Miley Cyrus raised quite a few eyebrows when it was announced one of the current-day queens of pop would feature on Metallica’s Blacklist covers album, though any potential naysayers were promptly silenced upon the release of her epic Nothing Else Matters reworking.
Now, Cyrus has performed the track alongside Metallica themselves, with the pair joining forces for an impressive live appearance on Howard Stern’s Live On the Stern Show.
Taking cues from Metallica’s original version, as opposed to Cyrus’s piano-loaded studio rendition, Kirk Hammett gets proceedings underway on his "Greeny" Gibson Les Paul, with James Hetfield and co making their entrance to flesh out the super-clean, ultra-tight instrumentation.
Cyrus’s voice and sonic range is a serious force to be reckoned with, modestly starting out in the haunting lower register before making her way into a wailing, goosebumps-inducing vocal performance that effortlessly gels with Hetfield, who joins in for some sweet chorus harmonies.
Earlier in the broadcast, Cyrus discussed the importance of the song while in the company of the band, and said she originally covered it for her appearance at Glastonbury Festival in 2019 – a time in which she had lost her home in the California wildfires and was going through a divorce.
“[The festival] is about honoring music, and nothing else matters at that moment,” she reflected. “When you’re at Glastonbury, any of the shit that is said about me, it’s a moment to kind of prove myself because it’s just focused on the music.”
“Nothing Else Matters to me was about the music. This whole conversation is resonating with me. I was afraid of so much, I was so heartbroken.
“My purpose was coming from this performance. I got sober at that time. I really pulled my shit together, and this song was what drove me to that place. My life in regards to love was falling apart, but I had my love for music.
“This is my love letter to music. That is what it means to me.”