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Gen Z's Gay icon gets 5 Grammy nominations

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Photo by Mario Anzuoni / AP
Photo by Mario Anzuoni / AP

2021 has undoubtedly been the year of Lil Nas X. He released his first album, which has now gone platinum, stunned us all at the Met Gala, and topped the charts with the self-titled song "Montero," all while giving a pointed middle finger to the haters. Now, he is taking the 2022 Grammys by storm.

Lil Nas X has secured five nominations, three of which are for his song "Montero (Call Me By Your Name)." His nomination for record of the year pits him against music veterans ABBA, Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett, and Justin Beiber, as well as fellow newcomers Doja Cat and Oliva Rodrigo.

He is also up for music video of the year for "Montero," which won him the Video Music Award for best direction and visual effects and sparked conversations across social media when it first came out in March. The record received hate from evangelists and Fox correspondents, including Laura Ingraham, who accused the artist of releasing the record as an attack on Christians just before Holy Week.

However, the spiritual symbolism in the music video was not intended to tick off conservatives but rather symbolize the peace Nas has made with himself and his sexuality. People said he was going to hell, and he showed them how glamorous that could be.

"Montero" was also nominated for song of the year, competing with Oliva Rodrigo's smash break-up hit "driver's license," Justin Beiber's summer bop "Peaches," and Doja Cat's sexy collaboration with Sza, "Kiss Me More."

Lil Nas X collaborated with many talented vocalists on his debut album, but nothing caught fire quite as much as his hit track "Industry Baby," which features Jack Harlow. The two are up for best melodic rap performance for the combination of Nas' vocals and both his and Harlow's raps. In this category, industry babies Nas and Harlow are up against legends Ye West and Tyler, the Creator.

Photo by Chris Pizzello / AP  

Other artists may have more nominations, but for Lil Nas X, these nods come with a lot of meaning. His album dives into the personal struggles he faced with mental health and identity, especially following his public outing after his hit single "Old Town Road." Nas has faced racism and homophobia at nearly every turn in his career, from country stations refusing to credit him to Da Baby publicly dissing him for his sexuality. Despite it all, he has secured his spot as a voice for a generation.

Lil Nas X plays his haters like a Game Boy. As one of the most active Grammy nominees on Twitter, fans have come to love him for his quick quips and clever memes. After Fox News pundits slammed him for his "Satan shoes" and the forthcoming Nike lawsuit, he clapped back with his signature humor.

Congrats to Lil Nas X on all his nominations and the recognition of his hard work. All eyes will be on Gen Z's Gay icon as he takes the stage and hopefully brings home the gold.