×

Miley Cyrus Calls to ‘Free Britney!’ Spears at Memphis Concert

The “Free Britney!” cause can now claim a celebrity adherent. Miley Cyrus yelled out the slogan in Memphis while performing her decade-old hit “Party in the U.S.A.,” during the section that originally had Cyrus repeating the refrain, “And a Britney song was on…”

It wasn’t immediately clear whether Cyrus was taking up the hashtag in earnest or with tongue in cheek, but it was certainly taken as a show of support by those perpetuating the conspiracy-theory-minded meme, which is based in the idea that Spears is being manipulated in her recent mental health treatment and longtime conservatorship.

Cyrus was doing a 20-minute set Saturday night as a surprise during the Beale Street Festival, which she was brought into by Facebook. The social media giant is co-sponsoring the festival to promote their “More Together” campaign, and live-streamed Cyrus’ appearance, which included a duet with Mark Cohn on his “Walking in Memphis.”

The two stars haven’t previously been known to spend a lot of time together, but Spears did make a featured guest appearance on Cyrus’ song “SMS (Bangerz)” in 2013. Last December, Cyrus told New York radio station KTU in an interview that she hoped they’d collaborate again. “If you’ve noticed, I’m the first person that comments on every photo she posts,” Cyrus said. “I’m her biggest fan.”

It’s also worth noting that the two at one point shared management. Adam Leber, who represents Miley and Noah Cyrus, in addition to other clients, was a longtime member of the management team for Spears, but split from Larry Rudolph in late 2017.

The “Free Britney” brigade picked up steam while Spears spent 30 days in April in a mental health facility, during which some fans claimed she was being held against her will — and it’s continued even after she posted a video and written message assuring fans she was fine, checked out of the treatment center in late April and went on to shoot another video of herself doing yoga in a bikini. The small but vocal movement claims that, officially “freed” or not, Spears continues to be suppressed by her mental health care and conservatorship.

“My family has been going through a lot of stress and anxiety lately so I just needed time to deal. But don’t worry I’ll be back very soon,” Spears said in response to the “Free Britney” publicity. “I wanted to say hi, because things that are being said have just gotten out of control … I am trying to take a moment for myself, but everything that’s happening is just making it harder for me. Don’t believe everything you read and hear.”

In January, Spears canceled a planned engagement in Las Vegas this spring, citing her father’s health concerns. At the time, Rudolph told Variety, “Everything is on hold right now until Jamie is better. But once he is, she will resume working on the album with Justin (Tranter).” Subsequently, Spears has been more open about needing time to be treated herself as well as support her family.

”Although the song predates the modern Miley era in which she herself was “freed” from being Hannah Montana, “Party in the U.S.A.” has a big fan in husband Liam Hemsworth. He posted to his Instagram story feed a video of himself on the tarmac singing a very unmelodious version of the Dr. Luke-produced oldie.

 

More Music

  • CDBaby logo

    CD Baby Is Shutting Down Its Retail Store

    As if the name “CD Baby” weren’t already an anachronism, the independent distributor announced late last week that it is shutting down its retail store, although it will continue to distribute physical product through other channels. “CD Baby’s mission is to help artists monetize and promote their music in the best ways possible,” a message [...]

  • Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters

    Foo Fighters Reveal 'Van Tour' Dates to Mark 25th Anniversary

    The Foo Fighters are revisiting their past with a tour to commemorate their first-ever outing as a band in 1995. Dubbed “The Van Tour,” the spring trek will kick off in Phoenix on April 12 and wrap in Hamilton, Ontario on May 12. Each stop will feature a sneak peek at frontman Dave Grohl’s new [...]

  • Harry Styles arrives for the Brit

    Harry Styles Walks Brit Awards Red Carpet After Reported Robbery in London

    Harry Styles walked the red carpet at the Brit Awards in London Tuesday night, shortly after it was reported that he was robbed at knifepoint in his Hampstead neighborhood three nights earlier. Without naming Styles by name, Scotland Yard confirmed Tuesday that an incident seeming to match the circumstances of the alleged assault on the [...]

  • Amazon Music Puts Spotlight on Kane

    'Velocity' Puts Spotlight on Kane Brown as Subject of Amazon Music's Fifth Mini-Doc

    For the fifth entry in its line of mini-documentaries, Amazon Music is putting the spotlight on Kane Brown with a behind-the-scenes look at the young country star that will arrive Thursday, accompanied by a live EP. “Velocity” captures moments leading up to Brown’s headlining appearance at L.A.’s Staples Center Jan. 9, with his wife, managers, [...]

  • American alternative rock band Pearl Jam

    Pearl Jam Tell Congressmen BOSS Ticket-Reform Act Is ‘Flawed’

    UPDATED: The BOSS Act is legislation designed to crack down on improper practices in the secondary ticket market — bots, price-gougers and the like — spearheaded by New Jersey Democratic Congressmen Bill Pascrell and Frank Pallone Jr. The bill, which is officially named the “Better Oversight of Secondary Sales and Accountability in Concert Ticketing Act” [...]

  • Sofar Sounds Unveils a Battery of

    Sofar Sounds Unveils a Battery of New Programs for Artists

    Sofar Sounds — which has made a name and a business for itself by staging “secret gigs and intimate concerts” featuring emerging artists for an invited, engaged audience — today unveiled a series of new programs intended to serve artists better, including a new payment model that will see artists paid more for playing bigger [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content