5 times Lil Nas X proved he’s the queer pop star we deserve

· Updated on May 15, 2024

It’s Lil Nas X’s birthday and to celebrate, we’re taking a trip down that “Old Town Road” to prove why he’s the queer pop star we deserve. 

Springtime ushers in flowers in full bloom, spring break for schools, and the fiery Aries season. And one pop star gets to claim this season as their own and that’s Lil Nas X. Born Montero Lamar Hill on April 9, Lil Nas X has quickly become a mainstay on the playlists, red carpets, and stages. After exceeding all expectations with his worldwide smash, “Old Town Road,” Lil Nas X went from perceived one-hit wonder to self-proclaimed “Industry Baby.”

With his debut album Montero, Lil Nas X cemented his queer icon status. Thanks to hits like “Industry Baby,” “That’s What I Want,” and “Montero (Call Me By Your Name),” a fashion sense that transcends gender, and a tour full of “Black queer boy joy,” the 25-year-old proved that being unapologetically Black, queer, and fabulous is always en vogue. So, to celebrate him, here are five times Lil Nas X proved he was the queer pop star we deserve.  

Montero album

After Lil Nas X came out as gay in 2019, his debut album Montero became a reflection of his extremely public queer awakening. Leaving no stone unturned and no topic off limits, Montero was an inside look into the makings of a Black queer pop star. Led by its title track, the album went number in multiple countries and garnered Lil Nas X several Grammy nominations, all while using lyrics and imagery that would make many queer people feel seen.

Fashion icon status

While Lil Nas X was feeling his “Cowboy Carter oats” when he first came onto the scene, but like Beyoncé, the pop star can switch it up whenever he wants to, including with his fashion sense. With the release of Montero, Lil Nas X dived deeper into his closet to come out with a fashion sense that was queerer than ever. Each look that Lil Nas X takes to the red carpet, his music videos, or his concerts are truly all we can talk about.

Philanthropic/advocacy efforts for the LGBTQ+ community.

Music aside, Lil Nas X continues to advocate for the LGBTQ+ community with his fundraising and advocacy efforts. Before he “gave birth” to his Montero album, the “Panini” singer raised funds for numerous LGBTQ+ nonprofits with his album’s “baby registry.” While fans can still donate to each cause, Lil Nas X announced that his baby registry had raised nearly $500,000 in 2022 to go to efforts like funding HIV/AIDs research, prevention, and treatment, supporting transgender advocacy, and providing resources to LGBTQ+ youth.

Long Live Montero tour

After releasing Montero, Lil Nas X launched his long-awaited world tour, The Long Live Montero tour. Spanning North America and Europe, Lil Nas X’s tour became a celebration of Black queer joy, complete with a three act storyline to explore his metamorphosis into the energetic and unapologetic pop star we know today. Making queer people feel seen in your music is one thing, but to ensure that your concerts stay a queer affair is exactly what we need from queer pop stars today.

Lil Nas X: Long Live Montero documentary

Lil Nas X’s tour was fodder for his Max documentary, Lil Nas X: Long Live Montero. The film gave an inside look into the development of his tour, his upbringing as a closeted queer kid, and his rise to fame as a queer pop star. Long Live Montero brings tears, cheers, and plenty of Montero antics for everyone to see the man behind Lil Nas X.

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