Lil Nas X's 'Old Town Road' Breaks Record for No. 1 Song

Rapper Lil Nas X’s hit song “Old Town Road” broke Billboard’s record for holding the number one spot on Billboard’s Hot 100. It remains in the top spot for the 17th week in a row.

The song, which features country singer Billy Ray Cyrus, beat out Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men’s song “One Sweet Day,” which previously held the spot with 16 weeks from 1995 to 1996, according to Billboard. The only other song that came close to beating that record was the 2017 hit song “Despacito” by Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee, featuring Justin Bieber. The other songs that have come close to the previous record for the longest stay at the number one spot on the Billboard chart are tied for third place with 14 weeks at the top of the list. These include 2015’s “Uptown Funk!” by Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars, the 2009 song “I Gotta Feeling” by The Black Eyed Peas, Mariah Carey’s hit 2005 song “We Belong Together,” and Elton John’s 1997 song “Candle in the Wind 1997”/”Something About the Way You Look Tonight,” according to Billboard.

The 20-year-old’s hit song, released on April 5, was streamed 72.5 million times in the US in its 17th week on the charts and previously set the record for the highest number of streams in a week with 143 million.

The music video for the hit song featured guest cameos from comedian Chris Rock, DJ Diplo, rapper Vince Staples, and many other celebrities. There have also been several remixes of the song, including one with RM of the K-pop band BTS titled “Old Town Road (Seoul Town Road Remix).”

“Old Town Road” also spent its 13th week on top of the Digital Song Sales chart this week with 46,000 downloads and it is currently listed as number two on the radio songs chart, according to Billboard. It is also the number one song on both the Hot R&B/Hip Hop Songs and Hot Rap Songs for its 17th week. The longest-running number one song of all time can be placed alongside other record-setting achievements. The Beatles currently have the most number one hits with 20 songs while Mariah Carey has spent the most cumulative time at the number one spot with 79 weeks, according to Billboard.

"YEEE TF HAWWW," Lil Nas X tweeted on July 29 in response to the news. The rapper also posted a statement to Instagram and Twitter, telling his followers how he spent hours trying to find the perfect generic beat to rap to when the song was created. He said he had no idea it would become the longest-running song of all time. “I have been so thankful that this blessing has been placed upon me,” Lil Nas X wrote. “This song has changed my life and the way I see the world around me in less than a year. Thank you to every single person who has been a part of this journey. As I said before, it’s just the beginning.”

A few hours later, he posted a video to Twitter thanking his fans again for making the achievement possible. "I'm on the toilet right now, but I want to say thank you to every single person who has made this moment possible for me. We just broke the record for the longest-running No. 1 song of all-time," the rapper said while wearing a cowboy hat as he played "Old Town Road" in the background. "Let's go!" Mariah Carey and Billy Ray Cyrus congratulated the young rapper on his latest achievement.

"17 is my new favorite number," Cyrus tweeted. The country singer was also referring to his debut album "Some Gave All," which spent 17 weeks at the number one spot on the charts in 1992. "My goal was always to make music that would touch people's lives around the world."

Carey took to Twitter to congratulate the rapper, stating how grateful she was to hold the top spot with the R&B group Boyz II Men for so long. “Sending love [and] congrats to @LilNasX on breaking one of the longest-running records in music history! We've been blessed to hold this record with a song that means a great deal to @BoyzIIMen and myself and has touched so many. Keep living your best life!” Carey wrote. Lil Nas X thanked Carey for acknowledging his achievement, calling her an icon. “You are a legend and an icon and I’m blessed to even have you acknowledging me right now! Growing up to your music [and] now having you talk to me directly is unreal!” he wrote.

About the Author

Maria Perez is a breaking news writer for The North Star. She has an M.A. in Urban Reporting from the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. She has been published in the various venues, including Newsweek, Juvenile Justice Information Exchange, City Limits, and local newspapers like The Wave and The Home Reporter.