Billboard can review decision by removing 'Old Town Road' from country table – Rolling Stone


The "Old Town Road" by Lil Nas X is a sensation. The song "country trap" jumped from TikTok's hit hit to a cultural phenomenon (see: Ellen DeGeneres dancing with a wig and a cowboy hat), and her success can put him back on the country charts after its initial removal. Music is gaining more daily streams than any other song in the United States on Spotify, and your video has more than 26 million views on YouTube. The Friday release of the music remix with Billy Ray Cyrus – which is great – could not have hurt either.

Feeding the success of "Old Town Road" is the controversy surrounding it: more than a week ago, Billboard chose to remove the song from their country chart. According to the publication at the time, "it does not include enough of today's country music to chart its current version." The decision to remove the music provoked a great repercussion, and led to an ongoing debate on gender, race and the music industry.

Since then, music has only become more popular. It is currently number 15 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was the most pop song on pop radio last week. But its unexpected achievement adds further scrutiny to its current gender classification. According to a Mediabase report, 33 country music stations played "Old Town Road" last week, and received the co-sign of a well-known country star on Cyrus – both argue that "Old Town Road" is a hit country, regardless of the classification of your chart.

Despite mounting pressure, Billboard will not add "Old Town Road" – or its remix – to its country chart. However, according to a statement released Rolling Stone, the publication is still deciding how to rate the song. "Our initial decision to remove" Old Town Road "from the Hot Country Songs table could be revisited," one representative wrote. Read the full statement below.

Billboard offers category-specific graphics simply as a tool for people in the music industry to better evaluate the success of songs over others in a certain format. Often we are faced with difficult choices of categorization.

"Determining in which graphic a live song is a continuous process depends on several factors, most notably the musical composition of the music, but also how music is marketed and promoted, the musical history of the artist, the mood the music receives and how the music is based on streaming services.

Billboard welcomes the excitement created by genre-blending tracks such as Lil Nas X's "Old Town Road," and will continue to monitor how it is marketed and how fans respond.

Our initial decision to remove "Old Town Road" from the Hot Country Songs chart can be reviewed as these factors evolve.


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