Billy Ray Cyrus has had a first-hand look at Lil Nas X's road to sudden fame, after the global phenomenon of "Old Town Road," which just celebrated its tenth week at the top of the charts worldwide.
Cyrus, who knows a bit about overnight success, after his own "Achy Breaky Heart" was released in 1992, couldn't be prouder of Lil Nas X and how he is handling his newfound superstar status, especially at only 20 years old.
"Lil Nas X is handling it well for a -year-old kid whose first song propels him to Elvis-meets-Drake status," Cyrus boasted to HITS Daily Double. "Think about it. But he’s hanging in there and enjoying it, which is great."
Cyrus appears on a remix of "Old Town Road," and championed the song's right to be included on the country charts. The tune put Cyrus back in the middle of the spotlight, which thankfully isn't his first foray into being a household name.
"Actually, there’s been three of these: 'Achy Breaky' was first, then Hannah Montana, which was, well, different, but the same kind of gale force. Now, 'Old Town Road' is that same massive thing. Only, honestly, it’s bigger than anything I’ve been part of. Ten weeks at No. 1 around the world? It’s crazy.
"There’s a commonality, though. They all spin in a circle — and can kill you if you’re not careful," he added. "I thought the song was already a hit, but I was up for the challenge to stretch and try to learn something new. Every time something like this presented itself, I’ve said yes, and I’ve learned."
Lil Nas X, who performed the song at CMA Fest with Cyrus and Keith Urban last month, recently announced he was gay, earning praise from plenty of fans for his honesty – and thrusting him even more into the spotlight. But because of Cyrus' own career, he is grateful he can be part of the young singer's journey as well.0comments
"It reminds me in some ways of 'Achy Breaky Heart,'" Cyrus told PopCulture.com and other media. "It had that same commonality. It was a bridge and a sound that connected worldwide, and it wasn't a division. It was a uniter. No matter where you were from in the world, you could sing it. You could sing it in your own language and you could dance to it. And kids loved it and all ages. There was no really divider genre to it. Sometimes you just gotta make music without limitations. That's what was magic about this song. It had something for everybody."
Photo Credit: Getty Images/ Terry Wyatt