Lil Nas X has achieved another historic milestone thanks to his debut single. Since its official release in 2019, Lil Nas X’s breakout hit ‘Old Town Road’ has shattered chart records and industry conventions alike, earning the viral rapper his first Grammy wins for a track that sparked a wider cultural conversation about the hallmarks of country music itself. Galloping to even greater heights in 2021, the collaboration with Billy Ray Cyrus has become the most-certified song in RIAA history.
A Record-Breaking Song
On January 9, Nas X shared the news that ‘Old Town Road’ had gone 14x Platinum, supplanting John Legend’s ‘All of Me’ and ‘Despacito’ by Daddy Yankee, Luis Fonsi, and Justin Bieber, both certified 13x Platinum. “OLD TOWN ROAD IS OFFICIALLY 14 TIMES PLATINUM! MOST PLATINUMS FOR ANY SONG EVER! LETS GOOO!” Nas X wrote on Twitter, sharing a meme to celebrate the occasion. His collaborator Cyrus expressed gratitude via a post on the platform. “I’m speechless. #OTR is now 14x platinum and the most certified song in music history. Thank YOU!”
After initially gaining popularity on TikTok, the song first entered the Billboard Hot 100 in March 2019, later breaking the record for most weeks at No. 1 on the chart before being dethroned by Billie Eilish’s ‘Bad Guy.’ At the 2020 Grammys, it earned Nas X and Cyrus three nominations and two wins for Best Pop/Duo Performance and Best Music Video. Nas X’s most recent release was the Christmastime single ‘Holiday.’
Nas X explained when he realized that the song was starting to blow up. “I released the song literally hours after I was finished in the studio., couldn’t wait to put it out. I started pushing it on my Twitter account through memes. Was pushing it on my account for I guess a few months until it finally picked up on TikTok. Then, I didn’t have to do much after that because it’s been skyrocketing ever since to this day. One of the biggest memes was like this guy standing on a horse. He was riding it through some desert or something. Even Bleacher Report, they took that and they edited it. My favorite one though, it’s like this cat and it’s hitting a whip. It’s right on beat, even the clap.”