Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth tied the knot in their Nashville home in December 2018. Picture: Reuters

Miley Cyrus debuted a new tattoo at the MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs).

The 26-year-old singer stepped out for her first awards show since her split from Liam Hemsworth - who filed for divorce from the 'Climb' hitmaker last week, just seven months into their marriage - and she showed off her new post break-up inking on her left bicep, which features lyrics from the Pixies' song 'The Thing'.

Miley's tat reads: "My head was feeling scared, but my heart was feeling free."

The star wore a little black dress at the ceremony at New Jersey's Prudential Center on Monday (26.08.19), and she performed her new song 'Slide Away' for the first time.

It's the second time Miley has been inked this month, having recently had an artistic tattoo on her forearm of an emblem of the House of Visconti and a symbol for the Italian city of Milan.

Last week, tattoo artist Dr Woo showed off the singer's new design on Instagram, writing: "Cool old sculpture @mileycyrus found in Italy hideawayatsuitex #slimneedle (sic)"

Miley had the inking done following her Italian holiday with Kaitlynn Carter, who she was spotted smooching following the breakdown of their respective marriages to Liam and Brody Jenner.

Following her and Liam's split, the 'Black Mirror' actress took to Twitter to insist she is the "healthiest and happiest" she's been in a "long time".

She wrote: "I can accept that the life I've chosen means I must live completely open and transparent with my fans who I love, and the public, 100% of the time. What I cannot accept is being told I'm lying to cover up a crime I haven't committed. I have nothing to hide.

"It is no secret that I was into partying in my teens and early 20's. I have not only smoked, but advocated for weed, I've experimented with drugs, my biggest song to date is about dancing on molly and snorting lines in the bathroom.

"I f**ked up and cheated in relationships when I was young.

"I lost a massive Walmart deal at 17 for ripping a bong.

"I got kicked off hotel Transylvania for buying Liam a penis cake for his birthday and licking it.

"I swung on a wrecking ball naked.

"There are probably more nudes of me on the internet than maybe any woman in history.

"But the truth is, once Liam & I reconciled,I meant it, & I was committed. There are NO secrets to uncover here. I've learned from every experience in my life. I'm not perfect, I don't want to be, it's boring. I've grown up in front of you, but the bottom line is, I HAVE GROWN UP.

"I can admit to a lot of things but I refuse to admit that my marriage ended because of cheating. Liam and I have been together for a decade. I've said it before & it remains true, I love Liam and always will.

"BUT at this point I had to make a healthy decision for myself to leave a previous life behind. I am the healthiest and happiest I have been in a long time.  You can say I am a twerking, pot smoking , foul mouthed hillbilly but I am not a liar.

"I am proud to say, I am simply in a different place from where i was when I was a younger. (sic)"