Lil Nas X dominated the music scene in 2019 with his hit single “Old Town Road”. The young rapper seemed to hit every convention in the music industry as a new artist with a country-rap single that was rapidly gaining popularity. But despite the song’s success, Lil Nas didn’t think he’d live to see its legacy go by.
Lil Nas X’s hit single ‘Old Town Road’ changed his life — and music — forever
When Lil Nas X released “Old Town Road” in late 2018, he was an unknown rapper from Atlanta trying to make it in the industry. In the spring of 2019, the song received a major boost from country music icon Billy Ray Cyrus, who joined Lil Nas on a remix of the track.
The duet version of the song launched Lil Nas X to superstardom. The song was certified 15 times platinum, selling over 15 million copies – the first song in history to achieve the feat. It also set a new record for most weeks spent at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, with a total of 19 weeks.
Lil Nas X thought he was going to die after ‘Old Town Road’ came out
Lil Nas X had become one of the biggest stars in the music industry practically overnight. But despite how amazing it was to have a song as big as “Old Town Road”, the rapper felt like death was just around the corner.
He opened up about his fears in a 2021 interview at the time Apple Music. “The whole time I was making music, I thought that soon I was going to die for some reason,” he said earnestly. “I Lost My Grandmother” [in 2018], and it was the first person close to me that I had ever lost. I was like, ‘Oh my god, everything is happening.’”
“And then especially when the f—ing ‘Old Town Road’ exploded, I was like, ‘Oh, I’m Definitely dying soon,” he continued. “All these artists who started coming into the music industry were passing away. I was like, ‘What the f– is happening?’”
Lil Nas X’s career has taken off since then
In the time since “Old Town Road”, Lil Nas X has proved that he is much more than a one-hit wonder. 2020 was a particularly difficult year for him, as he spent time in lockdown doubting his achievements and wondering if he would ever be able to match the success of “Old Town Road”.
In early 2021, he did the same. They released “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)”, the lead single from their debut album. Montero, and the song became his second single to reach number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
Montero was released in September 2021, and saw Lil Nas X at its weakest. He opened up about the struggles he has faced in the past and is honest about the depression and suicidal thoughts he experienced. Yet in the light of the darkness he went through, Lil Nas is celebrating who he is today.
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