Overnight sensation Lil Nas X continued his wild ride of pop music domination Monday, taking the reins of the record for longest stretch atop the US singles chart at 17 weeks with his infectious country-trap smash “Old Town Road.”
The viral mega-hit that mashes banjo twangs with thumping bass from the unknown artist-turned-industry maverick topped the Billboard record of 16 weeks on the industry’s most closely watched singles chart.
That was set by 1995’s “One Sweet Day” by Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men and matched by the 2017 Latin juggernaut “Despacito” by Luis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee and Justin Bieber.
“YEEE TF HAWWW,” Lil Nas X tweeted after the news broke.
After first grabbing attention on the video-sharing app TikTok, Lil Nas X, 20, soared into the public consciousness when his genre-bending hit booted Ariana Grande from the Billboard chart’s overall spot in April, also fending off advances from pop royalty including Bieber and Taylor Swift.
Since then, the meme king has shrewdly goosed his numbers by releasing remix after remix of the snappy track, most notably with country star Billy Rae Cyrus, which is the one listed on the Billboard chart.
As long as remixes are in line with the original sound of a song, the streams, downloads and sales are included in one composite number.
Just last week, Lil Nas X released yet another new version featuring a member of BTS, the wildly popular South Korean group — a remix that appeared to ensure the artist would maintain his rule.
In its unprecedented 17th week on the Billboard Hot 100, “Road” notched 72.5 million US streams and 46,000 downloads sold. Its numbers again bested breakout pop star Billie Eilish, whose song “bad guy” has held the number two spot for seven total weeks.
Controversy famously stoked the artist’s rise to fame after Billboard removed the fusion novelty song from the country charts but left it on the rap list, triggering accusations that the Atlanta musician’s work was pigeonholed purely because he is black.
He never returned to the country chart — despite the collaboration with Cyrus — but his unstoppable hit has stayed atop the Hot R&B/Hip Hop and Hot Rap songs chart for 17 weeks.
In a lengthy tweeted note filled with emojis, the artist born Montero Lamar Hill said that just last year he was struggling and living on his sister’s couch: “I jokingly/seriously saw myself as a loner cowboy need to run away from it all.”
His breakout song “needed to be funny, it need to be catchy, it needed to be hip hop, it needed to be country & it needed to be short,” he continued.
“This song has changed my life and the way i see the world around me in less than a year,” he said. “It’s just the beginning!”
Since the release of “Road,” Lil Nas X has also dropped an EP entitled “7,” which includes the aforementioned megahit’s original and Billy Rae Cyrus remix along with a song featuring rap star Cardi B.
Asked earlier whether she was worried about the prospect of losing her record to the novice artist, diva Carey deadpanned: “Darling, no.”
On Twitter, he had invited the pop icon to record a remix of the song with him, which she responded to by posting a picture of herself in a cowboy hat with the caption “One Sweet Town Road!”
Lil Nas X had told TMZ he might send Carey roses upon breaking her record, “since I love her.”