Rapper Lil Nas X nominated for Country Music Award

Billy Ray Cyrus, Lil Nas X (Photo: Getty)
Billy Ray Cyrus, Lil Nas X (Photo: Getty)

New York - After his ouster from the Hot Country US song charts triggered outrage and catapulted him to overnight fame, genre-bending artist Lil Nas X is up for a Country Music Award.

His now-ubiquitous record-breaking megahit Old Town Road - which marries twangy banjo with thumping bass - will compete for "Musical Event of the Year" at this year's CMAs, organisers announced Wednesday.

The infectious single by the Atlanta native was famously booted from Billboard's country list, with the industry tracker saying it was not in line with the genre's sound.

Its removal sparked anger over perceived white-washing in the country music industry, with many saying the novice musician's hit was pigeonholed as hip hop purely because he is black.

Billboard denied those allegations - but didn't allow Old Town Road back onto the country chart, even after genre veteran Billy Ray Cyrus offered vocals for a remix of the hit, which is the version up for a CMA.

READ NEXT: Billy Ray Cyrus is back with on top of the charts with this Lil Nas X remix but not everyone is happy.

Since then Lil Nas X broke the decades-old record for longest reign over the Billboard Hot 100, the industry's most closely watched singles chart, holding the spot for 19 weeks and fending off advances from pop juggernauts including Taylor Swift and Justin Bieber.

This week the unknown artist-turned-industry maverick along with Cyrus snagged MTV Video Music Award for Best Song.

The collaborators will now compete at the CMAs in November against country artists including Maren Morris and Garth Brooks.

"Thank you guys for this nomination!!" tweeted Lil Nas X.


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