Miley Cyrus at the 2019 iHeartRadio Music Festival

Miley Cyrus at the 2019 iHeartRadio Music Festival (Photo by Brian Friedman on Shutterstock)

From the moment Miley Cyrus sported that blonde wig for the first time in “Hannah Montana”, we knew she would be a star. At the early age of 13, Disney Channel created a pop-star persona for the Tennessee native, making her an immediate sensation. Of course, Miley already had the talent to be a star. Being the daughter of country singer Billy Ray Cyrus and Goddaughter of the legend herself, Dolly Parton, it seems being a success was inevitable. Ultimately breaking away from her alter ego, some of the best Miley Cyrus songs have not only proved herself as a musician but as one of the most outstanding performers of her time, releasing some of the top hits of the last two decades. Now, she has many nominations for the 2024 Grammy Awards.

But why are Miley’s songs so popular with society? Researchers report that individual attachment styles often correspond with the lyrics of one’s favorite songs. In simpler terms, people tend to turn to music that describes how they’re feeling about their relationships – for better or worse. From the beginning of her career, Cyrus has often performed songs correlating with her journey in life. Whether it was growing up, falling in love, or experiencing heartbreak, these human conditions proved to be relatable to fans. Miley’s lyrics are catchy and meaningful, leading to her songs becoming anthems for fans all over. 

Another reason her songs resonate with so many people is her unapologetic way of crafting a piece of music. Research shows Americans love a good dose of drama, particularly in the form of songs. That’s especially the case when it comes to breakups. As many of her “bangers” were written about her rocky relationship with her ex-husband, it’s no wonder many people relate to and love her music. 

Enough about what makes Miley Cyrus great; let’s talk about the music. Throughout her 17-year career, Miley has released singles and albums across multiple genres and continues to deliver hits in every style. So, we at StudyFinds have scanned across 10 websites to bring you the definitive list of the top five best Miley Cyrus songs. If we missed your favorite, don’t worry, we would love to hear about your preferred hits in the comments below!

➡️ How Our “Best Of The Best” Lists Are Created

StudyFinds’ “Best of the Best” articles are put together with the idea of taking the work out of common consumer research. Ever find yourself searching for a product or service on Google and reading multiple reviews to find items listed across many of them? Our Best of the Best lists are created with that process in mind, with each item ranked by how frequently it appears on expert reviews or lists. With Best of the Best, you are getting consensus picks — making them truly the best of the best!

NBC Today Show Concert with Miley Cyrus in 2009
NBC Today Show Concert with Miley Cyrus in 2009 (Photo by Everett Collection on Shutterstock)

 The List: Best Miley Cyrus Songs, According to Music Experts

1. “Wrecking Ball” (2013)

How can we forget the first time we saw Miley Cyrus crashing through that brick wall in the “Wrecking Ball” video? “The Bangerz era was meant to upend Cyrus’ career. It was bold, brash, and abrasive in its delivery, from the first tongue-out twerk. But beneath the surface was a big broken heart, mending itself together again. ‘Wrecking Ball’ serves as the emotional core of Cyrus’ fourth album and a true turning point in her pop career post-Disney. In an era focused on shocking visuals, Cyrus made sure that big voice of hers was heard. And it was loud and clear,” says Rolling Stone.

“The combination of Miley’s powerful vocals and the poetic lyrics make this song an emotional rollercoaster for listeners,” writes Singers Room. “The music video for ‘Wrecking Ball’ features Miley swinging on a giant ball while nude, causing controversy and making headlines. Despite this, the video is visually stunning and adds another layer to the song’s meaning. The emotional intensity of both the lyrics and video have cemented ‘Wrecking Ball’ as one of Miley’s most memorable hits.”

Consequence Sound also added that “Wrecking Ball” secured “the coveted number-one slot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart; it is a sonorous, melancholy ballad about completely giving yourself over to a person and subsequently being hurt by them. When Cyrus belts out in the chorus, ‘I never hit so hard in love,’ you can feel the trembling pain and longing in her voice.”

2. “Party in the USA” (2009)

Post her first album away from the Hannah Montana persona, “Breakout”, and pre “Can’t Be Tamed”, Miley released the EP, “Time of Our Lives”With this, we were graced with a U.S. anthem that is seldom not played at parties to this day. “Cyrus took a song originally written for British singer Jessie J and turned it into a calling-card anthem, and her first classic hit. She gets off the plane at LAX with nothing but her dream and her cardigan, but that’s OK because in Miley’s America there’s room at the party for everyone. She subversively celebrates Jay-Z and Britney Spears with equal love; she sings, raps, and gets down as the guitars rock out over a hip-hop-pop beat. The result was a utopian notion of an optimistically inclusive USA perfectly timed for the early days of the Obama era,” describes Rolling Stone.

“Some hits will always nail down the pop-music formula, and this is such a hit. The track captures America during the pop music supremacy that makes it sound like an amazing Hollywood dream that everyone thinks of. This song is so popular that most of us sing it in our minds occasionally or when in our sleep. It will automatically get you on the dance floor raves,” adds Classic Rock History.

According to The Guardian, “Cyrus included ‘Party in the USA’ on her debut EP out of a lack of other suitable material, but the breeziness of the melody and the Red Hot Chili Peppers-ish guitar contrasts with the anxiousness of the lyrics; the chorus is nailed on and it has sold 7m copies in America alone.”

3. “Flowers” (2023)

Of course, the record-breaking hit “Flowers” was bound to make it on the list; after being the most streamed song on Spotify, to being the fastest to hit one billion streams, its success speaks for itself. 102.7vgs raves about the singer’s single, describing it as “empowering, and already a highly successful track off of her most recent album, Endless Summer Vacation. If you haven’t heard it yet, two things: 1) What rock have you been under? And 2) You must listen. Immediately.”

Singers Room had some other pretty serious opinions on the singers’ latest hit, giving six reasons why it’s among her best work: “Heartfelt lyrics that resonate with listeners from different walks of life, a gentle piano ballad melody to compliment the emotion-packed verses, Miley’s poetic delivery outlining how emotional pain can lead to transformation, The vulnerability expressed by Miley Cyrus as she shares her innermost thoughts and feelings, The amazing instrumentation which creates a haunting quality that echoes throughout the song, A masterpiece that showcases both, artistry and vulnerability.”

“On ‘Flowers,’ Cyrus sings, ‘I can take myself dancing/And I can hold my own hand.’ She inverts every clichéd line about buying flowers and holding hands in the rain, all while gliding to the beat Gloria Gaynor gave us on ‘I Will Survive,’ and the Pet Shop Boys reimagined with ‘It’s a Sin.’ Cyrus’ resilience cuts through time and space to complete a glorious trinity with those defiant jams. Autobiographical flourishes like ‘built a home and watched it burn’ — a reference to the home she and her ex built and lost to the Woolsey fire — add surprising depth,” raves Rolling Stone.

4. “Slide Away” (2019)

“For an artist that has so often dealt in characters and alter egos, it’s fitting that Miley’s best song is her most honest and vulnerable offering to date. Inspired by her separation from then-husband Liam Hemsworth, ‘Slide Away’ remains, unlike any other Miley Cyrus song in existence. Instead of playing into the filth of celebrity gossip culture or relying on boring, vindictive lyrical tropes, Miley opts for a devastatingly thorough look at how and why her relationship came to an end,” explains Uproxx.

“On which Cyrus picks through the wreckage of her failed marriage, reminiscing about the home the couple shared, before announcing that she has cut her losses. It’s so evidently heartfelt that it doesn’t need much more than a killer tune to make its point, but the understated production is lovely nonetheless,” says The Guardian.

Variety also raves about the track saying, “If Cyrus’ juxtaposition between rock and hip-hop, country and psychedelia didn’t always achieve harmonious results, she navigates a pretty perfect balance between those extremes on ‘Slide Away,’ on which Bangerz producer Mike Will Made It and Plastic Heart producer Andrew Watt reconcile their differences for a song about an elegant, golden-hour farewell to Cyrus’ relationship.”

5. “The Climb” (2009)

Of course, the soundtrack single from “Hannah Montana: The Movie” had to be on this list. Marking the end of her four-season run on the Disney Channel show, this song got to show Miley’s own sound vs. Hannah’sUproxx describes the anthem as “smartly pulling from the gospel roots of country music that offerings from the contemporary iteration of the genre too often neglect. From the somber piano notes that open the song to the ‘keep the faith’ outro that really begins to push the track into worship song territory, ‘The Climb‘ is a journey.”

United By Pop had nothing but rave remarks to give this single, giving it the top spot on their list. “Coming in at the #1 spot is a song that went multi-platinum from the Hannah Montana The Movie soundtrack. It is an inspirational ballad that has spanned generations, and to think she gave us this pop-country hit at just 17 years old.”

With “Hannah Montana: The Movie” featuring incredible hit songs like “Hoedown Throwdown” and Miley’s duet with her father, “Butterfly Fly Away,” “The Climb” by far inches out ahead of the others. One37pm describes the film’s soundtrack as having “some incredibly memorable songs, and ‘The Climb’ is arguably the most memorable song on the project, with just about half a billion streams on Spotify at the moment.”

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About Jilly Hite

Janelle is a freelance writer from New York. Her writing focuses on parenting, tech, business, interior design, education, and telling people’s inspiring stories. Janelle has written for Mustela and Newton Baby and has bylines in Pregnant Chicken, Syracuse Woman Magazine, the Baldwinsville Messenger, and Family Times Magazine. She holds a master’s degree in literacy from the State University of New York at Oswego.

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1 Comment

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