There was a lot of bad in the 2014 Billboard Music Awards, but the jewel in the crown was someone allowing Miley Cyrus to sing a Beatles song. Whoever thought that was a great plan has some serious explaining to do.
Everything about her performance of “Lucy In the Sky With Diamonds” was wrong, so where do you begin? How about the orchestration? Rather than doing a straight cover, Miley and her collaborators, The Flaming Lips, chose to change things up musically. The differences didn’t work at all would have been better left off the show.
Then there was the extravagance of the song’s staging. The Beatles weren’t a very showy band. They relied on their music to tell the story and it served them well throughout their time as a band. Things are a bit different in 2014, but there was no reason for costumes that looked like they were made out of tinsel and glitter cannons.
The crazy thing is Miley can sing. She’s a great vocalist when she wants to be. Had she performed a stripped down acoustic version of “Lucy In the Sky With Diamonds,” it could have actually been really fantastic. Instead, this is the performance viewers got and everyone involved deserved better.
Sadly, it’s also going to be the performance that never goes away. The song will be part of “With A Little Help From My friends,” a track-for-track remake of “Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band,” by The Flaming Lips. The band is hooking up with acts like Cyrus and Moby. Chances are Miley singing the track will be on the radio by the end of summer.