Old Town Road by Lil Nas X beats US singles chart record

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Old Town Road by Lil Nas X beats US singles chart record

Old Town Road, the viral rap song by Lil Nas X, has become the longest-running number one in US chart history.

The song has now topped the Billboard Hot 100 for 17 weeks, overtaking Luis Fonsi’s Despacito and Mariah Carey’s One Sweet Day, which both spent 16 weeks at number one.

It had 72.5 million streams and 46,000 downloads in the past seven days.

Carey sent “love and congratulations” to Lil Nas X, after hearing her 26-year-old record had been smashed.

The rapper, a college dropout from Atlanta, whose real name is Montero Hill, recorded the song last October, using a backing track he bought online for $30 (£24.70).

With its blend of country music and trap bears, it achieved notoriety on the social media app TikTok, where thousands of people filmed themselves lip-syncing to the song in cowboy boots and ten-gallon hats.

By March, he had signed a deal with Columbia Records, and the song gained early press coverage after Billboard banned it from their country charts, for allegedly failing to “embrace enough elements of today’s country music”.

The decision attracted criticism over the conservatism of the country establishment, as well as accusations of racism. Billboard denied that race played any part in its ruling.

 

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