The 4 biggest moments from Miley Cyrus' special Pride Month concert 'Stand By You'

·5 min read

After months of livestreams and limited-capacity audiences, the pews at Nashville's historic Ryman Auditorium filled to capacity for a sparkled, sweaty night celebrating Pride Month with Miley Cyrus.

And if you weren't one of the few lucky thousand who scored a free ticket to the show, that's OK. You can now catch the show from your living room.

A bedazzled Cyrus and her expansive band took to the Ryman in early June to film "Stand By You," an hour-long Pride concert special featuring a handful of country hitmakers, plenty of exuberant wardrobe changes and a vaccinated audience overflowing with excitement after a too-long pause from in-person escapism.

"Miley Cyrus Presents Stand By You" debuts Friday via streaming service Peacock.

"Howdy, Nashville," Cyrus said as fans rumbled the back of pews and shook a rainbow wave of folding flags to greet the night's host. "Thank you so much for filling the Ryman up with all this love and support in honor of Pride Month. I'm just happy to have everybody here under one roof. Everybody is welcome here."

Read along for four must-see moments from "Stand By You."

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After a honky-tonkin' intro under a multi-colored arch, the singer took to kicking off "Stand By You" with a rendition of Cher staple "Believe" — complete with drag queens flanking each side of Cyrus in choreographed dance.

Cyrus called for cover requests in announcing "Stand By You," and the setlist didn't disappoint in digging into joyous singalongs. The husky-voiced pop powerhouse and friends sang cuts from George Michael, ABBA, and a Madonna medley — "Music," "Express Yourself," and "Like a Prayer"

None may be more memorable than Cyrus' take on The Pretenders' "I'll Stand By You," where she leaned into the microphone stand, pointed to audience members and sang the climatic line "I'll stand by you" on repeat.

Between songs, she brought attention to trials facing an LGBTQ community "that some of us have only had to face due to COVID-19."

Kylie Sonique Love (left), Venus Ann Serena, Iris Lefluer, Raquel Rea Heart, Miley Cyrus, Sapphire Mylan, Jaidynn Diore Fierce perform during "Miley Cyrus Present Stand By You," a Pride Month special filmed at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee.
Kylie Sonique Love (left), Venus Ann Serena, Iris Lefluer, Raquel Rea Heart, Miley Cyrus, Sapphire Mylan, Jaidynn Diore Fierce perform during "Miley Cyrus Present Stand By You," a Pride Month special filmed at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee.

"... Isolation, being distanced or removed from our families, or feeling a loss of freedom in lockdown," Cyrus said, "hate and injustice and inequality is a global pandemic all on its own. This community and the rights of individuals apart of it are at risk."

She added, "Standing here in a state that stands proud for patriotisms and a U.S. that represents the land of the free, there's an extensive amount of devoted action that must take place for this country to be exactly all of that for all people."

And Cyrus took time during the show to encourage Nashville to be "welcome to all people, because that's who we are and that's what we do."

"Tennessee has been a place that I have called home all of life, and it provides me with a sense of safety that I wish for everyone to experience," she said. "Let's be that place Nashville, where people of all identities feel at home.

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Maren Morris and Mickey Guyton make guest appearances

Cyrus treated audiences to guest appearances from two of the best modern voices in Nashville: "The Bones" hitmaker Maren Morris and trailblazing "Black Like Me" singer Mickey Guyton.

Each dressed in pink, Morris and Cyrus offered an animated rendition of ABBA's "Dancing Queen." The singers shared verses between swapping dance moves and harmonies during the fan-favorite.

"Alright, y'all, I'm leavin' with Maren Morris" Cyrus jested after the song. "This might be one of those loooong wardrobe changes."

Later in the show, Guyton took stage in a flowing red-orange dress for booming Blondie cover "Heart of Glass."

"I wanna bring out my girl Mickey Guyton, an ally of the community," Cyrus said, adding: "A queen who doesn't have a heart of glass, but a heart of gold."

Maren Morris (left) and Miley Cyrus perform during "Miley Cyrus Presents Stand By You," a Pride Month special filmed at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee.
Maren Morris (left) and Miley Cyrus perform during "Miley Cyrus Presents Stand By You," a Pride Month special filmed at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee.

Brothers Osborne performs 'We Belong'

Guests rotated throughout the night, including masked country riser Orville Peck on stage for a take of The Chicks' "Cowboy Take Me Away " and Little Big Town assisting Cyrus with a Cyndi Lauper cover, "True Colors."

Country duo Brothers Osborne — featuring brothers John and TJ Osborne, the latter who came out earlier this year as the first openly gay man with a major label country recording contract — for an uplifting performance of Pat Benatar's "We Belong."

Joining Cyrus, TJ Osborne filled the Ryman with his distinct, deep voice while John — known for his show-stopping guitar skills — accompanied behind his six-string.

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Ending with a 'Party in the USA'

It wouldn't be a Cyrus show without a little "Party In The USA," right?

After a taste of her songs "We Can't Stop" and "The Climb," Cyrus brought a cohort of cheerleading children to assist a performance of her staple summer hit. In a nod to her Middle Tennessee roots, Cyrus invited the group from Premier Athletics — where the singer said she once laid groundwork for her career to come.

Miley Cyrus debuts "Stand By You" Friday via streaming service Peacock. Cyrus filmed the special June 8, 2021, at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee.
Miley Cyrus debuts "Stand By You" Friday via streaming service Peacock. Cyrus filmed the special June 8, 2021, at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee.

"To create the changes we want to see, it's going to take dedication," Cyrus said. "To make progress, you have to be discipled and take small steps towards big dreams, and be devoted daily. I learned everything I know about that type of diligence from my coaches at Premier Cheerleading."

The show closed with balloons filling the room, streamer cannons exploding, folding fans waving and the night's ensemble singing George Michael's "Freedom! '90."

"I wanna thank you guys for being such an amazing audience," Cyrus said. "I couldn't of asked for more incredible people to fill up this room."

This article originally appeared on Nashville Tennessean: Miley Cyrus Pride Month concert: The 4 biggest moments

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