Crazy Covers: Miley Cyrus Sings Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit”

Videos by American Songwriter

From the “Oh No They Didn’t” Department:

At a recent concert in Ecuador, pop starlet Miley Cyrus debuted her cover of Nirvana’s 1991 grunge rock classic, “Smells Like Teen Spirit.”

“I have a lot of fans come up and tell me that I inspire them and make them want to follow their dreams,” Cyrus told the massive crowd.” And so for this one I want to be able to do the music that inspired me and made me want to be here on this stage tonight. And also, it’s hard being on the road because you miss your family back home,” she said, and dedicated the song to her little brother, who she sings it with at home.

She then launches into some Elaine Benis from Seinfeld style dancing (we thought you were a dancer?) Apparently we’re not alone in thinking this — EW made the same comparison.

The band does it justice, and Miley doesn’t add any country inflections to it. And she can hit those high notes, because, well, she’s a girl. Still, we don’t know what this smells like. You’ll have to judge for yourself.

But it’s arguably better than Casey Abram’s rendition on American Idol this year, which marked the first time the show got their hands on the venerable Cobain catalog. Maybe it should be the last.

What do you make of this crazy cover? Let us know in the comments.


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  1. Or….it’s awesome she covered it because there might have been a few kiddies in that audience who went home, youtubed the lyrics, found Nirvana and are now learning that there just might be other music out there other than what is fed to them through clear channel, MTV, etc.

    Yes, Nirvana is supported by radio and TV, but once you start researching, you get lost in a web of new music discoveries. Maybe she helped a few kids do that. Maybe not.

    She paid tribute (even if it was difficult to hear) …I say, nice work, pop-teen-I-can’t-listen-to-but-am-giving-electronic-high-five-to!

  2. Oh, it’ s just awful, she’s awful. Makes me want to puke! The bands alright, though no drummer is anything like Grohl. Miley, please don’t flatter yourself, you don’t even deserve to yodel those lyrics. She can’t even stay in tune for christsake!

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