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The biggest star of the night at the American Music Awards? Not Taylor and her four awards, or Rihanna’s amazing mom, or Jennifer Lopez and her unstoppable tribute to Celia Cruz. That distinction goes to Miley Cyrus and her space kitten, with its deadish eyes, ably synchronized lip-synching and a (should-be) Emmy-recognized ability to cry diamonds on cue.
Perched on a riser, solo with no sign of twerking teddy bears or her band of little people, Cyrus ripped into a gripping version of “Wrecking Ball” as a large, stoic kitten mouthed the words on-screen behind her.
But this was no Milli Vanilli act. While he/she was indeed lip-synching, Space Kitty was feeling those lyrics and at one point began to weep glittery tears while Cyrus, who turned 21 on Saturday, sang in an impossibly high-wasted workout outfit (sprinkled with cats, naturally).
Also on the KittyTron behind Cyrus were assorted animations of exploding planets, orbs, comets and stars, all rushing by as the former Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 built into its emotional climax.
“Wrecking Ball” is the second single off Cyrus’ “Bangerz” album, which topped the Billboard 200 in October. The singer recently announced that Icona Pop and Sky Ferreira will accompany her on next year’s tour in support of the set.
This post first appeared on Billboard.com.
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