Lil Nas X

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Kelia Anne for TIME

I’ll never forget the morning. I was having coffee and Ron Perry from Columbia Records sent me “Old Town Road.” He said Lil Nas X wanted me to sing on it. But I told Columbia it was perfect. I couldn’t do anything to it. They asked if I’d give it a shot and come into the studio with Nas to record a third verse. We wrote it with R&B songwriter Jozzy, and it was born right there in the studio. It was magical. I told Nas he was going to be a light in this world and he would shine brighter than anyone else. And he has. He’s brought everyone together, from all musical genres and generations. “Old Town Road” changed my world—and his—forever.

Cyrus is a country-music singer and songwriter

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