Pop icon Miley Cyrus joined singer-songwriter Melanie earlier this month to perform and record a number of tracks for Cyrus’ “Backyard Sessions” series, presented by the Happy Hippie Foundation. The videos are part of a major social media initiative between Cyrus and Facebook where charitable donations can be made through the site.
Melanie Safka, the legendary folk rock singer more commonly known as Melanie, is recognized internationally for her hit tracks “Brand New Key”, “Look What They’ve Done To My Song Ma”, “Peace Will Come (According To Plan)”, and more. She gained major fame after her performance at the 1969 Woodstock Festival, when she wrote “Lay Down (Candles in the Rain)” about the audience’s reaction to her set. The song became a top ten hit in the US and several countries abroad.
The pair performed two songs together, “Look What They’ve Done to My Song Ma” and “Yaw Baby (Break My Heart)”, both simple acoustic tracks with a lot of room for the singers’ powerful vocals to take over. They play the songs in a relaxed setting faithful to the “hippie” vibe, and seem to really enjoy the opportunity for the two popular female singers to collaborate on what are now classic American songs.
The Happy Hippie Foundation, founded in 2014 by Cyrus herself, is designed to fund programs and help provide homeless youth, LGBT youth and other vulnerable youth populations with consistent support services, education and employment opportunities. Explaining why she founded the charitable organization, Cyrus said, “I haven’t been quiet or shy about discrimination issues towards the LGBT community because by alienating people, it makes it harder to work, live in society, have a home, have a family, and can result in homelessness…That’s why I’m launching the Happy Hippie Foundation — because every life is valuable and we should make sure those who question their value feel protected.”
Lately, Cyrus has taken a step back from her celebrity life to organize and perform these small backyard sessions. She has used her pop status instead to gather a slew of classic musicians, many very far away from today’s dominant music scene, to play with her. As she has stated, these moves are part of an effort to bring attention to her charity: “We are working with some of the top names in politics, technology, and entertainment to build the world that we want to live in. I want to give my fans a platform to learn about issues that they might not have otherwise, a safe place to ask questions, a place to collaborate and take action!”
Judging from the video, however, it is fair to say that Cyrus is also enjoying her time working with cherished musical icons of previous generations. It may well be that the “Happy Hippie” is Cyrus herself. Check out the video below to see for yourself.
Closing out this #BackyardSessions series with a couple more videos!! Originally performed by Paul Simon, you may remember this version of "50 Ways To Leave Your Lover" from the SNL 40th Anniversary Special. #HappyHippiePresentsClick the Donate button below to learn more about The Happy Hippie Foundation's mission to rally youth to fight injustice & donate!
Posted by Miley Cyrus on Monday, May 18, 2015