Why Miley Cyrus Struggled To Perform During The Super Bowl Pre-Game Show

Forget about football. Forget about The Weeknd and the insane amount he paid out of his own pocket for his performance at halftime. For a certain section of the audience, Super Bowl LV was all about Miley Cyrus. The pint-sized popstar performed for 7,500 lucky (and vaccinated) healthcare workers at her very own "TikTok Tailgate" pre-show event, which took in duets with rock icons Billy Idol and Joan Jett, while Cyrus paraded around in a bad-ass cheerleader outfit made just for her. 


As E! News reports, taking to the stage in Tampa, Fla., Cyrus ran through a rousing set including key tracks from her latest album, Plastic Heartsalongside past hits such as "We Can't Stop" and even "The Climb." She managed several covers too, including Nine Inch Nails' "Head Like A Hole" and her fairy godmother Dolly Parton's "Jolene." Although Cyrus was in good spirits throughout, when it came time to perform one of her biggest songs, the Tennessee native faltered.

Wrecking Ball's subject matter still stings the pop star

As People notes, while performing "Wrecking Ball," Cyrus got visibly emotional. She teared up and struggled to get through the powerful chorus, in particular. Breaking down in the middle of it, Cyrus admitted, "It never gets easier." The pop star opened up, once she was eventually done, noting, "Singing that song, 'Wrecking Ball' about feeling completely broken and shattered ...everyone suffering is different, even everyone's threshold of pain." Cyrus revealed, "I wear a lot of glitter and I wear a lot of armor and I also wear my heart on my sleeve, and it gets broken a lot." 


During a December 2020 appearance on Howard Stern's SiriusXM radio show, the "Midnight Sky" hit-maker admitted, of her ex-husband Liam Hemsworth, "I really do and did love him very, very, very much and still do, always will," (via Sky News). "Wrecking Ball" is widely believed to be about the Aussie actor, something Cyrus seemingly confirmed in 2014 in an emotional rant at one of her shows, as E! News reported at the time. Regardless of how much time passes, it seems Cyrus still feels the wounds from that relationship very deeply whenever she performs this particular song.