Miley’s Onstage Muses

miley press photoThe reviews for Miley Cyrus’s Bangerz Tour are in, and many fans and critics have mentioned that there are at least a few moments when Miley showcases her better-than-average, actually-pretty-good vocal skills. The girl can sing. Which is why it might seem unnecessary to use the antics she does. Riding on a hotdog over the crowd? Come on now, you know the audience was waiting to see you swing on a wrecking ball. Still, the Bangerz Tour is the most recent episode of Miley’s new coming-out party, and we’re all just along for the ride. If sliding onto stage on a tongue, through a giant version of her own face, or getting frisky with a gold car in a marijuana-themed outfit is integral to Miley’s marketing plan, then so be it.

The star must be doing something right. After all, her tour was mentioned on Twitter on average 8.7 thousand times per day before it even began. According to social media tool Viralheat, the majority of these tweets were positive, with only 25 percent having had any sort of negative sentiment. Looks like her more than 17 million followers will inevitably keep this star a celebrity for a long time yet. In the meantime, we can hardly begrudge the star for her stunts, since after all, previous stars have proven that the absurd works.

Madonna
Madonna might just be the woman who taught Miley that stage antics were key to a good show. After all, Madonna had been threatened with a lawsuit by the French government’s National Front Party for superimposing Nazi imagery over the face of party leader Marine Le Pen. Le Pen warned in the newspaper Le Parisian: “If she does that in France, we’ll be waiting for her… It’s understandable when aging singers who need publicity go to such extremes.” Ouch. Madonna still aired the montage with the offensive image, despite the threat. Madonna has also had a history with guns, pointing them at the audience, and at herself. The promotional trailer for her and photographer Steven Klein’s short film, secretprojectrevolution, featured her holding a gun to a man’s head execution style. Madonna has also bared her breasts at her concerts, as well as simulated masturbation. Additionally, her 2008-2009 Sticky & Sweet Tour cost a whopping $261 million to stage, approximately $2 million per show. The two massive, sparkly “M”s on both sides of the stage cost $1 million each, and the Queen of Pop herself entered on a white Rolls Royce accompanied by virtual, digitally-created Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears, Pharrell Williams, and Kanye West.

Lady Gaga
Someone should warn Miley that she will likely never outdo the stage outfits of Lady Gaga. Miley might throw down for some wacky props, but Gaga makes her own body a wacky prop all for the benefit of her Little Monsters. Take for instance her bloody performance of ‘Paparazzi’ at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards, at the end of which she was covered in gore, hanging from the ceiling. She’s also worn bubbles as an outfit on her Fame Ball Tour back in 2009, as well as ensembles made out of meat, Kermit the Frogs, and Hello Kitty toys. Unlike the stars who keep their antics slightly more muted when offstage, Lady Gaga views the world as her stage. And her stage props? Move aside, giant Miley head. Gaga has already outdone you with her five-story Gothic castle, which was dragged around and set up at 98 different concert venues. The castle weighed 30 tonnes and was able to be assembled in less than six hours. The 400 square feet of built-in LED lighting, and 15 tractors necessary to move the caste took more than $2 million to create.

Cher
Cher had actually critiqued Miley’s performance at the VMAs, but we all remember that it was Cher who showed the world her tattooed buttocks in a music video aboard the USS Missouri. Cher’s performance of “If I Could Turn Back Time”, with her scantily clad and prancing around a ship full of young soldiers, can hardly be considered modest. Cher is also the true originator of shocking red carpet wardrobes. Miley may make appearances in barely-there jerseys and net-dresses, but Cher’s 1986 Bob Mackie “dress,” featuring a feathered headdress, was rumoured to have been a response to an Academy memo to nominees about the preferred dress code. Obviously, the memo didn’t work. And after seeing Cher debut almost every hair color, headdress, and costume there is, from Native American to Cleopatra, we really can’t blame Miley for emulating.