Billy Ray Cyrus Says Old Town Road' Song With Lil Nas X Is a 'Uniter' as Song Becomes 16 Week No. 1 Hit

Billy Ray Cyrus' collaboration with Lil Nas X on "Old Town Road" has managed to stay at the top of the charts for 16 weeks, reigning at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, as well as the charts for Streaming Songs, Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs and Hot Rap Songs. The success is proof to Cyrus that the message of the song matters.

"This song has been a uniter not a divider," Cyrus said of the song. "I'm giving God the glory now for allowing me the gift to be part of such a special song. It's a unique moment in time where people from all over the world and all walks of life find they have more in common than they do different. It's a moment we've all shared and I'm grateful for it."

Cyrus was honored to be part of the iconic song, even though it was ultimately dropped from country radio.

"I just love making music," Cyrus shared with PopCulture.com and other media prior to his performance with Lil Nas X at CMA Fest. "I love all styles of music and always have. For me, a whole lot of what I'm going through right now, I attribute a lot of it to some of the guys that really became my true friends, like Waylon Jennings. The first time I tweeted Lil Nas back after I heard that he was looking for me, I told him that Waylon had told me that definition of an outlaw is one who had been outlawed. And welcome to the club."

Cyrus made waves on his own with his mega-hit "Achy Breaky Heart," released in 1992. The courage he had to release something outside of the genre lines of country music was passed on to him by his own musical heroes, which he in turn passed on to Lil Nas X.

"Carl Perkins was another guy who is just such a great friend to me and such an influence," Cyrus said. "Carl told me in as early as 1992, he said, 'Man, pause. You've got to do this because you love the music, you do it for the music. Don't be the guy in Nashville – so many people in this town are always chasing the cat's tail and going, 'Well if it works for them, then I'll do what they're doing.' And he said, 'Don't be the guy chasing the tail.'

"He said, 'Be the guy that's making your music because you love it and you go different places and you find different sounds, and you're not following the pack. You're doing what you do because you love it,'" continued Cyrus. "It's that journey. That's what I do. I'm really just same guy I was when I stood on the banks of the river 28 years ago. I'm just a guy from Kentucky that loves – I'm a singer-songwriter. Nothing more, nothing less. And that's what I love to do."

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