Miley breakup performance floors crowd
Miley Cyrus has stunned crowds at the VMAs with her powerful performance of Slide Away, the breakup track she released in the wake of her separation from Liam Hemsworth.
The singer, 26, largely kept her eyes closed as she belted out the song, surrounded by violinists.
The emotional performance received a standing ovation from the crowd, including her father, singer Billy Ray Cyrus.
Cyrus released the song just five days after she and Hemsworth, 29, announced their separation. Days later, Hemsworth filed for divorce, citing "irreconcilable differences".
In the song, Cyrus sings:
Move on, we're not 17
I'm not who I used to be
You said that everything changed
You're right I'm grown now.
To really drive the point home, the YouTube video released at the same time as the song shows a whiskey bottle floating in a pool surrounded by pills, adding weight to these lyrics:
I want my house in the hills
Don't want the whiskey and pills
I don't give up easily
But I don't think I'm down
In the days after the split, sources from Cyrus' camp cited Hemsworth's alleged drinking and drug use as factors in their marriage breakdown.
The Hunger Games star is yet to respond directly to the claims.
Cyrus and Hemsworth wed in an intimate ceremony in December after their Malibu home was destroyed in a devastating wildfire.
Just eight months later, they announced their separation, and photos of Cyrus and reality TV star Kaitlynn Carter kissing on a boat in Italy surfaced shortly afterwards.
Regardless, according to sources close to Cyrus, the singer was blindsided by her estranged husband's decision to file for divorce, just 11 days after their statement painstakingly pointed out their separation was only "at this time".
People magazine reported friends of the star ultimately wanted to reconcile with Hemsworth down the track, and was finding it hard readjusting to life in Los Angeles without him.
"They had many happy days together in Los Angeles and now Liam is not around," People quoted the source.
"It's hard for her to be back in LA without him. This is not the situation that she wanted. She hoped they could figure things out."