Lil Nas X has had a meteoric rise to the top of the music industry heap in the past two years. The Grammy-winning artist has fully embraced who he is with the release of his debut album Montero. But it wasn’t always that way.
Lil Nas X struggled before finding music
Lil Nas X first burst onto the scene with his breakout single “Old Town Road,” which went on to sell over 15 million copies in the US — the most ever recorded in history. It also set a new record for most weeks spent at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, with 19 weeks total in the top spot. Eventually, while the song was still at number one, he came out as gay.
Before he found music and came out publicly, Lil Nas was struggling with thoughts of suicide. He sang openly about it on the single “Sun Goes Down” from Montero. He also opened up about other issues he struggled with growing up, including sexuality and family life, on the album.
Music changed Lil Nas X’s life forever
Getting to release Montero, then, was a breath of fresh air for the 22-year-old rapper. It was the culmination of nearly three years of hard work as a musician, and showed that he was more than just a one-hit wonder.
“Music saved my entire life,” he said honestly in a 2021 interview for Apple Music. “I know all artists say it, and I truly get it now. It gave me an outlet to just have more of a purpose [and] have something that I want to dedicate myself to, have something I love, have something that I’m not doing for somebody else.”
Still, in the early days of his career, he felt that death was on the horizon. “The entire time I was making music, I thought soon I was going to die for some reason,” he said, revealing that his grandmother died just as his career was beginning to take off.
Lil Nas X is living his best life today
Lil Nas admitted to Zane Lowe that after the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and was stuck at home, he was forced to confront many of his inner demons — as well as trolls online. But in the time since then, he’s fully embraced who he is and celebrates who he is in everything he does.
He’s become one of the most-watched figures on the red carpet, with looks including his pink Versace cowboy outfit at the 2020 Grammy Awards and his showstopping three-looks-in-one Versace outfit for the 2021 Met Gala. He also hasn’t shied away from showing his love life on screen: his music video for Montero single “That’s What I Want” featured romantic scenes with his rumored boyfriend, dancer Yai Ariza.
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