Of the many acts confirmed to perform at this year's Grammys, there's one duo on the list with an interesting history that raises the question: Are Miley Cyrus and Elton John actually friends? Believe it or not, 25-year-old Cyrus and 70-year-old John go way back — and despite a seemingly harsh comment John reportedly made about Cyrus in the past, the two appear to be closer than fans may have imagined.
While it's not crystal clear how or when the two singers first met, they definitely have more than just music in common. Back in 2005, the Country Music Awards announced that John would be performing alongside Dolly Parton — another seemingly unlikely pair that initially confused fans. However, according to an interview with CMT, despite the fact that he and Parton had never performed together before, John said he's "always been a fan of country music," and that taking the stage with Parton at the awards show was "a dream come true."
So, what does this have to do with Cyrus? As some fans may already know, Parton is Cyrus' godmother. And while there's no evidence that John and Parton's performance was the event that brought John and Cyrus together, it wouldn't be so far-fetched to imagine that they may have first met through Parton around that time.
John has also spoken about Cyrus several times in the media over the last few years, starting with a few eyebrow-raising interviews back in 2013. In August of that year, Cyrus infamously performed "Blurred Lines" with Robin Thicke at the MTV Video Music Awards — a performance that was, well, memorable, to say the very least. After the VMAs and Cyrus' subsequent breakup with then-fiancé Liam Hemsworth, John made some questionable comments in an interview with The Australian (via Huffington Post).
"I look at Miley Cyrus and I see a meltdown waiting to happen," he reportedly told the paper. "And she's so young! But she's got two records in the top 20, so who is going to stop her?" John's comment may have seemed kind of critical on the surface — to be fair, though, a lot of people were questioning Cyrus' behavior at the time — but an interview he did with Ellen DeGeneres that same month paints a different picture.
During an appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show in September 2013, DeGeneres asked John for his opinion of Cyrus' VMAs performance. "Miley Cyrus went on and performed like she did — and the whole purpose of the VMAs, when you've got all these big artists competing against each other for attention — is to flatten the opposition. She flattened the opposition. Nobody talked about anybody else, except Miley." John then went on to say, "I've known [Miley] for a long time. She's a big supporter of the Elton John AIDS Foundation, she's a terrific girl."
A few years later in 2015, John had more praise for Cyrus during an interview with Noisey, calling her album with the Flaming Lips, "f*cking brilliant." John continued, "[The album] feels like something that would have happened during the '60s, something someone like Frank Zappa would have done. Good for Miley. Break the mould, girl.”
Despite not knowing how they met or how much time John and Cyrus have actually spent together, there's clearly a mutual respect between the two performers. Not only will Cyrus and John take the stage together during the 2018 Grammy Awards, but two days later, Cyrus will take part in the taping of Elton John: I’m Still Standing- A Grammy Salute, as well. The star-studded tribute to John will air later this year, and Cyrus is just one of many performers — including Kesha, Miranda Lambert, John Legend, Little Big Town, Chris Martin, Maren Morris, Sam Smith, and Keith Urban — set to take the stage in honor of one of music's biggest icons.