Country Music People May 2019 - Page 5

Riding in on a Storm Shock, horror! Billboard removes a song from the country chart because it’s not country. What host of celebrities from the non country world. Billy Ray Cyrus tweeted: “I thought, it’s honest, have been in the hip hop listing and ensured its early success. Bring on the inevitable outrage and took them so long you might well ask? The song humble, and has an infectious hook, and a banjo. news coverage and you’ve got a sure-fire hit on in question is Lil Nas X’s Old Town Road by the What the hell more do ya need?” before offering your hands… And if it says it’s “country” or they Atlanta rapper and “Trap” artist. Billboard later his services to get himself back in the spotlight, are told that something is “country” then country issued a statement saying the song “does not oops, we mean collaborate on a “remix”. radio don’t seem to have any qualms about playing embrace enough elements of today’s country music to chart in its current version.” Not to worry, along came Billy Ray Cyrus to the rescue, and a remix of the song featuring the Achy Black country singer Jimmie Allen who hit the top spot with his debut single Best Shot recently it, let alone question whether it might or might not actually be country. said “The song deserves to be on every chart.” Amid the furore and accusations of racism The internet got itself all worked up about in country music were many people seemingly Breaky singer made sure it was country enough the alleged racist nature of country music as a unaware of Charley Pride’s 44 chart-toppers, let for Billboard. The song has fast-tracked itself to the whole as well as about what is and isn’t country. alone the work of many other black country artists. top spot in its first week and thanks to the ensuing Strangely enough however, it wasn’t suggested Among the most-offended by Lil Nas X’s inclusion furore as CMP went to press was #2 in the Official that Maren Morris, Thomas Rhett, Kelsea on the country chart were many people for whom UK Chart (pop). Ballerini or a whole host of other current charters an over-riding pop or rock sound on a country be removed from Billboard’s listing, despite them record is quite acceptable though. Of course Old rapping, Lil Nas X added a video made up of being as “not country” as Lil Nas X. Billboard said Town Road isn’t country. Neither are the majority footage from the best-selling console game Red factors that determine which chart a song lives on of the records clogging up the Billboard country Dead Redemption, a game which looks like a include “musical composition, airplay, and how it’s charts these days, and the main issue to arise super violent Clint Eastwood Spaghetti Western platformed on streaming services. from the Lil Nas X saga is that the country music Featuring a banjo riff against a drumbeat and for the 21st century. The song was released before At the time of writing Old Town Road is number industry needs to get its house in order and stop Christmas and went viral with people posting one on the Billboard Hot 100, that’s the overall pulling the wool over the eyes of a public who videos of them dancing to the track. Gaining (pop) chart and Lil Nas X has signed a record deal seem to have a completely different momentum, many radio stations took the audio with Sony, proving the old adage that no publicity is idea of what actually makes a directly from YouTube, such was their desire to bad publicity. country record a country record. play it. The song started to make inroads on the Maybe this highlights the problem of country Regardless of race, or nationality, Billboard Country Chart but it was once it was radio more than anything else. Lil Nas X effectively anyone can make a country “removed” that things really got going for Old Town just played the system in getting his track on the record. That’s not the problem. Road. Amid claims that it was removed because country charts. Uploading it to streaming and Nashville seems to think it can sell the artist is black there were cries of country music downloading sites where he was able to list it as us something else and convince being inherently racist from all quarters, including a “country” it was noticed much more than it would us all it is country. MAY 2019 - cmp 5