Is ‘Old Town Road’ by Lil Nas X a country song? Is it not a country song? Perhaps we’ll just agree that it’s a massive hit, eh? Now featuring Billy Rae Cyrus, the track is sitting proudly atop Billboard’s Hot 100 chart in the US, and last week was streamed 143m times in that country alone, according to Billboard. That’s a significant number: it broke Drake’s record for single-week US streams, and by a distance – ‘In My Feelings’ was streamed 116.2m times in a single week last July.
According to chart-compilers Nielsen Music, ‘Old Town Road’ saw its weekly streams leap by 207% last week, but what’s interesting is that there’s also a story around it outside streaming. The track sold 124k downloads in the US last week, and is also rocketing up the radio-airplay charts there. It’s also the biggest ‘gainer’ on the Hot 100 streaming, sales and airplay charts – the first song to achieve that feat across all three since Ariana Grande’s ‘thank u, next’ in December last year. And one final note: ‘Old Town Road’ has given Cyrus his first US number one: his biggest solo hit ‘Achy Breaky Heart’ got to number four in 1992.