'Old Town Road' is officially the longest running No. 1 single of all time

Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus.
(Image credit: Paras Griffin/Getty Images)

"Old Town Road" is gonna ride the charts 'til it can't no more. As it turns out, this horse has the legs for a 17 week gallop at number one on Billboard's Hot 100 charts with nary a shootout in sight.

Fans of the country-rap hit were biting their nails this past week to see if "Old Town Road" would rewrite music history and break the Billboard record for longest running No. 1 on the charts. Lil Nas X, the 20-year-old rapper with spurs of steel, proved himself up for the challenge.

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His first-ever single kicks "One Sweet Day" (the 1995 ballad by Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men) and worldwide phenomenon "Despacito" (by Luis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee, and remixed with Justin Bieber, if you've already repressed the memory of summer 2017) off of their shared throne. The two songs dominated for 16 weeks each.

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"Old Town Road" first rose to No. 1 on the Billboard Country charts before being removed for "not [embracing] enough elements of today's country music to chart in its current version." Billboard would rue that statement, with fans and other artists alike deriding their decision as hypocritical and racist.

The phrase "its current version" would also prove prophetic. Billy Ray Cyrus was quick to add a verse in April; producer Diplo dropped a remix; a Young Thug and Mason Ramsey version came in early July; k-pop superstar RM of BTS released "Seoul Town Road"; even Dolly Parton expressed interest in adding her voice to the song.

All these remixes used Billboards rules against them: the charts don't count remixes as separate song entities, meaning that a stream of the BTS version counted as much as the Billy Ray one. With a new record hanging from his holster, Lil Nas X is riding off into the sunset with the last laugh.

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