Lil Nas X fans tuned in to the 2019 CMT Music Awards but disappointed to find out the rapper was not there to perform his smash song, "Old Town Road."
Awards show hosts Little Big Town — Karen Fairchild, Kimberly Schlapman, Philip Sweet and Jimi Westbrook — did recognize the hit song at the start of the show, poking fun at the debate when the song was first released about whether or not it could be considered country.
After one of the Little Big Town members sang a verse from the No. 1 song, fans of Lil Nas X reacted on Twitter wondering why he was not invited to the celebration at Nashville's Bridgestone Arena.
"So y'all couldn't let lil nas x perform," one user wrote, tagging CMT.
"[CMT Awards] I can't watch it no @LilNasX I'm good I watched long enough to see who was performing. And then y'all gone disrespect him by singing it in the beginning got me tight!!!!" Another user wrote, taking issue with the hosts' joke.
"Is #OldTownRoad up for anything?" Another user wondered.
"I'm watching the #CMTAwards, and the whole production looks like the MTV awards. It's being simulcast on MTV and CMT. They should have added Lil Nas to the show. #OldTownRoad. Why do kids sing that song like they know what lean is?" Another user protested.
"Old Town Road" became a bona fide hit after country star Billy Ray Cyrus joined a remix to the track after it was removed from Billboard's country charts after it was first released.
After the removal, a Billboard spokesperson said in a statement to Rolling Stone that the country trap song "does not embrace enough elements of today's country music to chart in its current version." In another statement, Billboard added that the "decision to take the song off of the country chart had absolutely nothing to do with the race of the artist."
The controversy opened up a debate among many country stars and fans. Regardless of the controversy, "Old Town Road" has stayed atop the Billboard Hot 100 chart at No. 1 for nine consecutive weeks.
If @CMT doesn’t have an all star line up singing Old Town Road, I’m talking @JoeDiffieOnline @GeorgeStrait @DollyParton @WillieNelson a little sweet pickin by #VinceGill and a guitar duel between @BradPaisley and @KeithUrban don’t even show up to the party. #CMTAwards @LilNasX— SlashSquatch (@SlashSquatch) May 20, 2019