Keith Urban’s ‘Old Town Road’ Cover Will Settle That ‘Is It Country?’ Debate [WATCH]
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Keith Urban‘s banjo-driven cover of Lil Nas X‘s viral hit “Old Town Road” leaves no question about it: It’s country. Readers can press play above to listen to Urban’s take on the song, which he busted out solo, in front of a video camera, and shared to his social media pages on Saturday (April 13).
Lil Nas X, a Georgia-based rapper, released the Wild West-themed “Old Town Road” in December. After going viral via the TikTok app, the song debuted at No. 19 on Billboard‘s Hot Country Songs chart dated March 16, sparking an avalanche of controversy about what is and is not country music, and how race can play a role in that determination. The song was pulled from country charts when Billboard decided that the song lacks the sonic trademarks of a country song.
Urban’s solo cover of “Old Town Road” lands the tune squarely among the traditional country ballads that are country music standards. The newly crowned ACM Entertainer of the Year shows off his ace banjo skills, bringing the original song’s banjo line to the forefront.
Shortly after “Old Town Road” was removed from the Billboard country charts, Billy Ray Cyrus teamed up with Lil Nas X for a remix of the tune. For the chart week dated April 13, “Old Town Road” debuted on the Billboard Country Airplay chart at No. 53, finding airplay partially due to that remix, and also because of the controversy surrounding the tune.
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