While her whittled stomach and occasional crotch-grabs compete for attention, Cyrus really can sing, and it shows on her episode of "MTV Unplugged," airing Wednesday.
Cyrus taped the acoustic concert Tuesday on a Hollywood soundstage, performing stripped-down versions of selected songs from her latest album, "Bangerz," and closing with a booty-slapping duet with Madonna.
"So, it sounds super lame, but as a pop star it's pretty cool performing with Madonna," the 21-year-old said after singing a mash-up of Madonna's 2000 track "Don't Tell Me" and Cyrus' hit "We Can't Stop." Cyrus spanks the 55-year-old Queen of Pop during the duet, which made Madonna's Britney Spears kiss feel like it was way more than 10 years ago.
This is Cyrus' show, and it's a hoedown. Backed by a seven-piece band on a stage decorated with hay bales, Cyrus gives her acoustic songs a country touch, adding a twang to "4x4" and "Bangerz."
"I'm from Nashville," she said. "And since I couldn't make all of you guys go back home with me, I tried to bring Nashville here for the night."
Cyrus also includes elements from her more recent shows: a little person, a giant woman and two men in a horse costume. She works in a fair amount of curse words, tongue extensions and sultry moves as she performs songs including "Wrecking Ball," ''Adore You" and "Drive."
"I feel like I'm at karaoke, but it's only my turn," she said, "which is what I really like."