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LIL NAS X FANS
THE FLAMES (UPDATE)

UPDATE: "Montero (Call Me By Your Name)" gained 1.4m streams on Monday's Spotify chart, rising to #2 Global. It also climbed to #1 on Spot's U.S. chart for the first time, reaching a new peak of 1.9m streams. As of Tuesday, it's inside the Top 20 at Apple Music.


Columbia's Lil Nas X had one hell of a weekend. Following reactions to his new track "Montero (Call Me By Your Name)," which conservatives have deemed "controversial," Nas is schooling the haters and using their ill will to drive up the single's numbers. It's growing at Spotify (#2 U.S., Top 5 global), Apple Music (Top 30) and YouTube (35m views) and has hit #1 on iTunes.

Under label boss Ron Perry's tutelage, Lil Nas has grown from the rookie phenom behind "Old Town Road" to a genuine act with an evolving (and rather fascinating) point of view.

Aside from crafting a smash, if there's one thing Lil Nas X is an expert in, it's leveraging the Internet; his response to those critical of the Satanic lap dance depicted in the "Montero" video, among other objections, are a masterclass in 21st century marketing and engagement. He's advancing the cultural conversation, inspiring memes, art and even unofficial, limited-edition "Satan Nike" shoes (complete with "human blood" in the air pockets). The 666 pairs of shoes, priced at $1,018, sold out in less than a minute. Watch the artist's "apology" for that here

Ron, meanwhile, is sporting a blood-red hoodie to go with his designer pitchfork.

Lil Nas X dropped an extended version of the track on Monday and even poked fun at Justin Bieber's campaign to get "Yummy" to #1; Nas noted that he's had nine months to plan for this rollout, taunting, "Y'all are not gonna win."

NEAR TRUTHS:
CAVEAT EMPTOR
Our favorite cartoon character is back on our minds. (8/4a)
SONY MUSIC PREDICTS IMPRESSIVE FISCAL '22
The planets are aligning. (8/4a)
LIVE NATION AMPED UP ON Q2 RETURNS
Rapino makes change for a quarter. (8/4a)
THE HAPPIEST TOP 20
Billie's back...on her own terms. (8/4a)
GRAMMY CHEW: SEEING BIEBER
It's high time for Justice in the Academy. (8/4a)
NEW & DEVELOPING ARTISTS
From tender shoots to mighty oaks.
MARKETSHARE MANIA
Let's do the numbers.
DELTA VARIANT
It is not the name of a Henry Miller novel.
IS IT TIME FOR ANOTHER ROCK STORY?
Could be. Dunno.
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