He's a rookie in the music scene, but Lil Nas X has made history. He's broken Mariah Carey's record for the longest-running No. 1 song on the Billboard 100 chart, and although the "Old Town Road" hype has dissipated in recent months, the song is an unforgettable milestone for the 20-year-old artist.


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The 62nd annual Grammy Awards will take place this Saturday (January 26) in Los Angeles, and Lil Nas X has received his first nominations—six, to be exact. He recently caught up with Variety to chat about his quick rise to stardom while sharing a few unknown facts about his background. “So much happened during my rise,” X said of artists like Nipsey Hussle, XXXTentacion, and Juice WRLD dying. “You know, drugs and murders. And my grandmother passing [in 2018]— she was the first person close to me who died. It was devastating. And it made me a hypochondriac: I’d wake up, heart racing. It was scary.” That caused him to "[smoke] [weed] heavily, but then I started feeling more connected with the universe, and taking everything as a sign.”

Lil Nas X also shared that while he was one of the most talked-about artist of 2019, he was secretly attempting to get his mother into rehabilitation. “I never really talk about my mom. She’s an addict so we don’t have the closest relationship," he said. "Even trying to get her better — things didn’t quite work out. But there’s still love... The biggest surprise of becoming globally famous? On the outside, everybody loves you — but on the inside, everything [feels] the same.”

Back in September 2019, he announced that he was taking a break from music after he canceled two festival appearances. “I wanted to do more performances last year, but it didn’t go as planned and I didn’t have confidence,” he said. The time off wasn't particularly helpful.  “I would start to overthink it all and I’d get overwhelmed. Like, what song should I put out next? Or should I put out multiple songs? Or how do I prove this person wrong?”

Make sure to tune into the Grammys this weekend to see if Lil Nas X takes home any trophies. In the meantime, swipe through below to check out a few images from his Variety feature.