A week after Lil Nas X, a nineteen-year-old musician from Atlanta, had his song “Old Town Road” thrown off the Country Billboard charts for not being “country enough,” he has emerged triumphant after his remix featuring Billy Ray Cyrus went viral on Twitter, YouTube and music streaming services.
The remix of “Old Town Road” already has over 340,000 views on Lil Nas X’s YouTube channel after being published overnight and is the only song on Spotify’s Top 5 in the U.S. not by Billie Eilish, according to Rolling Stone.
Billboard had initially accepted the original track – touted by Columbia as a “country-inspired rap track” – and then changed their minds last week, saying in a statement that the song “does not embrace enough elements of today’s country music to chart in its current version.”
The original track has over 23 million views on YouTube alone after going viral on TikTok, Instagram, and Twitter.
The removal of Lil Nas X’s original version caused backlash, with fans and public alike noting that black artists have continually struggled to break through onto the country charts. Beyoncé’s “Daddy Lessons,” from her album Lemonade was rejected by the Grammy Country Committee in 2016.
Cyrus tweeted support to Lil Nas X prior to the remix release on Thursday, reminiscing about when he was thrown off the charts, telling Lil Nas X - “only outlaws are outlawed. Welcome to the club!”
it happened !!! https://t.co/b2PikhrwIK— nope (@LilNasX) April 5, 2019 April 5, 2019
.@LilNasX Been watching everything going on with OTR. When I got thrown off the charts, Waylon Jennings said to me “Take this as a compliment” means you’re doing something great! Only Outlaws are outlawed. Welcome to the club!— Billy Ray Cyrus (@billyraycyrus) April 3, 2019
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