Lil Nas X: From viral TikTok musician to mainstream hitmaker

Tom Horton, PA
·1-min read

Lil Nas X has topped the UK singles chart for the second time in his career.

His new song Montero (Call Me By Your Name) was streamed 6.8 million times in the UK this week.

The US rapper, real name Montero Lamar Hill – who is from Atlanta, Georgia, shot to fame in 2019.

Glastonbury Festival 2019 – Day 5
Lil Nas X and Miley Cyrus (Yui Mok/PA)

His song Old Town Road topped charts around the world, including in the UK and US.

It first found popularity on the video sharing app TikTok before becoming a mainstream hit.

The song became the longest-running number one in the US Billboard Hot 100 chart’s history.

In the summer of 2019, he performed the track on stage with Miley Cyrus at Glastonbury in front of a packed crowd.

That year he also came out as gay.

He told GQ Hype he struggled with “having a voice” in a rap landscape often associated with homophobia.

Glastonbury Festival 2019 – Day 5
Lil Nas X (Yui Mok/PA)

He added: “Live your life to its fullest potential and don’t really care too much about what other people think of you.

“I used to say that cliche, but I never really lived by it, until now.

“Since I came out, people have been coming up to me saying, ‘You’re making a way for us’.”

Lil Nas X was recognised at the Grammy Awards in 2020, picking up two prizes in the best music video and best pop duo/group performance categories.

After releasing Montero (Call Me By Your Name) last month, Lil Nas X penned an open letter to his younger self about coming out as gay.

He said the song “will open doors for many other queer people to simply exist”.