Billy Ray Cyrus Stands up for Lil Nas X and 'Old Town Road': 'What’s Not Country About It?'

Billy Ray Cyrus knew hopping onto the remix to Lil Nas X's "Old Town Road" was the right thing to do.

The country music legend defended the rapper's viral country-trap song after it was removed from Billboard's Hot Country Chart after the organization said in a statement the song "does not embrace enough elements of today's country music to chart in its current version."

"It was so obvious to me after hearing the song just one time," Cyrus wrote on Twitter Friday. "I was thinking, what's not country about it? What's the rudimentary element of a country and western song? Then I thought, it's honest, humble, and has an infectious hook, and a banjo. What the hell more do ya need?"

The "Achy Breaky Heart" crooner is featured in the new remixed version of the viral song and is already No. 1 on iTunes and Apple Music, with projections expecting it to reach the top of the Billboard charts.

In a second tweet, Cyrus opened up about recording the popular remix and adding his own twist to the already catchy tune, as first reported by PEOPLE.

"A few days passed and I went to the studio to do vocals," he wrote. "When I finished the pass, I whistled at the end of the song. Thats when the engineer stood up and said, 'that s— is fire.' We're keeping that! Glad you guys are diggin' the tune, love seeing all your meme's [sic]."

Lil Nas X first rallied for fans to help him get Cyrus on the song in December, when he shared a video of himself jamming to the track and writing, "Twitter please help me get Billy Ray Cyrus on this."

Other country stars have now commented on the controversy surrounding "Old Town Road." John Rich mentioned during an appearance on the Brian Kilmeade Show on Fox Nation that fans should get to decide in which genre the song belongs.


"Let the fans decide. I mean, country music — I go back to guys like Johnny Cash when he showed up in Nashville, they said that is not country music," Rich said. "The guy made his records in Memphis where rock and roll was happening — he's got his hair slicked back, he's singing about sex, drugs and rock and roll."

"Johnny Cash, most hardcore lyrics anybody had ever heard — he's not country — now Johnny Cash, a pillar of country music," he added.