Billy Ray Cyrus said he would never forget his experience at the 2019 BET Awards Sunday night.
While performing the song “Old Town Road” with Lil Nas X, the crowd went wild, stood up, and sang along. Cyrus told Entertainment Tonight that he had never felt anything like that before.
“It was electrifying,” the singer said. “I’m just kinda in shock in this moment.”
“The crowd stood up and they sang every word,” he recalled. “I never felt a moment quite like that.”
“It was just such an honor being here,” Cyrus, 57, added. “And being a part of this festival and these festivities and this celebration of music. It’ll be a moment that I’ll always cherish and remember. It was very special.”
Cyrus was not the only one that was in awe of the crowd’s reaction. Nas also had a few words to say about performing the song live at the event.
“That was the most amazing thing I’ve ever experience in my life,” he said.
“Old Town Road,” written by Nas, 20, whose real name is Montero Lamar Hill, was first released in December of 2018. A remix of the song featuring Cyrus was released in April 2019.
The two made a grand appearance at the awards show, arriving on horseback before bringing the crowd to their feet with a spectacular performance of the song. The two also looked as good as they sounded. Nas wore a yellow-and-black ensemble featuring tassels and a black cowboy hat. Cyrus wore dark jeans, a black leather jacket, and a cowboy hat.
— billboard (@billboard) June 24, 2019
The country-inspired rap song sparked debate earlier in the year when it climbed the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart to number 19 before being disqualified because Billboard claimed it did not fit the country genre. However, the song did remain on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.
Cyrus supported Nas and said on Twitter that he had been keeping up with the controversy and told the rapper that the same thing had happened to him, telling him it was a compliment. In April, the “Achy Breaky Heart” singer also said on Twitter that it was “obvious” the song was country after hearing it just one time. He explained that the song was honest, humble, had an “infectious hook” and a banjo, pondering what more was needed to make it country.
Entertainment Tonight reported that Nas celebrated the song’s success by gifting Cyrus a red Maserati GranTurismo convertible, which is mentioned in the song’s lyrics.