The Country Billy Ray Cyrus Saw in “Old Town Road” by Lil Nas X

Seventy-three Million Viewers and Miley Cyrus Can’t Be Wrong

The argument over what is and what isn’t authentic country music is exhausting. That’s why we’re not even going to question the country credibility of “Old Town Road” by Lil Nas X. The song’s viral success shows country music culture at its greatest potential by resonating with 73 million people online.

And if organizers of Sunday’s (April 7) 54th annual ACM Awards choose to take advantage of the opportunity, the song is viral gold if they want to add it last-minute to the show.
In case you’ve been living under a rock, Lil Nas X is Montero Lamar Hill. He is a Hip-Hop/Rap artist from Atlanta, Ga. who specializes in memes and celebrates his 20th birthday is Tuesday (April 9). According to Billboard, Hill has his first No. 1 on the trade’s On-Demand Streaming Songs chart with “Old Town Road.” At press time, the song currently sits at No. 15 on the Billboard Hot 100. Its popularity is attributed to the #YeeHawChallenge on the media app TikTok, where users upload video clips of themselves and set them to music. The clip featuring “Old Town Road,” has followers appearing in full cowboy get-up as the beat drops, and the story of the song’s rise has been picked up by literally every media outlet. It’s inescapable, and now it has a Billy Ray Cyrus remix.

All of this happened after it was dropped from Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart because, according to statements the trade provided to Rolling Stone, it didn’t meet the requirements needed to rank on the chart. Part of the statement reads, “While ‘Old Town Road’ incorporates references to country and cowboy imagery, it does not embrace enough elements of today’s country music to chart in its current version.”

Enter Cyrus.

At 2 a.m. PT Friday (April 7), members of the media received a press release announcing his contribution to an “Old Town Road” remix, which is available on all streaming services.

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