By Lauren Huff
August 30, 2020 at 08:48 PM EDT
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Miley Cyrus lit up the stage at the MTV Video Music Awards on Sunday night with a performance of her new single, "Midnight Sky."

Dressed in a highly slit black dress, stilettos, and multiple rhinestone-encrusted bangles and rings, Cyrus began belting out her hit single while drenched in red lighting. The stripped-back performance saw the singer appear alone with just the mic stand (with an exceptionally long cord). As the red backdrop turned blue, the singer strutted up a glowing staircase toward a disco ball dangling from a chain, which, after whipping off her skirt, she mounted in a visual homage to her "Wrecking Ball" video.

The performance followed up the emotional debut of her breakup anthem "Slide Away" at last year's VMAs. During that song, a string section backed up Cyrus’ powerful vocals, with the performers sitting onstage around her. The VMAs telecast aired the performance in black and white to set the mood.

"Midnight Sky" is inspired by the past year of Cyrus' life and draws influence from female musical icons, such as Stevie Nicks, Joan Jett, and Debbie Harry. It was released in August as the third single off her much-delayed upcoming album She Is Miley Cyrus. (The first two were "Mother's Daughter" and "Slide Away.") Heading into the evening on Sunday, Cyrus' "Mother's Daughter" music video was up for Best Editing and Best Art Direction.

Cyrus was one of many high profile names to perform at this year's VMAs. Other artists who took the stage include BTS (in their first-ever VMAs performance), Ariana Grande, Lady Gaga, Doja Cat, The Weeknd, Maluma, DaBaby, Latin boy band CNCO, and the Black Eyed Peas.

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