Lil Nas X dominated 2021. From his two number ones ("MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name)" and "INDUSTRY BABY") to his smash debut album ("MONTERO"), it was his year. Now, in 2022, Lil Nas X will embark on his first tour. The "Long Live Montero Tour" will start September 6 in Detroit and go on through the Fall.
His live performances have always been eye-catching and provocative. He keeps his audience guessing and entertained at the same time. Whenever he performs, people are eager to see what he's going to do. Last year, he delivered memorable performances at award shows and beyond.
To build anticipation for his upcoming tour, here are five of Lil Nas X's best performances while promoting his debut album, "MONTERO."
5. "Jolene" (BBC Radio 1, Live Lounge)
When Lil Nas X performed a set on BBC Radio 1, his cover of Dolly Parton's "Jolene" went viral. Much of the praise centered around his unique interpretation of the song. A stark contrast to the original, Montero's version is slower and more vulnerable. There's also the fact that it's being sung by a gay man, which puts the song in a completely different context.
4. "MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name)" (Saturday Night Live)
The debut live performance of Lil Nas X' hit single, "MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name)," came when he was the musical guest on SNL. The performance was highly anticipated and many tuned in wondering how Lil Nas X would interpret the song live. The result was a sizzling performance with top notch choreography. There was also a planned pole dance cut short by an accidental pants rip in true SpongeBob fashion.
3. "DEAD RIGHT NOW/MONTERO/INDUSTRY BABY" (with Jack Harlow, 2022 Grammy Awards)
Lil Nas X's performance at this year's Grammy Awards marked his public return following a social media hiatus which lasted several months. He was nominated for five awards that night, including Album of the Year. Jack Harlow joined Montero on stage during their number one hit, "INDUSTRY BABY." He also performed the album's title track and the deep cut "DEAD RIGHT NOW." From the staging to the choreography to the song choices, this was one of the best performances of the night.
2. "INDUSTRY BABY/MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name)" (with Jack Harlow, 2021 MTV VMAs)
The MTV Video Music Awards are a show known for provocative and unpredictable moments. When Lil Nas X was announced as one of the night's performers, many were curious to see what he would do. The controversial artist performed his hit "INDUSTRY BABY" with Jack Harlow and recreated the shower scene from its video while singing "MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name)." Lil Nas X ended the night by winning the show's highest honor, "Video of the Year."
1. "MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name" (2021 BET Awards)
Lil Nas X delivered an Egyptian-style performance of his smash hit "MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name)" at the BET Awards last year. The costumes and choreography was all solid. It even featured a tribute to Michael Jackson's "Remember The Time" short film, which also had an Egyptian theme. To top it all off, Montero ended the sensual performance by kissing his male backup dancer, causing a mini-controversy. It was a brilliant moment for gay male representation at such a huge level. It also showed the epitome of talent, theatrics, and provocation, three things Lil Nas X has become famous for.