Few pop stars are as successful as Miley Cyrus, with the songstress topping the charts year after year following the embrace of her own identity after becoming a Disney sensation from her role in Hannah Montana. While not every song she releases becomes a record-shattering sensation, we can always count on new tunes from the star to dominate the musical landscape for at least a brief period of time. While her most recent single, "Mother's Daughter," is earning success on the charts, fans of the performer might be surprised to learn the song she sang in character as Ashley O from Black Mirror could become her biggest hit this year.
In the episode of the sci-fi series "Rachel, Jack and Ashley Too," Cyrus plays a pop star who wants to leave her innocent persona behind, only for those close to her to put her in a coma and create a digital copy of her that performs bubblegum pop songs. One of Ashley O's biggest hits is "On a Roll," a reinterpretation of Nine Inch Nails' "Head Like a Hole," with much more uplifting lyrics.
Billboard reports that "On a Roll" earned 5.7 million streams last week, a similar figure to "Mother's Daughter." Over on Spotify, "On a Roll" has steadily been climbing, with it likely exceeding the success of Cyrus' latest single.
Part of the appeal of the song is that it was only teased in small snippets in the actual episode, making it difficult for fans to cobble together an official, full-length single. The devout fan base of Black Mirror also saw the song appeal to a larger crowd than Cyrus' own fans, with Nine Inch Nails even approving official merchandise which depicts the alternate lyrics to their famous song.
Black Mirror creator Charlie Brooker cited Cyrus' professionalism and skills as the reason that the episode, and song, have resonated so strongly with audiences.
"Most of it was already there in the script and then we sent this to her, thinking it was a gamble — like dropping a coin in that thing where the coin bounces off the pegs, and then you lose!" Brooker previously shared with The Hollywood Reporter. "We thought we just wouldn’t hear back. But we had nothing to lose because she would be so perfect for the part. And it turned out she did know the show and likes the show, and she was really excited because the script resonated with her. We had a Skype chat with her early on, and it was immediately apparent that she’s very smart and just funny. She takes her job very, very seriously but she’s also aware of the absurdity of that whole world."
Black Mirror is now streaming on Netflix.
Are you surprised that the song has become such a hit? Let us know in the comments below!