Just days after Billboard pulled rapper Lil Nas X’s hit “Old Town Road” from the Hot Country Songs chart for failing to contain enough elements to qualify as country music, it’s back, with a little help from Billy Ray Cyrus.
After Billboard announced it was pulling the track from its country chart, Cyrus teamed up with Lil Nas X to record a remix of the track and since then the record has gained traction on country radio and streaming platforms.
Per Billboard, for the week of April 13th, “Old Town Road” landed at 53 on the Billboard Country Airplay chart. Billboard noted that while no country station has added the track to their regular rotation, its appearance on the chart was driven largely by plays on nationally syndicated Bobby Bones Show.
The track has also garnered some plays on country stations, including iHeartMedia-owned WMAD in Madison, Wis.
“If it’s country enough for Billy Ray Cyrus, it’s country enough for me,” WMAD program director Katie Kruz told Billboard “The rest of the [country panel] might not be playing it, but they have it stuck in their heads as they read this."
Cyrus also lent his support to the notion that the track should qualify for country music via social media.
“It was so obvious to me after hearing the song just one time. 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?” he said in a tweet.