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Shaboozey Reacts to Lil Nas X’s Country Music Inclusion Comments

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Shaboozey is having a great time making the music he loves and basking in the glow of adoration for his recent country hits and collaborations.

ET’s Rachel Smith spoke with the 29-year-old artist during day 1 of this year’s CMA Fest and Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tennessee, on Thursday, and he opened up about the support he’s received from fans — as well as recent remarks made by Lil Nas X about inclusion in the country music genre.

In a recent interview with BBC, Lil Nas X shared that he’s happy to see the success of other Black artists on the country music chart — most prominently Shaboozey and Beyonce, with her recent album, Cowboy Carter.

However, he lamented the removal of his own single, “Old Town Road,” from the Billboard Country Charts five years ago, sharing, “I wish this would have happened for me. I wasn’t even able to experience this.”

For Shaboozey, it seems he understands the frustration given just how massively popular that single became.”

“I mean the song was everywhere!’ He said with a laugh. “You couldn’t get away.”

Shaboozey visits Spotify House during CMA Fest 2024 – Day 1.Ed Rode/Getty Images

The song went on to top the Billboard Hot 100 chart for 19 consecutive weeks — a new record, beating out the previous mark of 16 weeks held by both “One Sweet Day” by Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men and “Despacito” by Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee featuring Justin Bieber — and topped the singles charts in at least 10 other countries.

“I thought he created a huge moment with that to get Billy Ray Cyrus to get on that record and the visuals were amazing, you know?” Shaboozey said. “I wish him luck with everything he wants to do.”

Lil Nas X has largely stayed away from country music since the controversy, but Shaboozey said he feels there’s always room for him in the genre.

“I think anybody’s welcome to music, you know? If you create, and you’re authentic with what you’re creating, there’s always a space for you,” he shared. “So, you know, if he wants to come back, I’m pretty sure he can come back.”

Earlier this year, Beyoncé made history as the first Black female artist to top Billboard’s Hot 100 Country Songs chart with “Texas Hold ‘Em.” The track spent 10 weeks at the top, only getting dethroned by Shaboozey with his single, “A Bar Song (Tipsy).”

Shaboozey performs on ‘The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon’ on June 5, 2024.Todd Owyoung/NBC via Getty Images

Shaboozey also featured on two tracks on Cowboy Carter — “Spaghettii” and “Sweet Honey Buckiin” — and he told ET that getting the call asking him to be a part of Beyonce’s album “was just awesome.”

“We’ve been working really hard for years, just trying to make the best music we can, so for her to just recognize that, you know? It was obviously like super surreal,” he recalled. “It’s crazy.”

Shaboozey also just released his latest album, Where I’ve Been, Isn’t Where I’m Going, which has been met with rave reviews from critics and fans

“It’s awesome to see, you know! We worked on that project for about two years and sometimes I got tired of the songs and I just was having just lot of doubt because I was just holding onto it so much,” Shaboozey shared. “So to put it out there and to see that all the work we put in is being received, I think people can feel that. ‘Cause we did put a lot of effort and a lot of time… just to get it perfect.”

CMA Fest, hosted by Jelly Roll and Ashley McBryde, airs June 25 on ABC.

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