×

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

  • Matteo BocelliAmerican Icon Awards Gala, Inside,

    Top Music Manager Calls Out American Icon Awards for Failing to Pay Talent

    The centuries-old adage no good deed goes unpunished is a common refrain for star music manager Scott Rodger of late. Rodger, who represents Paul McCartney and Andrea Bocelli at Maverick, says his client Matteo Bocelli, the son of the opera star, was stiffed out of promised expense reimbursement by the American Icon Awards. The event, [...]

  • Gary Clark Jr.Gary Clark Jr.in concert

    Gary Clark Jr. Brings the Austin Flame to a Hollywood Heat-Wave BBQ (Watch)

    When you have Grammys producer Ken Ehrlich, rocker Michael Des Barres and a flock of dancing young women all rushing the stage at a private event, that’s a good sign you’ve got it going on. Even L.A.’s biggest heat wave of the year so far couldn’t keep a mixed music industry audience away from the [...]

  • The dark Manhatten skyline, seen from

    StubHub Refunds $500,000 to Customers Shut Out by New York Blackout

    Saturday’s blackout in New York had an outsized effect on the city’s nightlife, with Madison Square Garden and the entire Broadway district seeing multiple shows cancelled due to the the power outage. As a result, StubHub has refunded more than $500,000 worth of tickets for cancelled events. According to a statement from the company, the StubHub [...]

  • Spotify logo is presented on a

    U.S. Consumers to Spend $26 Billion on Music, Video Subscriptions This Year

    U.S. consumers are expected to spend a combined $26 billion on music and video subscription services this year, according to new estimates from the Consumer Technology Association. That’s up from $20.4 billion in 2018, and nearly twice the amount spent on such services in 2017. Propelled by the continued success of Apple Music and Spotify, [...]

  • Mary Bailey Steve D'Angelo, Jim Belushi

    Cannabis Industry Tackles Justice Reform With 'Last Prisoner Project'

    Jim Belushi is standing two feet away in the backyard of his spacious Brentwood home, honking a harp like he’s a Blues Brother back in sweet home Chicago accompanied by noted reggae band Rebelution’s Eric Rachmany and Kyle Ahern, who provide a 12-bar shuffle. There’s the sweet smell of skunk – and success — hanging [...]

  • Rihanna House

    Rihanna Seeks Renter for Hollywood Hills Villa

    Not having had any luck selling, Rihanna now seeks a well-heeled renter for a Hollywood Hills residence that is now available to rent at $35,000 per month, after it popped up for sale for late last year at almost $7.5 million. The mono-monikered Barbadian pop superstar and international style icon, also a savvy beauty, fashion [...]

  • Post Malone

    Post Malone Announces Fall Arena Tour With Swae Lee

    Post Malone has announced a fall arena tour, where he’ll be joined by Swae Lee and Tyla Yaweh, kicking off Sept. 14 in Tacoma, WA and running through November, where it’ll wrap up with southern California shows No. 16 at the Honda Center and Nov. 20 at the Forum. The “Runaway Tour” will also make [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content