On March 2, 2019, former Voice contestant Janice Freeman Neuble passed away unexpectedly, leaving her family, friends and fans completely heartbroken — and that includes Miley Cyrus. However, the “Malibu” singer had the chance to pay tribute to Janice at her funeral, which took place on Monday, March 18.
During the memorial service, which was live broadcast on Facebook, the 26-year-old took the stage to share some kind words about Janice.
“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 former Disney Channel star said through tears. “I 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.”
The Voice coach then went on to explain that, despite her original plan to sing a song for Janice, she was feeling too emotional to follow through. Instead, she recruited her father Billy Ray Cyrus to help her out.
“I had planned on singing a song for her,” Miley said, “but just losing her is too much for me… so my dad’s going to do this for me.”
The 57-year-old country star then took the stage for a performance of “Amazing Grace,” and towards the end of the song, Miley collected herself enough to be able to sing along with the church choir. Throughout her short speech and performance, it was clear that her friendship with Janice was one that she cherished, and although she broke down in tears, she was able to show people just how much she cared and valued Janice for the person and talent that she was.
“Thank you for letting us be a part of your family, and thank you, Janice, for letting me be your friend, she said. “It’s been an honor.”
A statement posted on Twitter on January 3 explained that Janice passed away at 33 years old due to an “extreme case of pneumonia and a blood clot that traveled to her heart.”
With heavy hearts and sadness we share the news of Janice’s passing . Details about services and in what ways the family can be supported to follow 🖤 pic.twitter.com/iNHiQ4Etnt
— Janice Freeman (@janice_freeman) March 3, 2019
Like Miley, we’re thinking of Janice and her family during this difficult time, and although the “Nothing Breaks Like a Heart” songstress was too heartbroken to follow through with her original plan of singing a full song in Janice’s honor, the fact that she showed up, paid her respects and made a speech was more than enough to show people (and more importantly, Janice) just how much she cares. We love you, Miley!
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