Miley Cyrus couldn't fight back the tears while honoring her late friend and mentee, Janice Freeman.
Freeman, best known as a contestant and member of Cyrus' team during the thirteenth season of The Voice in 2017, died on March 2 age 33 from complications of lupus, a bronchial infection, and of a resulting blood clot that apparently traveled to her heart. On Monday (March 18), Freeman's loved ones gathered to celebrate the aspiring singer's life in a memorial service, where the "Malibu" songbird appeared with her father, Billy Ray Cyrus, to express her condolences in a heartfelt speech.
"Before we sing this song for Janice, I just want to clear up a rumor. I was never her coach, ever, she was always mine,” the artist, struck with tears, tells the crowd. "I’ve learned more from her than anyone that I’ve ever gotten the honor to be in the room with, not just vocally, I should’ve gotten more lessons than I did, but she taught me everything that I know about love."
Cyrus then was preparing to perform "Amazing Grace" in Freeman's honor, but the musician felt too overwhelmed with emotion to continue. "I had planned on singing a song for her, but just losing her is just too much for me,” she explained. “So my dad’s gonna take care of this for me. But, I’ll always be your sister, I’m here for you, and I’m here for your family, and Janice I’ll miss you more than I could ever say."
Watch Miley Cyrus' emotional homage to Janice Freeman — beginning at 1:03:29 — below.
Photo: Getty Images