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The Year in Music 2021: Lil Nas X dances with the devil and comes out on top


One-hit wonder who? Lil Nas X’s massive hit, “Old Town Road,” catapulted him to stardom in 2019, but this year, the singer proved he’s here to stay with a successful album release, some clever viral marketing campaigns and a healthy dose of controversy mixed in.

Here’s a roundup of Lil Nas X’s most notable 2021 moments:

–He released the single “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)” in March, an unapologetically lustful tune that became his second number-one hit. It was accompanied by a devilish music video that featured Lil Nas pole dancing into Hell and giving Satan a lap dance.

–The video for “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)” caught criticism from some parties, but Nas only added fuel to the fire — so to speak — when he released a Satan-themed sneaker collab with the design company MSCHF, featuring a drop of real blood. The collab reimagined Nike Air Max 97s. Nike, who did not authorize the shoes, ended up filing a lawsuit against MSCHF. The suit was settled in April. 

–In July, Lil Nas poked fun at the sneaker scandal in the video for “Industry Baby.” The clip features Lil Nas and Jack Harlow breaking out of jail — and includes a censored naked shower dance scene. “Industry Baby” went on to become Lil Nas’ third number one single.

–Lil Nas also had a couple of memorable TV performances: in May, he performed on SNL and split his pants during his pole dancing routine; and in July, he boldly kissed his male backup dancer during his BET Awards performance.

–Lil Nas X’s debut album, Montero, was released in September, featuring collaborations with Elton John, Miley Cyrus, Doja Cat, Megan Thee Stallion and more.
 It debuted at number two on the Billboard 200.

–Lil Nas’ hard work was rewarded with five Grammy nominations this year, including Album of the Year for Montero and Record and Song of the Year, for “Montero (Call Me By Your Name).”

(Videos contain uncensored profanity.)

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