Lil Nas X got the ultimate birthday present when he turned 20 on Tuesday: his song "Old TownRoad" reached No. 1 in the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
The "country trap" song gained popularity when it became a part of the viral "Yee Haw" challenge on the app Tiktok. In addition to topping Billboard's most prestigious chart, the song is also at the top of several of Billboard's genre charts, including Hot Rap Songs, Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Song, Rap Streaming Songs, R&B/Hip-Hop Streaming and R&B/Hip-Hop Digital Song Sales.
It's on chart that the song doesn't appear on that probably helped launch Lil Nas X to the top. In March, Billboard took the song from its Country chart, where it debuted at No. 19. It was switched over to the Hot Rap Songs chart where it debuted at No. 24.
In a statement to Rolling Stone, Billboard said that the song "does not embrace enough elements of today's country music to chart in its current version."
Billboard immediately received backlash for the decision. Many joined in on the conversation over what qualified as country music, and argued that Lil Nas X's race was one of the reasons the song was removed from the Country charts. Lil Nas X, whose real name is Montero Lamar Hill, is a 19-year-old black man from Atlanta. His song being removed from a predominantly white genre of music sparked outrage.
Country music legend Billy Ray Cyrus joined the conversation in a big way. The "Achy Breaky Heart" artist teamed up with Lil Nas X to release a remix of the song, with a new verse from Cyrus.
"It was so obvious to me after hearing the song just one time. I was thinking, what's not country about it?" he said in a tweet.
There's no word on whether or not the song will be added back to the country charts, but it did debut at No. 53 on the Country Airplay chart, which is measures which songs are played the most in Country music radio stations. Regardless of whether or not Billboard thinks "Old Town Road" is a country song, its clear that country music radio stations have welcomed it with open arms.