Billy Ray Cyrus and Lil Nas X Steal 2019 BET Awards With ‘Old Town Road’ [Watch]
One of the most polarizing — and most fun — hits of 2019 to date is "Old Town Road" by teenage rapper Lil Nas X. The song has drawn criticism (as well as plenty of adoration) from the country world, but one thing that is undeniable: Billy Ray Cyrus, who joined for a version of the infectious song, makes a perfect combo with the rapper. Proof positive? Just see their performance at the 2019 BET Awards Sunday night (June 23).
BET Awards host Regina Hall called out Cyrus at the beginning of the show, noting, "We have Billy Ray Cyrus. Billy is not from D.C., but he went to Howard! HU, that's right!"
This in itself caused a bit of kerflufflle on Twitter, with fans wondering if the 57-year-old country singer actually attended the historically black university. (He didn't).
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The comedic sarcasm didn't end there. Hall didn't pull any punches when it came time for Cyrus to perform with the 19-year-old rapper, preceding their performance with a sharply amusing monologue looking back to a time when Washington, D.C., was solidly black, right down to the Commander in Chief in the White House.
After this commentary, Hall abruptly introduced Cyrus and Lil Nas X with another joking mention of Cyrus being a "Howard alum." (Again, he's not! But the joke did seem to fool many, with social media puzzling over Google searches).
That said, the pair delighted the audience with an irresistible, rollicking version of the hit — Cyrus looking his typical self in a wide-brimmed hat, with Lil Nas in an eye-catching neon fringed getup — backed by a line of enthusiastic line dancers (male, female, and of various sizes) in Daisy Dukes while everyone present sang along lustily to the by-now-familiar lyrics.
Twitter exploded with praise for the super-fun performance, which unexpectedly won the evening...and there was lots of love sent toward Cyrus for his genre-bending appearance
The 2019 BET Awards took place at the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles on June 23 at 8PM ET.
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