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He did it: Lil Nas X takes “song about gay sex” to top of Billboard Hot 100

Lil Nas X in the 'MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name)' video
Lil Nas X in the ‘MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name)’ video

Lil Nas X’s latest track, ‘MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name)’, has been confirmed as the new number one on the Billboard Hot 100. The single made its debut on the chart yesterday. It’s Lil Nas X’s second Billboard Hot 100 number one after the success of his earlier single, ‘Old Town Road.’

Billboard confirmed the news in a tweet yesterday.

The organization said the song had “46.9 million U.S. streams and sold 21,000 downloads in the week ending April 1. It also attracted 1.1 million radio airplay audience impressions in the week ending April 4.” It also debuted at the top of the UK singles charts on Friday.

Lil Nas X posted a lengthy statement to his Instagram.

“Last year I was sitting in my apartment thinking it was all over for me. I was trying so hard to be perfect, to please everyone, and not make any enemies. That stifled me creatively. I felt so sorry for myself. But around this time in 2020 I pulled it together, me, daytrip, omer, & roy, worked for months on end.

“One day in June I was working on a song and found myself leaving the studio every 10 minutes to cry. But I didn’t stop working, a melody came to my mind. “call me when u want na-na-na-na na, and I knew it was something special about it, fast forward a year later it’s the biggest song in the world. Thank you guys so much. We get to decide OUR own destiny, never let the world decide it for YOU! I love you!”

Related: Lil Nas X’s dad gives his reaction to the ‘MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name)’ video

The track’s success is noteworthy for several reasons. Firstly, the rapper first posted a 20-second snippet of the song to his Twitter last July. Despite immediately proving a fan favorite, he decided to wait eight months before releasing the full song. In today’s music industry, when most fans expect to be able to stream a track as soon as they first hear it, that helped build anticipation.

Secondly, it was accompanied by a controversial video that found Lil Nax X sliding down a pole into Hell and lap dancing Satan.

The video prompted outrage among some right-wing politicians and evangelicals. Lil Nas X, who came out as gay in 2019, responded by tweeting, “I spent my entire teenage years hating myself because of the shit y’all preached would happen to me because i was gay. so i hope u are mad, stay mad, feel the same anger you teach us to have towards ourselves.”

He also tweeted a note to his teenage self, saying: “I know we promised to never be ‘that’ type of gay person, I know we promised to die with the secret, but this will open doors for many other queer people to simply exist.

“You see this is very scary for me, people will be angry, they will say I’m pushing an agenda. But the truth is, I am. The agenda to make people stay the fuck out of other people’s lives and stop dictating who they should be.”

Lil Nas X has spent most of the last ten days encouraging fans to stream the track and watch the video. His ‘Satan Shoes’ controversy (limited-edition modified Nikes that prompted a swift lawsuit) also made headlines and the video prompted several TikTok trends.

Related: Nike sues over Lil Nas X’s Satan sneakers and wants them all destroyed

On Twitter, Lil Nas X responded to news of its number one debut in a typically bullish fashion, posting a cackling Spongebob video clip with the caption: “me after getting a song about gay sex to the top of the billboard charts.”

Followed by: “LETS GO GAY AGENDA!!!!” and “god i am gonna do so much sex tonight.”