NASHVILLE, TN—Lauding the singer for his unique melding of roots, Americana, and Appalachian folk styles, music writers across the industry attributed the extraordinary success of Lil Nas X Wednesday to his invention of the genre of country. “What really sets Lil Nas X apart is his ingenious choice to create what I’m calling the ‘country’ genre, a completely novel kind of music that combines traditional American genres with a certain level of southern twang,” said Rolling Stone writer Will Hermes, adding that what made “Old Town Road” such a massive hit was Lil Nas X’s revolutionary choice to use the song’s lyrics to touch on little-used Americans themes such as cowboys, tractors, and horses, while layering them with folksy instrumentation like banjos to create an entirely new sound. “You can really imagine this ‘country music’ appealing to Americans everywhere, from the rural south to the heartland. Time will tell, of course. It might just be a passing fad.” Hermes said that he already saw several virtual unknowns like Keith Urban and Billy Ray Cyrus jumping onto the bandwagon of Lil Nas X’s new genre with their own country-inspired recordings.
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