Sometimes, true stories beat just about anything made up for the big and small screens. When they’re as juicy as Lil Nas X‘s narrative in the country music realm, they’re pure gold. Take what happened this weekend at Stagecoach, a country-music festival in Indio, California.
After effectively being told in March that his song “Old Town Road” — which has since hit No. 1 and become one of the biggest hits of the year — wasn’t country enough to be included on Billboard‘s Hot Country Songs chart, it’s only fitting that a month later, he performed the song for the first time live at Stagecoach. Along for the ride was Billy Ray Cyrus, who collaborated with Lil Nas X on the song’s remix. Together, as fan-captured footage reveals, they made history.
Diplo, who recently released his own remix of “Old Town Road” in addition to a potential country pivot of his own, brought out the two performers to cap off his set. First came Cyrus, slowly strumming his guitar onstage in an explosion of smoke, singing the first lines of the remix. Lil Nas X then came out in yeehaw-dinous fashion, booming the track’s soft country lyricism with a commanding tone. The crowd went bananas, clinging to every word and regurgitating every syllable of both artists’ verses.
Earlier this month, “Old Town Road” topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart, becoming the biggest song in America. The track previously climbed to No. 19 on Billboard‘s Hot Country Songs chart but was removed from in March because, as Billboard said in a statement, it didn’t “embrace enough elements of today’s country music.” Cyrus hopped on the remix after reaching out to Lil Nas X publicly to support him.
Take a look at a video of the energetic performance up above.