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Lil Nas X, the gay country rapper whose single “Old Town Road” recently made Billboard Hot 100 history when it became the longest-running No. 1 song in history, is gracing cover of Time magazine’s August 26 issue.
Lil Nas, who nonchalantly came out on Twitter in last month, joins the ranks of a handful of other LGBTQ notables who have been featured on past covers, including Pete and Chasten Buttigieg and Laverne Cox.
some of y’all already know, some of y’all don’t care, some of y’all not gone fwm no more. but before this month ends i want y’all to listen closely to c7osure. ??? pic.twitter.com/O9krBLllqQ
— nope (@LilNasX) June 30, 2019
Speaking to writer Andrew R. Chow, the 20-year-old singer says he never planned on coming out, fearing fans wouldn’t respond well to a Black queer artist who blends musical genres.
“I know the people who listen to this the most,” Lil Nas explains, “and they’re not accepting of homosexuality.”
But during Pride Month, something changed for Lil Nas.
“I never would have done that if I wasn’t in a way pushed by the universe,” he says. “In June, I’m seeing Pride flags everywhere and seeing couples holding hands–little stuff like that.”
He first came out to his father and sister earlier in June, and then broke the news on Twitter several weeks later.
Despite his crazy success, the chart-topping artist tells the magazine he still gets anxiety.
“It gets overwhelming,” he explains, adding that sometimes, he just “[shuts down] on everybody. I’m still a loner in a lot of ways.”
But that doesn’t mean he plans on going away anytime soon. Lil Nas is still focused on making music and releasing new material, noting that the industry moves quickly, and even after the runaway success of his breakout single, he “[has] to keep going.”
Watch the music video for “Old Town Road” featuring Billy Ray Cyrus below.