He meant it.
He’d already made history a month prior when, while the song was still riding strong at the top of the charts, he came out of the closet, making him the only artist to ever do that while having a No. 1 record. “Old Town Road” would go on to spend a total 19 weeks at No. 1 before being dethroned by Billie Eilish‘s “Bad Guy.” Follow-up single “Panini,” also featured on debut EP 7, would peak at No. 5.
And then came the accolades.
First, there were eight MTV Video Music Award nominations. He won two, including Song of the Year, making him the first LGBTQ artist to do so. His win for Musical Event of the Year at the 53rd Annual Country Music Association Awards made him the first only gay man to ever even be nominated, let alone the first LGBTQ artist to win.
And then, of course, came the Grammys.
Earning six nominations at this year’s ceremony, including Best New Artist, Record of the Year and Album of the Year, he’d go on two win two: Best Pop Duo/Group Performance and Best Music Video. Not only that, but he also delivered one of the night’s most thrilling performances, featuring guests from each of the many “Old Town Road” remixes, including Billy Ray Cyrus, BTS and Nas.