We did it, kids—well … he did it, kids, to be exact: ‘Tis true, Lil Nas X will forever live in infamy as the brains behind the longest-running #1 hit in the Billboard Hot 100 chart’s 64-year history.
“Old Town Road” has now entered its 17th week at the top of the Hot 100 chart, beating out the previous 16-week record held by Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men’s “One Sweet Day,” and Luis Fonsi’s “Despacito.”
He knew it would, too:
Well, you can’t really celebrate the track’s record without recalling its genre classification tumult from earlier this year. After the song simultaneously charted on the Billboard Hot 100, Hot Country and Hot R&B/Hip-Hop charts, Billboard removed the track from the country chart for not being honky-tonk enough, to put it concisely, which resulted in outcry from the larger cross-genre music community, the internet and the musician himself.
Much to Lil Nas X’s luck, the removal was arguably the best thing to happen to the song. To dig a knife into Billboard’s side, the musician reached out to one-hit wonder Billy Ray Cyrus to lend a chorus to the track, and soon thereafter, a pristine, honky-tonkified remix hit the market. That remix—the crooning, Cyrus-led rework—is the reason why the track went on to secure its lofty spot in Billboard history.
Though likely not as punchy and exciting to your ears as it was 13 weeks ago, the song’s popularity is continually bolstered by a never-ending chain of revamped remixes featuring other high-profile guest artists, some of whom include Young Thug, 12-year-old viral country star Mason Ramsey and RM, a South Korean rapper and one-seventh of the South Korean boyband powerhouse BTS.
All of this fanfare for a beat Lil Nas X paid $30 for.
Watch the musician’s surprisingly earnest thank-you video below.