Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus closed out the 2019 Stagecoach Festival in Indio, California, with the live debut of “Old Town Road,” Lil Nas X’s viral sensation that features the “Achy Breaky Heart” country singer on its chart-topping remix.
The pair joined Diplo at the Palomino Stage, with the DJ, who just released his own uptempo remix of the song, making no bones about in what genre “Old Town Road” belongs. “Let me tell you right now, it’s a country song,” he said, by way of introducing Lil Nas X and Cyrus. “This is the best way to end Stagecoach.”
With Diplo cueing up the song, Cyrus appeared in a cowboy hat strumming his guitar, before Lil Nas X, in a gold fringe jacket, bounded onto the stage to rap to the track. The performance was all about that inescapable chorus, though, with the crowd throatily singing “gonna ride my horse” back to the entertainers.
The collaboration had been rumored since last week, but didn’t materialize until the third and final day of the Indio, California, festival. It remains to be seen if Lil Nas X and Cyrus will re-create the song again elsewhere, but Cyrus is slated to perform on the main stage at CMA Fest in Nashville on June 8th.
Lil Nas X was at the center of a chart controversy in March, when “Old Town Road” bowed on Billboard‘s Hot Country Songs and Hot R&B/Hip-Hop at the same time. It was subsequently pulled from the country chart because, according to a Billboard representative, it “does not embrace enough elements of today’s country music to chart in its current version.” It remains Number One on the Billboard Hot 100 for a third week.