July 29, 2019
by Dan Nickerson
“Old Town Road,” the massive hit single from Lil Nas X featuring Billy Ray Cyrus, has now broken the record for the most weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The song has spent 17 weeks so far at the top of the chart, surpassing the 16 weeks at No. 1 on the chart achieved by Mariah Carey/Boy II Men duet “One Sweet Day” (released in 1995) and the Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee featuring Justin Bieber collaboration “Despacito” (Remix), which was released in 2017.
“Old Town Road,” which mixes country and rap, has also spawned several remixes, most notably a remix with Diplo; another with Young Thug and Mason Ramsey; and another with RM of the Korean boy band BTS, who named his remix “Seoul Town Road (Old Town Road Remix).”
In June 2019, Lil Nas X made headlines when he publicly confirmed that he is gay during the last day of LGBTQ Pride Month this year.
“Old Town Road” was originally released independently on December 3, 2018, and it went viral after being shared on the social-media app TikTok. Columbia Records then signed Lil Nas X, and began distributing the song.
“Old Town Road” is written by Montero Hill, Kiowa Roukema (also known as YoungKio), Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross. YoungKio, Reznor and Ross are the producers. “Old Town Road” samples an instrumental piece of Nine Inch Nails’ “34 Ghosts IV,” which is why Nine Inch Nails members Reznor and Ross have songwriter and producer credits with YoungKio.
The song will likely get several nominations for the 2020 Grammy Awards and will probably dominate song categories at several other music award shows that reward popular songs. Nominations for 62nd Annual Grammy Awards will be announced on November 20, 2019. The 62nd Annual Grammy Awards ceremony will take place at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on January 26, 2020.