Lil Nas X made music history in 2019 with the release of “Old Town Road,” a country-trap song that spent a record-breaking 19 consecutive weeks at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart earlier this year.
The single, first released in December 2018, crisscrossed music genres like a line dance, making headlines and creating conversation before being remixed into the now ubiquitous version featuring Billy Ray Cyrus.
Lil Nas X has since been awarded accolades from the Country Music Association Awards, American Music Awards, MTV VMAs, and the Teen Choice Awards, culminating in six Grammy nominations. From the beginning, one of Lil Nas X’s key methods of self-promotion has been social media, highlighting his music through memes, videos, and jokes. Building his fan base this way has paid off — when the song first dropped in December 2018, Lil Nas X already had a strong Twitter community to share it with. Now that number is 3.5 million and growing with each new single release and award nomination.
According to John Salcedo, digital marketing director at Columbia Records, Lil Nas X’s early followers were “other absolutely hilarious people on Twitter, and rising creatives and musicians.” Nowadays that fanbase includes the likes of Janet Jackson and Bruno Mars. When asked about how his Twitter community compares to that of other platforms, “They’re way more opinionated and rabid in conversation,” Salcedo says. “They’re more creative and sharp as well.” This creativity can be seen in the fan art and memes that Lil Nas X Retweets, and in his own unique style of promoting his work.
Read on to discover how Lil Nas X used Twitter to support the promotion of “Old Town Road” and help cement his place in history as one of the most talked-about musicians on Twitter in 2019.