The big question is whether Grammy voters will see the hit as a jokey novelty like "Macarena" or a trend-setting, genre-bridging collab like "Despacito."
As Billboard's Gary Trust reported, Lil Nas X's "Old Town Road" (featuring Billy Ray Cyrus) is just the 10th single in the history of the Hot 100 to log 14 or more weeks at No. 1. So does this mean it's a sure thing to land a Grammy nomination for record of the year?
Not quite, but it will be hard to ignore. Of the nine previous singles to log 14 or more weeks at No. 1, all but two were nominated for record of the year. The two that fell short were Los Del Rios' "Macarena (Bayside Boys Mix)," which was widely seen as a novelty, and Elton John's "Candle in the Wind 1997"/"Something About the Way You Look Tonight."
"Candle in the Wind 1997" was a live version of a classic song that had already been recognized by Grammy voters (in 1987, when a previous live version was nominated for best pop vocal performance, male). The 1997 live version was eligible for record of the year, but the Nominations Review Committee, which determines the final nominees in the Big Four categories, apparently thought it would be better to put the spotlight on new material. Elton's smash won for best male pop vocal performance.
Two of the singles that logged 14 or more weeks at No. 1 won the Grammy for record of the year: Whitney Houston's "I Will Always Love You" and Mark Ronson's "Uptown Funk!" (featuring Bruno Mars).
Five others were nominated but came up short. Boyz II Men's "I'll Make Love to You" lost to Sheryl Crow's "All I Wanna Do." This was a reversal of the songs' fortunes on the Hot 100, where Crow's smash had peaked at No. 2 for six weeks behind "I'll Make Love to You."
The big question is whether Grammy voters will be more inclined to see "Old Town Road" as a jokey novelty like "Macarena" or as a trend-setting, genre-bridging collabo like "Despacito." The answer to that question may well seal its Grammy fate in the marquee categories.
Even if "Old Town Road" is passed over for a record of the year nom, it could be nominated for a performance award -- either best rap/sung performance or best pop duo/group performance. In addition, Lil Nas X will be eligible for best new artist.