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Billy Ray embraces Lil Nas x, "Old Town Road"

Friday, April 5, 2019 – The musically controversial Lil Nas x song, "Old Town Road," may not be on the country charts, but that didn't stop Billy Ray Cyrus from singing on a remix of the song.

Lil Nas X, an Atlanta rapper on Columbia Records, made the top 20 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart a few weeks ago, but then was abruptly dropped from the chart. The song has a trap beat that is part of hip hop with banjos and cowboy imagery. "Old Town Road" appeared on the Billboard Hot 100 for pop singles, Hot Country Songs and Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs.

"While 'Old Town Road' incorporates references to country and cowboy imagery," the trade publication said in a statement, "it does not embrace enough elements of today's country music to chart in its current version."

Many criticized the move as racist and unwarranted especially since hip hop has crept into country through Sam Hunt and Kane Brown among others.

"I loved the song the first time I heard it. Country music fans decide what they like. Not critics or anyone else. Waylon Jennings once told me every once in a while the industry outlaws someone because they're different. Country music fans don't need to be defined by critics. I've always said, don't think inside the box, don't think outside the box. Think like there is no box. So, I'm honored to collaborate with Lil Nas X on Old Town Road," said Cyrus.

Cyrus will release his own studio album, "The SnakeDoctor" Circus, via BMG this spring with the release date to be determined.

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