One of the most fabulous things in life is when opposites attract and make something magical. That’s certainly what happened when Miley Cyrus decided to cover Metallica’s Nothing Else Matters. Miley Cyrus, daughter of legendary country star Billy Ray Cyrus, first came to fame as the star of the teen show Hannah Montana.
Since then, she has forged a successful musical career in the pop, country and rock genres. Metallica, on the other hand, have always been a purely heavy metal band. They have always been popular with metal fans but recently had an upsurge in popularity following the use of their song Master of Puppets on the hit Netflix series Stranger Things.
However you look at it, though, Miley Cyrus and Metallica don’t seem like an obvious pairing. Miley Cyrus has explained why that isn’t the case. She has said that she felt like the song was written for her. That’s the reason she included it as part of her set at Glastonbury in 2019. She was about to get divorced and had recently lost her home in the California forest fires.
She explains, “This song was what drove me to that place, because I knew nothing else mattered. My life in regards to love was falling apart, but I had my love for music.”
Miley later covered the song again on the album The Blacklist, which is a tribute album released in 2021. A range of artists covered every song from Metallica’s self-titled album from 1991. The name The Blacklist was chosen because the album was more commonly called The Black Album than its given name.
In Miley’s version, she was accompanied on the piano by renowned singer and songwriter Elton John. Miley’s voice is raspy and raw and lends real emotion to the song. Meanwhile, Elton has such undeniable musical talent that he can turn his hand or keys to anything.
If you’ve never heard Miley perform Nothing Else Matters, you should check it out immediately. Whether you’re a Metallica fan, a Miley fan, or neither, it is still definitely worth a listen. The video above is from a live performance on The Howard Stern show in 2021. Due to Covid, Miley and Metallica are in Los Angeles while Howard Stern is in New York. Luckily, the distance doesn’t affect the stellar quality of the performance.
It must have been strange for Metallica frontman James Hetfield to take a backing role as Miley performed the lead. However, he looked every bit as comfortable, and it was an exceptional performance. He also talked a little about the origins of the song. “Late ’80s, we built this reputation of tough guys, we’re made of stone,” Hetfield said. “And this is one of the most vulnerable [songs]. The tougher the armour, the bigger the heart you want to show, but you’re afraid to.”
I’m sure all the Metallica fans out there are very glad the band took the risk and wrote this beautiful song. It’s raw and emotional and shows a completely different side of the band. Miley captures the emotion perfectly, which makes this duet so unique.