Lil Nas X is officially Ellen-big. Appearing on Ellen DeGeneres’ talk show has become considered as somewhat of a stepping stone to stardom. Well, if you needed any more confirmation that Lil Nas X has attained that status, here it is. Even though spending a record-breaking 19 weeks atop Billboard’s Hot 100 with his zeitgeist-defining song “Old Town Road” seems pretty huge already.
Ellen – famously the first person to come out on network television in 1997 – was curious to ask Lil Nas X about his experience revealing to the world that he was gay earlier this summer. While she was asking the 20-year-old this question, he was sidetracked. He couldn’t help eyeing the big box between both of their chairs, knowing that Ellen is notorious for pulling pranks on her guests. While Ellen was attempting to rid him of his nervousness by telling him there wasn’t anyone hiding in the box, lo and behold, someone jumped out. And it wasn’t just anyone that jumped out, but what appeared to be a Billy Ray Cyrus impersonator, the country star who accompanied LNX on his hit. Despite anticipating the prank, the “Panini” artist was still visibly frightened around the 2:10 mark.
After the man came out of the box, LNX responded to the question about his coming out. “Just knowing that it’s something that should’ve been done. But I had to worry about family, friends, how they were gonna react I guess… Also how it would be good for the audience listening to me right now who will have to go through stuff like this in the future,” he said. He also revealed in the interview that he is “somewhat” in a relationship.
Watch the futuristic music video for his latest smash “Panini” here or listen to its remix featuring DaBabyhere.