Old Town Road and Lil Nas X: How America changed in 19 weeks

Lil Nas X Image copyright Getty Images

19 weeks. That's how long Lil Nas X managed to hold on to the US No. 1 spot with his single, Old Town Road, this year.

Billie Eilish this week stole his thunder with her song Bad Guy.

Lil Nas X broke the record for the longest-running American chart-topper, beating Mariah Carey, Luis Fonsi, Whitney Houston and other big names who've had long stays at number one.

He's joked on Twitter he'll be dropped by his label now he's not top of the chart.

But he also congratulated Billie and says she deserves to be number one.

Four months is a long time and America has changed a lot since Old Town Road topped the Billboard 100 on 13 April 2019.

Here are just some of the things that have happened in US pop culture in that time.

14 April: Tiger Woods wins the Masters

It has been a big year for Lil Nas X - and it's been pretty decent for Tiger Woods too.

While some people were getting their first taste of stardom, the golfer was enjoying his 22nd year of success, winning the US Masters Tournament for the fifth time in his career - 11 years after his last big win.

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Hopefully Lil Nas X won't have to wait as long for his next career peak.

14 April onwards: Gun crime

We couldn't get through this without mentioning gun violence in America.

There have been ten deadly mass-shootings in the US since Old Town Road reached number one, according to ABC.

The deadliest of all these was the El Paso shooting, when a domestic terrorist murdered 22 and injured 24 in a targeted attack against Hispanic people.

22 April: Avengers: Endgame beats every film ever

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Before Lil Nas X went to number one in America, the highest-grossing film of all time was Avatar.

After Lil Nas X went to number one in America, the highest-grossing film of all time is Avengers: Endgame.

The lesson here? Never underestimate the power of Chris Evans in tightly-packed spandex.

29 April: President Trump visits the UK

It's been a busy year for Lil Nas X and it's been a busy year for President Trump. He's deflected continuing calls for his impeachment, served burgers at the White House to guests and promised to end AIDS and cancer "soon" - among other important political developments.

But he also made a visit to the UK, three years after his election to US office.

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During his stay he said that Brexit would "work out well" for Ireland, told environment campaigner Prince Charles that climate change "goes both ways", referred to Meghan Markle's comments about him as "nasty" and possibly over-estimated the "tremendous crowds" who turned out to wave at him.

19 May: Game Of Thrones ends, people are mad

OK, so it perhaps wasn't quite the ending a lot of fans were hoping for (1.7 million people signed a petition thinking they could get HBO to re-make the final series) but after eight years on TV, Game Of Thones took its own horse to the old town road and rode it into the sunset.

The final episode was the most-watched HBO episode of all time, with 13.6 million people watching it live when it was first broadcast - although there are no official numbers on how many immediately went online to moan about it afterwards.

6 May: Former actress Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, gives birth

Lil Nas X was a new name for 2019 but you know who else was new? Archie Mountbatten-Windsor.

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Less than a year after marrying Prince Harry, the former US actress gave birth to the little prince, who's seventh in line to the throne.

30 June: ASAP Rocky has a fight in Sweden

And while one musician was enjoying the best year of his career, for another US artist, 2019 has kind of sucked.

ASAP Rocky spent July of this year behind bars in Sweden for an incident in Stockholm between his entourage and two men, being found guilty of assault in August.

ASAP's one of the biggest rappers in the world, but he's never had a single chart higher than number eight in America - so his freedom this summer probably wouldn't have rattled Lil Nas X and his chart run too much.

7 July: America win the Women's World Cup

Lil Nas X proved there's more to a country hit than what people may have thought, and the 2019 Women's World Cup proved there's so much more to mainstream football than testosterone and large pay-packets.

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Old Town Road is arguably the biggest song of 2019 and the Women's World Cup is certainly the biggest football tournament of the year.

11 August: Liam and Miley split

All good things come to an end: those brief weeks of British summer, Old Town Road at number one, Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth's marriage.

The couple split in early August and Miley dropped a break-up single a week later. Timings did not permit Slide Away to compete with Old Town Road.

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