List Nas net worth: $14 million
Lil Nas X’s net worth is around $14 million, putting him in the #18 spot on the list of country music’s top earners of the year.
Born Montero Lamar Hill in 1999, Lil Nas X is an American rapper and songwriter. He became famous when his hip-hop/country song “Old Town Road” went viral in 2019.
Building an Internet Presence
Lil Nas X has been very active on social media since 2015. He originally started on Facebook, but soon moved to Instagram and then to Twitter. While most internet personalities become popular on Facebook or Instagram first because they’re more visual mediums, Lil Nas X quickly gained a much bigger audience on Twitter. By mid-2019, he had over 2 million followers on Twitter and 5.2 million subscribers on YouTube – though most of those came onboard after the release of his hit song.
Lil Nas is also active on Vine and TikTok.
Much of his original focus was on short comedy videos, though he sometimes posted music and commentary. It wasn’t until 2017, however, that he started to focus more on writing and recording music. The earlier songs were recorded at home, without professional sound and without much focus on commercializing them.
How It All Started
Then in December 2018, Lil Nas X bought the beat for a song through an online store for $30. With that, he then booked one hour at Atlanta studio, CinCoYo. He paid $20 as part of the studio’s “$20 Tuesdays” promotion. During that single hour, he recorded the song “Old Town Road.” Though the song was classified under country by music distributors, it’s actually a “country trap” sound, a unique mix of hip hop and country influences.
The song was first released on Lil Nas X’s YouTube channel, followed by releases on iTunes and Souncloud. To promote it, he started creating memes and posting them on social media – but it wasn’t until Tik Tok users picked up the song for the #Yeehaw Challenge meme in early 2019 that it went viral. Within months, millions of users had posted videos of themselves dressed as cowboys or cowgirls, dancing to “Old Town Road.”
Quick Rise to Fame and Fortune
After the song went viral, it caught the attention of the record industry and Lil Nas X started getting phone calls about it. Over a period of just a few months, several remixes were released, but it was one in particular that took Lil Nas X’s career to a new level. In April 2019, Billy Ray Cyrus joined Lil Nas X for a new version of the song, which was released in April 2019. Almost overnight, the song reached the #1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and retained that spot for 17 weeks, breaking the 16-week record set by the Mariah Carey/ Boyz II Men song “One Sweet Day” in 1995.
According to Rolling Stones, the song ended up selling 8.7 million copies in the US alone in 2019. It also sold hundreds of thousands more copies in the UK and other countries.
While there isn’t detailed information on how much money exactly he made from those sales, this might be a clue: when Lil Nas X set out to create his song, all he could afford was a $30 track for it. Then in June 2019, he rejected a $1 million deal offered by independent record label and music distributor Amuse – only to sign a deal with Columbia Records for an undisclosed amount soon after.
As of June 2020, Lil Nas X’s net worth is around $14 million, putting him in the #18 spot on the list of country music’s top earners of the year.