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Lil Nas X's 'Old Town Road' Was Kicked Off The Country Charts. Is It A Country Song?15:38
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This undated image provided by Columbia Records shows rapper Lil Nas X, whose viral hit “Old Town Road” was removed from Billboard's country charts because they said it wasn’t country enough. (Eric Lagg/Courtesy of Columbia Records via AP)
This undated image provided by Columbia Records shows rapper Lil Nas X, whose viral hit “Old Town Road” was removed from Billboard's country charts because they said it wasn’t country enough. (Eric Lagg/Courtesy of Columbia Records via AP)

"Old Town Road" by Lil Nas X is a song about horses, lonely roads, and the spirit of a cowboy. It was charting on Billboard's country music charts until Billboard took it off, suggesting that it wasn't country enough.

But then country music veteran Billy Ray Cyrus disagreed and recorded another version of the song. So, now is it country enough?

That question has ignited controversy and a conversation about racism in the country music industry. What defines a country song and whose music is left out of that definition?

Guests

Renée Graham, associate editor and columnist for the Boston Globe and a WBUR contributor. She tweets @reneeygraham.

Susan Cattaneo, singer/songwriter and an associate professor of songwriting at Berklee College of Music. She tweets @susancattaneo.

This segment aired on April 10, 2019.

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