Lil Nas X made history recently by being the first openly gay singer to win a Country Music Association Award. The Old Town Road rapper was phenomenally successful with his song topping the Billboard charts for 19 weeks straight. While his song was initially dismissed as not really being country music, it has not been streamed over two billion times, making it a massive success. Recently, Lil Nas X once again made history by being the first-ever Black openly gay man to be featured on the Forbes’ list of Highest-Paid Country Acts.
Lil Nas X is the first openly gay man as well as the first person of colour to ever be featured on the list. According to Forbes, Lil Nas X earned over $14 million (excluding taxes) through his streams, music videos, concerts, albums and his new deal with Columbia Records. Diego Farias, who is the co-founder of Amuse where Old Town Road streamed first, told Forbes that the song was such a massive success that it was viral in countries where the genre of Country music is non-existant. He added that the song was trending everywhere from the Southeast Asian market to the eastern European market. These were places that are not usually associated with Country music.
Usual fan favourites have also made it on the list, with artists such as Keith Urban, Luke Bryan, Blake Shelton and Kenny Chesney ranking high on Forbes' list. However, this is one of the rare years where Forbes’ list of Highest-Paid Country Acts not only has an openly gay black man but also has six female artists featured on the list. Lil Nas X's Old Town Road has also been nominated for several Grammy Awards.
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