The sudden death of Tom Petty rocked the music world on Monday night. Artists came from far and wide to pay tribute to the legendary singer and songwriter, both on social media and on the stage. Miley Cyrus, who literally grew up in the industry, is the latest to do so, covering Petty’s 1994 track “Wildflowers” on the Howard Stern show.
Miley’s version is more countrified than Petty’s original, much like her latest album Younger Now, and she chose the track carefully to honor Petty’s life. “It’s just really hard for me, watching those people that I grew up with leaving,” Miley told Stern before her cover. “The reason why I chose this song is because it’s hopeful. It’s hopeful rather than mourning.”
Backed by guitar strums, Miley belted out a stirring, three-minute rendition of the song, and afterwards noted that she’d gotten teary eyed during the tribute. “What a beautiful tribute to Tom Petty,” Stern remarked. “He would’ve liked that.”
It’s the latest in a long line of tributes to the legendary Petty. Coldplay brought out R.E.M.’s Peter Buck to pay homage. Fleet Foxes chose “Don’t Come Around Here No More,” for their tribute and Wilco delivered an emotional cover of “The Waiting” for theirs.
UPDATE: Miley appeared with her father Billy Ray Cyrus on The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon, where she reprised her “Wildflowers’ performance. Check it out below.