Lil Nas X is officially a winner at the CMAs! ‘Old Town Road’ announced as early champ ahead of Nov. 13 telecast

Is “Old Town Road” really a country song? The verdict is in from the Country Music Association, and they say it is — at least, country enough to be announced as an early winner for Musical Event of the Year. This was the first nomination and win for Lil Nas X (who was also the only black artist nominated in any category this year) and just the second victory for collaborator Billy Ray Cyrus. The CMAs also announced Kacey Musgraves as the winner of Music Video of the Year for “Rainbow.”

“Old Town Road” made history on the Billboard charts, spending a record-breaking 19 weeks at number-one on the Hot 100. But Billboard caused a stir when they shunned the country/hip-hop hybrid from their country chart. When Cyrus came to Nas’s defense, they joined forces on a remix, which was an unprecedented success.

Cyrus’s only previous CMA nominations were in 1992, when his signature hit “Achy Breaky Heart” was up for Music Video of the Year and won Single of the Year. So it took another massive crossover hit to get him back into the winner’s circle 27 years later.

Their collaboration defeated four more traditional country songs: “All My Favorite People” by Maren Morris and Brothers Osborne, “Brand New Man” by Brooks and Dunn with Luke Combs, “Dive Bar” by Garth Brooks and Blake Shelton and “What Happens in a Small Town” by Brantley Gilbert and Lindsay Ell.

Meanwhile, Musgraves won her first Music Video of the Year title after previously contending in that category for “Follow Your Arrow” (2014) and “Biscuits” (2015). It’s her fourth CMA victory overall following prizes for New Artist of the Year (2013), Song of the Year  for “Follow Your Arrow” (2014) and Album of the Year for “Golden Hour” (2018).

Musgraves has two more categories that will be presented during the November 13 telecast: Song of the Year (“Rainbow”) and Female Vocalist of the Year. The remaining awards will be handed out during a live ceremony hosted by Carrie Underwood with Dolly Parton and Reba McEntire.

Be sure to make your CMA predictions so that Hollywood insiders can see this year’s contenders are faring in our CMA odds. You can keep changing your predictions until winners are announced on November 13. And join the discussion on this and more taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our music forums. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.

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