Billy Ray Cyrus Guests On Trap Song Banned From The US Country Charts

Billy Ray Cyrus, Old Town Road

A fierce argument has broken out over Billboard‘s recent decision to remove a trap song from the US Hot Country Songs chart for not being authentically ‘country’ enough, and like all truly spicy news stories, this one features a cameo from Billy Ray Cyrus.

[jwplayer GfoHcP6v]

The song in question is ‘Old Town Road‘ by up-and-coming 19-year-old artist Lil Nas X, which has been described by its creator as “country trap”, and which originally went viral thanks to its success on the lip sync app Tik Tok.

It was making its way up the country charts and had arrived at Number 19 this week when Billboard removed it, saying that the song “does not embrace enough elements of today’s country music to chart in its current form.”

When news of Lil Nas X’s exclusion from the country charts was initially reported, Billy Ray Cyrus tweeted in support of him, passing on some advice from country legend Waylon Jennings and saying “only outlaws are outlawed, welcome to the club.”

The pair then collaborated on a remix, and the song, which already sounded pretty country to me, is now quite country indeed, thanks to the addition of Billy Ray’s vocal:

Billy Ray later said in defence of ‘Old Town Road’:

“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?”

Social media has gone absolutely nuts for the collaboration:

‘Old Town Road’ has since gained a massive amount of momentum, going to the number one spot in the US iTunes chart:

It’s unclear whether the remix will be eligible for inclusion on Billboard’s country chart although it seems like that would be pretty wise move for them at this point.