No matter how slow or sweet the competition, nothing beats having a few horses in the back.
Lil Nas X set the record Monday for the longest-running number one song in the history of the Billboard Hot 100. “Old Town Road” has now ascended from viral video soundtrack to the most successful song in the chart’s 61 year span.
The victory in the last week pushes Lil Nas X past two heavyweight tunes, both previously tied for the record at 16 weeks. In 1996, “One Sweet Day” by Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men set the standard, which was matched in 2017 by Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee featuring Justin Bieber, with the global phenomenon of “Despacito.”
WATCH MORE: Lil Nas X's Personal Yee Haw Challenge
In a post on Monday, Mariah literally passed the torch to the young star, posting a picture of the two and a message of “love & congratulations.”
“We've been blessed to hold this record with a song that means a great deal to Boyz II Men and myself and has touched so many” she wrote. “Keep living your best life!”
“Wowwww thank you so much mariah!” he responded. “You are a legend and an icon and I’m blessed to even have you acknowledging me right now! Growing up to your music & now having you talk to me directly is unreal!”
Justin Bieber followed with his own quick congratulations. With an assist from Bieber, “Despacito” tied the 20-year-old record set by Carey and Boyz II Men in August of 2017. Less than two years later, history has been rewritten again.
There’s no telling how far “Old Town Road” can ride. Billie Eilish continues to gain in the number two position with “bad guy”, but history has shown that it’s often a surprise attack that knocks the leader from the top of the chart.
In 1996 “One Sweet Day” edged out "Sittin' Up in My Room" by Brandy in week 16, but it was Celine Dion and “Because You Loved Me” that ultimately unseated the collaboration in the 17th week. The song jumped from 5 to 1.
In 2017, it was DJ Khaled's "Wild Thoughts," featuring Rihanna and Bryson Tiller that was in striking distance to “Despacito”, but Taylor Swift swooped in with “Look What You Made Me Do” to kick off a new era and to end their run.
Already, chart queen Ariana Grande has begun teasing a new song and video that is set to debut on Friday August 2nd. Could that be the ultimate undoing for Lil Nas X’s historic run?
For more from Lil Nas X and the origin of “Old Town Road”, watch the exclusive video below.