Last night, Miley Cyrus took to the stage for her MTV Unplugged performance featuring Madonna, a pantomime horse, plenty of sequins and of course, twerking. Miley told the audience she wanted to 'bring Nashville here for the night,’ and she certainly did, first dressed in a red gingham ensemble complete with cowboy boots and then denim sequinned trousers and shirt with a matching bra underneath, topped off with a cowboy hat.
Miley at pre Grammy gala
Miley preformed hits such as 'Wrecking Ball' and 'Do My Thang' as well as a cover of Dolly Parton’s 'Jolene'. However, the highlight of the night was undoubtedly the Teen Queen taking to the stage alongside her idol Madonna for a performance of their hits ‘Don’t Tell Me’ and ‘We Can’t Stop’ combined. Madonna was dressed right for the occasion, wearing a black cowboy outfit with silver sequins. The pair enjoyed some raunchy dancing together, with Cyrus tweeting afterwards ‘I SPANKED @Madonna (hard) (& she liked it).’
Miley at Planet Hollywood in December
Miley’s full on unplugged spectacular seems a long way away from some of the show’s most memorable, more stripped down performances. In 1991 Paul McCartney first brought attention to the show with his appearance which included Beatles hits alongside some much rarer tracks.
Mariah Carey then cemented herself as one of the decade’s greatest female singers when she took to the stage in 1992. She performed a cover of ‘I’ll Be There’ by the Jackson 5 which went on to be a Billboard number one single and led to the release of her full Unplugged album.
Perhaps the most iconic Unplugged session was from Nirvana in 1993. Their appearance would be one of their last performances as singer Kurt Cobain died five months later. They won a Grammy in 1996 for Best Alternative Music Performance for their 50 minute set which included some of their lesser known songs as well as covers.
British rock band Oasis had a different set up than usual when they taped their performance in 1996. Singer Liam Gallagher pulled out at the last minute leaving brother Noel to take on lead vocal duties, all whilst Liam heckled from the balcony. Noel pulled it off, however, leading to one of the band’s most acclaimed performances.
Finally Jay-Z proved that rap could go ‘Unplugged’ too perfoming in 2001 with hip hop band The Roots. The subsequent album would go on to sell over 600,000 copies.