Finally, in 2019, we see an out gay performer nominated for a Country Music Award. The nomination is for Old Town Road by Lil Nas X and featuring Billy Ray Cyrus. After a record 19 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 chart Old Town Road received a nomination for Musical Event of the Year.
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Earlier this year, the song made it to number 19 on the Billboard country music chart.
Billboard then removed the song from that chart claiming it lacked sufficient ‘country’ elements.
Accusations of racism followed the removal.
Critics noted the traditional domination of white musicians in country music.
After Billboard removed the song Lil Nas X received a message of support from country music superstar Billy Ray Cyrus.
The pair then recorded a new version of the song featuring Billy Ray.
Since then, the song notched over 1.3 billion audio and video streams by the end of June alone.
Earlier this month Billy Ray Cyrus and Keith Urban joined Lil Nas X to perform the song at the Ultimate Country Music Fan Experience in Nashville.
Lil Nas X, Billy Ray Cyrus, Keith Urban | “Old Town Road”
Lil Nas X
The Old Town Road singer received kudos from many when he came out as gay on the last day of June this year – Pride Month.
He also received plenty of flak but took it in his stride.
He said later that Pride month itself inspired his coming out.
“In June, I’m seeing Pride flags everywhere and seeing couples holding hands–little stuff like that.
“I never would have done that if I wasn’t in a way pushed by the universe.”
This August Lil Nas X became one of only a handful of LGBTIQ people to grace the cover of TIME Magazine.
TIME pointed to the amazing success of the singer/songwriter.
“There aren’t many black stars in country #music – there aren’t many queer stars in #hiphop.
“There aren’t many queer black stars in American culture, point-blank.”
The singer himself spoke of his fast rise.
“Last year I was sleeping on my sister’s floor, had no money, struggling to get plays on my music, suffering from daily headaches, now I’m gay.”
Many belittle the singer as a one-hit-wonder. However, despite a lack of music industry experience, he never put a foot wrong in driving his first song to phenomenal world-wide success.
And, if he could do all this while sleeping on the floor with no money, what will he achieve with the resources available to him now?
He seems a cinch to win this Country Music Award.
Here he is performing his next release at the VMAs earlier this month.
Lil Nas X Performs ‘Panini’
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