When you think of the greatest songs of all time, what comes to mind? Is it a classic Eminem track? Is it a Michael Jackson throwback? Maybe it's a timeless Justin Bieber hit. Actually, it's none of the above.
In todays viral world, a song can reach heights we never knew imaginable, in a time much shorter than you'd think. Lil Nas X is the king of the viral hit, having won two 2020 Grammys for his song that rapidly spanned the world: "Old Town Road (Remix)."
As of this week (about a year and a half after it's release), that track has become the sole most-certified song in RIAA History- 14x platinum. Not to mention, it also broke the record for most weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard "Hot 100" chart, maintaining the top spot for 19 weeks. When the track was released, it's catchy hook took off on TikTok (while also playing part in countless memes), and debuted on Billboards cross-genre "Hot 100" chart, "Hot Country Songs" chart, and "Hot R&B / Hip-Hop Songs" chart simultaneously. Talk about genre-fluid.
The trick, though, is that Lil Nas X strategically listed this song as a country record, since it featured country singer Billy Ray Cyrus. On services such as iTunes and SoundCloud, Lil Nas X was able to use the favorable genre to gain traction, verses competing against the saturated rap field featuring some of the world's most popular songs.
So, what songs have "Old Town Road (Remix)" eclipsed? Lil Nas X has trumped John Legends "All of Me," as well as"Despacito," which both went 13x platinum. One thing these three songs have in common: they're all released in the streaming era. There's never been more potential in the music industry than there is right now, and Lil Nas X's rise to stardom is a prime example.