Friday Headliner Face-Off: Miley Cyrus vs. George Strait

"Amarillo by Morning" or "Midnight Sky"? Here's a guide to decide

Photo by @vijatm / Courtesy of Sony Music

Miley Cyrus

Friday, 8pm, Honda stage

Government name: Miley Ray Cyrus (née Destiny Hope Cyrus)

Nickname: Smiley Miley

Hometown: Franklin, Tenn.

Active since: 2006

Genre: High octane pop

Number of studio albums: 7

Number of Grammys: None, nominated for one

Latest release: Version of Metallica's "Nothing Else Matters" featuring Elton John and Yo-Yo Ma

Influences: Blondie, Kathleen Hanna, Etta James, Pharrell Williams

Notable collaborators: Stevie Nicks, Billy Idol, Dua Lipa, Joan Jett

Breakout moment: 2010's Breakout, to be very on the nose, her separation from the hugely popular character Hannah Montana

Songs she should play: "Party in the USA," "The Climb," "Midnight Sky," "Wrecking Ball"

Songs she shouldn't play: Any of the songs where she tries to rap

Brave experiments: A brief foray into construction – including tonguing a sledgehammer – for the "Wrecking Ball" music video

Best lines: "I'm like a puzzle, but all of my pieces are jagged"

Notable achievement: Skirting the child star black hole and going on to have a highly successful career far outside of the Disney Channel

Last local show: The Frank Erwin Center on January 24, 2008, though she appeared unannounced at Fader Fort during South by Southwest 2015 and performed three songs alongside Mike Will Made-It and Rae Sremmurd, announcing: "We're high as fuck up here"

Photo by Gary Miller

George Strait

Friday, 8pm, Lady Bird stage

Government name: George Strait Sr.

Nickname: King George

Hometown: Poteet, Texas

Active since: 1976

Genre: Neo-traditionalist country

Number of studio albums: 30

Number of Grammys: One win, 16 nominations

Latest release: 2019's Honky Tonk Time Machine

Influences: Bob Wills, the Beatles, Frank Sinatra

Notable collaborators: Alan Jackson, Miranda Lambert, Lee Ann Womack

Breakout moment: "Fool Hearted Memory" reaching the top of the charts in 1982, the first of 60 No. 1 hits for King George

Songs he should play: Any of the 60 No. 1 songs, but most notably "Give It Away," "Ama­ril­lo by Morning," "Write This Down," and "The Chair"

Songs he shouldn't play: The king plays what the king wants

Brave experiments: Charging forward into the Aughts and beyond by sticking to the formula, even as country music shifted into big trucks and bro culture

Best lines: "He must have stolen some stars from the sky/ And gave them to you to wear in your eyes/ I had my chances, but I set you free/ And now I wonder why I couldn't see."

Notable achievement: The aforementioned litany of country radio bangers and induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame

Last local show: ACL Live on November 25, 2019

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Miley Cyrus, George Strait, ACL Fest, ACL Fest 2021

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