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‘I hope my haters are crying’: Lil Nas X’s ‘Montero’ debuts at No. 1 on Hot 100

Lil Nas X
Lil Nas X performs at the Grammy Awards in 2020.
(Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times)

Lil Nas X has returned to a familiar place: the No. 1 spot on the Hot 100.

Billboard announced Monday that the singer and rapper’s “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)” had topped its flagship singles chart almost two years to the date since his “Old Town Road” began its record-setting 19-week run at No. 1 in 2019.

“Montero (Call Me By Your Name)” — the title nods to both Lil Nas X’s real name, Montero Lamar Hill, and director Luca Guadagnino’s 2017 romantic drama — racked up nearly 47 million streams in the United States in the week after its release on March 26, according to MRC Data.

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And like “Old Town Road,” which rode a wave of controversy over whether it should be classified as a country song, “Montero” benefited from widespread debate on social media. This time Lil Nas X, 21, set off an old-fashioned satanic panic with the song’s eye-popping music video, in which he rides a stripper pole to hell and gives the devil a lap dance.

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Conservative politicians and commentators promptly condemned the clip; many more took issue with a limited-edition line of so-called Satan Shoes: Nike Air Max 97s tricked out — minus Nike’s approval — with custom detailing and what Lil Nas X said was a drop of human blood in the soles. (Nike sued Mschf, the Brooklyn-based company that designed the shoes, but not before the run of 666 pairs sold out at more than a thousand bucks a pop.) “Saturday Night Live” addressed the hubbub over the weekend with a sketch in which the rapper, played by Chris Redd, gives God a lap dance “to even things out.”

On Monday, Lil Nas X — who spent much of last week expertly toying with his critics on Twitter — continued the fun in a series of posts about “Montero’s” chart placement.

“I hope my haters are sad. i hope they are crying. i want your tears to fill my grammy cup,” he wrote in one, followed by a tweet in which he said, “god i am gonna do so much sex tonight.” (Before Billboard made its announcement, he posted about the earthquake that rattled Los Angeles early Monday morning, saying it “kinda turned me on.”)

Though “Montero’s” streams were more than enough to get the song to No. 1 — at No. 2 is Justin Bieber’s “Peaches,” which drew 27.1 million — its weekly total came in far behind some other recent streaming hits, including Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion’s “WAP,” which debuted atop the Hot 100 last year with 93 million streams, and “Drivers License” by Olivia Rodrigo, which racked up 76.1 million in January.

The all-time leader on the weekly streams tally? “Old Town Road,” which was streamed a whopping 143 million times in one seven-day period in April 2019.


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