Backyard Sessions

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The Backyard Sessions are two series of music videos released by Miley Cyrus on YouTube in 2012 and 2015. The 2015 series coincided with the formation of Cyrus's philanthropic organization, the Happy Hippie Foundation, and were billed as "Happy Hippie Presents Backyard Sessions".

The first series was released between September and December 2012, and showed Cyrus performing covers of classic songs with her band in an outdoor setting. Performances included "Lilac Wine" by James Shelton, "Look What They've Done to My Song Ma" by Melanie Safka, and "Jolene" by Dolly Parton.[1][2][3] In 2015, Cyrus released a new set of Backyard Sessions videos to publicize the launch of the Happy Hippie Foundation. On May 6, the first daily video was posted to social media. Cyrus performed with Joan Jett of The Runaways, covering Jett's 2013 song "Different".[4] In the second video, released a day later, Cyrus covered Dido's "No Freedom", dedicated to Leelah Alcorn, a teenage transgender girl who killed herself by walking out in front of traffic the previous December.[5] Three more videos were posted on May 9, 2015. In the first, Cyrus performed "Androgynous" by The Replacements alongside Jett and Against Me! frontwoman Laura Jane Grace,[6] who came out as transgender in 2012.[7] In the fourth installment of the Happy Hippie Backyards Sessions, Cyrus provided backing vocals for Grace's performance of the Against Me! song "True Trans Soul Rebel".[8]

Cyrus was joined by Melanie Safka for performances of "Peace Will Come (All According to Plan)" and "Look What They've Done to My Song Ma", as covered in the original Backyards Sessions videos.[9][10] On performing with Cyrus, Safka commented that Cyrus showed "only the part she wanted me to see," but added that she was "very accommodating" and "totally real [...] Her heart is really in the music. The true test of character, for me, is if your heart is in the music."[11] Safka credited the videos with an increase in young people at her concerts.[11] Safka also performed a rendition of "Yaw Baby (Break My Heart)" while Cyrus watched in the background.[12]

Cyrus was joined by Ariana Grande for a cover of "Don't Dream It's Over" by Crowded House.[13] Cyrus wore a unicorn onesie, while Grande wore a mouse onesie.[14] The pair reprised the performance at the One Love Manchester benefit concert organized by Grande in June 2017.[15] In the final Happy Hippie Backyards Sessions videos, Cyrus performed solo. She sang "Pablow the Blowfish" in memory of her recently deceased pet fish.[16] The song later appeared on Miley Cyrus & Her Dead Petz (2015). She also performed a cover of "Happy Together" by The Turtles, as well as Paul Simon's classic "50 Ways to Leave Your Lover".[17]


  1. ^ Brodsky, Rachel (September 7, 2012). "New Song: Miley Cyrus Covers 'Lilac Wine,' And We Are Officially Bowled Over With WOW". MTV News. Viacom. Retrieved June 15, 2017. 
  2. ^ "Miley Cyrus 'Look What They've Done To My Song': Singer Covers Classic Folk Song (WATCH)". Huff Post. AOL. October 4, 2012. Retrieved June 15, 2017. 
  3. ^ "Miley Cyrus Releases 'Jolene' Video: Singer Covers Dolly Parton's Classic Song (VIDEO)". Huff Post. AOL. December 26, 2012. Retrieved June 15, 2017. 
  4. ^ Hilton, Perez (May 5, 2015). "Miley Cyrus Launches Her Happy Hippie Foundation With A Backyard Session With Joan Jett!". Retrieved November 14, 2016. 
  5. ^ Saul, Heather (May 9, 2015). "Miley Cyrus pays tribute to late transgender teen Leelah Alcorn as she launches homeless LBGT Happy Hippie Foundation". The Independent. Retrieved 26 June 2017. 
  6. ^ Goble, Corban (May 8, 2015). "Against Me!'s Laura Jane Grace, Joan Jett, and Miley Cyrus Cover the Replacements' "Androgynous"". Pitchfork. Condé Nast. Retrieved June 15, 2017. 
  7. ^ "Tom Gabel of Against Me! Comes Out as Transgender". Rolling Stone. Wenner Media. May 8, 2012. Retrieved November 14, 2016. 
  8. ^ Kerps, Daniel (May 10, 2015). "Miley Cyrus and Laura Jane Grace Perform Against Me! Track". Rolling Stone. Wenner Media. Retrieved June 15, 2017. 
  9. ^ Dionne, Zach (May 11, 2015). "Watch Miley Cyrus' "Peace Will Come (According to Plan)" in New Backyard Session With Melanie Safka". Fuse Networks. Retrieved June 15, 2017. 
  10. ^ Varga, George (May 14, 2015). "Watch Miley Cyrus & Woodstock alum duet". The San Diego Union-Tribune. Tronc. Retrieved June 15, 2017. 
  11. ^ a b Bingaman, Brian (March 10, 2016). "Melanie talks about hanging out with Miley Cyrus, an award held hostage 26 years, and more". Ticket to Entertainment. 21st Century Media. Retrieved June 15, 2017. 
  12. ^ "Happy Hippie Presents: Yaw Baby (Break My Heart) (Performed by Melanie Safka)". CMT. Viacom. Retrieved June 15, 2017. 
  13. ^ "Miley Cyrus & Ariana Grande cover Don't Dream It's Over for Happy Hippie Foundation". Entertainment Weekly. Time Inc. May 13, 2015. Retrieved June 15, 2017. 
  14. ^ Lovitt, Bryn (May 14, 2015). "Miley Cyrus and Ariana Grande Put on Their Best Onesies and Covered Crowded House's "Don't Dream It's Over"". Vice Media. Retrieved June 15, 2017. 
  15. ^ Weiss, Suzanne (June 4, 2017). "Ariana Grande and Miley Cyrus Sing Duet at Manchester Benefit Concert". Teen Vogue. Condé Nast. Retrieved June 15, 2017. 
  16. ^ Malec, Brett (May 19, 2015). "Miley Cyrus Actually Wrote a Beautiful Song About Her Dead Blowfish, Pablow, and the Lyrics Are Insane". E! Online. Retrieved 23 June 2017. 
  17. ^ Van Nguyen, Dean (May 19, 2015). "Miley Cyrus covers The Turtles' 'Happy Together' as part of Backyard Sessions". NME. Retrieved 23 June 2017.