In all seriousness, Billy Ray Cyrus’s best contribution to country music might be his daughter, Miley Cyrus.
Don’t get me wrong, everybody loves a little “Achy Breaky Heart” when you’ve had a few too many Busch Lattes, but Miley can flat out sing. I wish she’d actually focus on releasing a country album someday, but that’s another story…
Four years ago, Miley proved once again that she has the vocal range to cover basically any song she sets her mind to, and her dynamic stage presence is just a bonus.
Setting all personal stunts and antics aside, this girl is a force when it comes to singing, and one of my favorite performances from Miley is one I’ve gone back to a lot over the years… an impeccable rendition of The Soggy Bottom Boys’ classic, “Man Of Constant Sorrow.”
In a salute to George Clooney, Miley covered the O Brother, Where Art Thou vocal piece with ease, often making eye contact with a smiling George in the audience.
Ironically enough, back in 2000 George Clooney “fine-tuned” his vocals for weeks leading up to the iconic scene in the film where the chain gang trio join to sing the folk song. It was always intended to be George’s real voice on the track, but his singing didn’t make the cut.
Instead, he was replaced by Union Station vocalist, Dan Tyminski.
Almost a decade ago, George Clooney answered fans’ questions on Reddit, sharing some of the behind the scenes on the O Brother, Where Art Thou film:
“I remember they assumed I could sing, I kind of assumed I could too… They were all looking down at the ground and kind of shaking their heads and they play it back and it’s just terrible, and I think great, they’re going to have to tell me they’re going to have to bring in another guy to sing.”
So even though George Clooney himself didn’t make the cut on the vocals, Miley Cyrus threw together a flawless rendition of the song in his honor.
The song won the Grammy for Best Country Collaboration at the 44th Annual Grammy Awards in 2002
But much different than George, Miley superbly slayed the vocals. This folksy cover is just insane and Miley dominates the stage with presence, keeping a crazy smooth, low range on the vocal.
And George made his feelings about her version well known with his constant beaming smile.
The song was originally written first published by Dick Burnett sometime around 1913. Originally called “Farewell Song,” it was Emry Arthur’s 1928 rendition that gave the song the title, “Man Of Constant Sorrow.”
Different versions of the old tune were recorded by a number of artists including the Stanley Brothers, who recorded the song in the 1950s; Bob Dylan, who recorded it in the ’60s. Joan Baez, Barbara Dane, Judy Collins, Peter, Paul and Mary, Ginger Baker’s Air Force and more have all took a run at a variation of the song as well.
But for my money, Miley is up there with the best of ’em.
The Soggy Bottom Boys version: