tom Petty, with artists like Wilco, The National, and Fleet Foxes all turning in live covers of the iconic rocker. The latest to honor the recently passed legend comes from Miley Cyrus, who remembered Petty during her appearance on The Howard Stern Show.
Cyrus chose to cover the title track to Petty’s 1994 solo album, Wildflowers, for a very careful reason. “It’s just really hard for me, watching those people that I grew up with leaving,” Miley told Stern. “The reason why I chose this song is because it’s hopeful. It’s hopeful rather than mourning.” She then went into a stripped-down, countryfied version of the song, backed by nothing but an acoustic guitar and a fiddle. Cyrus got slightly choked up during the powerful performance, and Howard commented at the end, “What a beautiful tribute to Tom Petty. He would’ve liked that.”
Take a listen below.
Whether Cyrus knew it or not, covering “Wildflowers” on a SiriusXM show was a remarkably apt way to honor Petty. During what would become his final interview, he mentioned how his own satellite radio show, Buried Treasure, had kept him involved and actively listening to music. He also said he had plans for a new solo album which would serve as a sequel of sorts to Wildflowers.
Update – October 6th: On Thursday night’s episode of The Tonight Show, Cyrus again covered “Wildflowers”, this time with accompaniment from her father, Billy Ray Cyrus.