At VMAs, Miley Cyrus delivers emotional first performance since split from Liam Hemsworth

Miley Cyrus delivered an emotional performance at MTV's Video Music Awards on Monday night.

The pop star took the stage at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., to perform her single “Slide Away,” which many believe to be about her estranged husband, actor Liam Hemsworth.

Under a lone spotlight, Cyrus, 26, belted it out, with a black-and-white camera filter setting a stark mood.

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The song is rumored to paint a picture of Cyrus’ 10-year relationship with the “Hunger Games” actor. In it, Cyrus croons: “Move on, we’re not 17 / I’m not who I used to be / You said that everything changed / You’re right, I’m grown now.”

Sources close to Cyrus previously accused Hemsworth of excessive drinking and drug use. Hemsworth hasn't commented on the allegations.

The YouTube video released with the track shows a static image of a whiskey bottle floating in a pool, pills all around. The lyrics tell a similar story: "I want my house in the hills / Don’t want the whiskey and pills / I don’t give up easily / But I don’t think I’m down."

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"Everyone always thinks Miley is problematic and immature and a hardcore partyer, while he's this chill surfer dude, but that's actually [not accurate],” People magazine reported, citing a friend of the couple. “Liam parties with his friends, and Miley thinks he should’ve grown out of that by now.”

Fans on social media praised Cyrus’ VMA appearance.

“Miley Cyrus had the best performance of the night 👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽 #VMAs,” wrote one Twitter user, while another echoed the sentiment, writing “You can feel the sadness in her voice.”

Miley Cyrus performs onstage during the 2019 MTV Video Music Awards at Prudential Center on Aug. 26, 2019 in Newark, N.J. (Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images)

Miley Cyrus performs onstage during the 2019 MTV Video Music Awards at Prudential Center on Aug. 26, 2019 in Newark, N.J. (Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images)

Cyrus was reportedly blindsided by Hemsworth’s decision to officially end their marriage after the Australian actor officially filed court papers on Wednesday to dissolve the relationship, according to People.

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“She didn’t expect it and is a bit disappointed, but she is still doing well and has obviously moved on as well,” a Cyrus insider told the outlet after the divorce filing.

“What she and Liam had for a long time was very special," the source added. "It’s just hard for her to think that she will never have this again with Liam. There are really so many things that she loves about him."

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Cyrus and Hemsworth tied the knot in December 2018 after losing their Malibu home in a wildfire. Their marriage was the latest twist in more than a decade of on-again-off-again romance.

Sources told TMZ that Cyrus and Hemsworth had a prenuptial agreement, so the division of property is likely to move forward without a hitch.

Fox News' Jessica Sager contributed to this report