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After winning his first set of Grammys for “Old Town Road,” Lil Nas X’s massive country-infused hip-hop hit with Billy Ray Cyrus, the 20-year-old artist performed an epic rendition live onstage at the 62nd annual Grammy Awards, held Sunday night at Los Angeles’ Staples Center.
Lil Nas X started out by singing the song and strumming a guitar inside of a set that resembled a kid’s bedroom with Kobe Bryant’s L.A. Lakers jersey laid out on a chair, one of several tributes to the late NBA legend, who, with his teenage daughter Gianna, died earlier in the day in a Calabasas helicopter crash.
Lil Nas X was joined by Cyrus and a string of “Old Town Road All-Stars” with whom the rapper had released additional remixes of the record-breaking song. K-pop superstars BTS — whose leader RM lent his vocals to a remix called “Seoul Town Road” — performed alongside Lil Nas X and Cyrus, with the Korean septet showing off major enthusiasm and charisma.
Diplo and 13-year-old yodeling sensation Mason Ramsey, more “Old Town Road” collaborators, also participated. The Recording Academy had previously promised “other special guests” for the performance, which turned out to just be rapper Nas. He and Lil Nas X concluded the performance with a live debut of their new joint single “Rodeo,” which was released on Sunday night.
At the very end of the number, Diplo brought it back to Bryant by shouting, “Kobe, we love you!”
Lil Nas X’s performance came after he and Cyrus snagged awards for best music video and best pop duo/group performance for “Old Town Road.” Lil Nas X also scored nominations for record of the year (for “Old Town Road”), best new artist, album of the year (for his debut LP, 7) and best rap/sung performance for his sophomore single, “Panini.”
“Old Town Road” last year became the longest-charting No. 1 song in the history of the Billboard Hot 100, beating out previous titleholders Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men (“One Sweet Day”), and Justin Bieber, Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee (“Despacito”). “Old Town Road” spent a total 19 weeks at No. 1 on the chart.
Prior to tonight, “Old Town Road” had racked up a substantial amount of trophies since its April 2019 release, including an American Music Award, VMAs, BET Awards, a Teen Choice Award and a CMA Award.