Lil Nas X is the first out gay Black person to win a Country Music Award

Lil Nas X performing at the BET Awards
Lil Nas X performing at the 2019 BET Awards Photo: BETNetworks/YouTube

Lil Nas X just became the first gay Black person in history to take home a Country Music Award.

The CMA ceremony was held last night in Nashville, where Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus took home the award for Musical Event of the Year for “Old Town Road.”

Related: Lil Nas X says that he tried ‘praying & praying & praying’ to be straight as a teen

“LETS GOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!” Nas tweeted when he was announced as the winner in the category. Winners were announced before the awards show itself.

The “Musical Event of the Year” category at the CMAs honors the best collaborations of the year in country music. Nas and Cyrus were up against collaborations between Garth Brooks and Blake Shelton, Maren Morris and the Brothers Osborne, Brooks & Dunn and Luke Combs, and Brantley Gilbert and Lindsay Ell.

“Old Town Road” set the record earlier this year for the song that held the top position of Billboard‘s “Hot 100” list for the most weeks when it spent 19 weeks at number one.

The song also pushed the limits of what people consider country music. “Old Town Road” reached #19 on Billboard‘s “Hot Country Songs” list before being removed for not being sufficiently country.

Shane McAnally and Brandy Clark both won a CMA Award in 2014 for co-writing Kacey Musgraves’ “Follow Your Arrow”, becoming the first LGBTQ people to win a trophy at this event.

Country music star Chely Wright, who is gay, was nominated for three CMAs before she came out in 2007. She did not win.

***CORRECTION: We earlier made the mistake of identifying Lil’ Nas X as the first out gay person to win an award at the CMAs. This was a mistake, and we apologize. As the LA Times clarified, he is “the first openly gay black person” to take home an award from this event. 

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