When Miley Cyrus was announced as the headliner for the Super Bowl LV TikTok Tailgate Pre-Show, we naturally assumed that the pop star would deliver another one of her show-stopping covers a la her electrifying renditions of Blondie’s “Heart Of Glass” or The Cranberries’ “Zombie.” But no one could’ve properly prepared for when Sunday afternoon actually rolled around and Cyrus performed not one, but eight different covers during her 18-song set, including a rowdy rendition of Bikini Kill’s “Rebel Girl.” To top it all off, she also brought along Billy Idol and Joan Jett to perform some of their career classics in addition to their Plastic Hearts features.
Dressed in a purple and black cheerleader two-piece by Gucci and waving a matching set of pom poms, Cyrus kicked off her set with an energetic cover of Toni Basil’s “Mickey.” She later brought out Idol to perform their song “Night Crawling” and his 1982 hit “White Wedding.” Then came a slew of covers, most of them ones she’d previously performed, like Nine Inch Nails’ “Head Like A Hole” and Dolly Parton’s “Jolene.” The real surprise came during the second-half — after she and Joan Jett sang “Bad Reputation” and “I Hate Myself for Loving You” — when Cyrus unveiled a gravelly and rowdy rendition of Bikini Kill’s “Rebel Girl.”
Cyrus has long been a public admirer of Bikini Kill’s frontwoman and feminist punk pioneer Kathleen Hanna. Back in 2014, Cyrus posted a couple photos of Hanna to her Instagram, including the iconic image of Hanna with “SLUT” written across her stomach. At the time, Hanna responded back with her gratitude and a proposition: "an idea for an album that only you are daring enough to make." Nearly seven years later, and we’re still hoping that a Cyrus and Bikini Kill era is on its way. Now that Cyrus has tackled classic rock with Plastic Hearts, riot grrrl punk doesn't seem so far-fetched.
Cyrus performed her TikTok Tailgate Pre-Game set for a portion of the 7500 vaccinated frontline workers that were specially invited to the Super Bowl in Tampa, Florida. The entire set was live-broadcasted on TikTok, with CBS airing a few select segments. You can watch clips of Cyrus' full show below.