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Kesha, Miley Cyrus and Billy Ray Cyrus Pay Tribute to Tom Petty with Perfectly Chosen Covers

The music industry continues to pay its respects to the late, great Tom Petty, with heartfelt covers on Thursday from two of country pop’s young darlings.

Miley Cyrus and Kesha each chose the perfect Petty song with which to pay tribute. Miley closed out Thursday’s Tonight Show with a soulful performance of Petty’s “Wildfowers,” bringing her dear old dad along to play acoustic guitar in the countrified arrangement.

“You belong among the wildflowers,” sang Miley, with Billy Ray harmonizing in the final refrain. “You belong somewhere close to me.”

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The Cyrus father-daughter duet was a beautiful illustration of Petty’s multi-genre, multi-generational appeal. While it was the younger Cyrus who stole the show, reminding us all of her powerful voice, the song they chose is from the early ‘90s, when Billy Ray was at the height of his own career.

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Kesha, meanwhile, added a Petty song to her Boston set, saying she wanted to pay her respects.

“Into the Great Wide Open,” which Kesha called “one of the most beautiful songs ever written,” was a fitting choice for Kesha and her Rainbow tour, with its open blue sky metaphor. It’s not the first time she’s honored Petty, either. In 2014 she contributed a version of “Free Fallin’” to Petty Fest, a live concert celebrating his music.

Read more in Slate about Tom Petty.

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