UPDATE: On Tuesday (June 7), BET Networks issued the following statement: “We love Lil Nas X. He was nominated for a best new artist BET Award in 2020, and we proudly showcased his extraordinary talent and creativity on the show twice: he performed “Old Town Road” with Billy Ray Cyrus at BET Awards 2019 and his BET Awards 2021 performance was a highlight of our show. No one cheered louder that night than BET.
“Unfortunately, this year, he was not nominated by BET’s voting academy, which is comprised of an esteemed group of nearly 500 entertainment professionals in the fields of music, television, film, digital marketing, sports journalism, public relations, influencers, and creative arts. No one from BET serves as a member of the voting academy.
“At BET, we are passionate advocates for the wonderful diversity that exists within our community. We are committed to using all of our platforms to provide visibility and inclusion for all of the many intersections of the Black community.”
Pride Month has officially started, and queer superstar Lil Nas X is already coming out the gate swinging — this time at the BET Awards.
In a series of since-deleted tweets posted on Wednesday (June 1), the rapper called out the annual awards show for not nominating him at the 2022 ceremony. “thank you bet awards. an outstanding zero nominations again,” he wrote in his first tweet, adding a sarcastic “black excellence!”
Some commenters took issue with Lil Nas X’s tweet, asking him why he felt he should have been nominated, thus prompting the “Call Me By Your Name” singer to offer them some quick insights. “idk maybe 3 of the biggest songs of last year & a critically acclaimed album,” he said in response to one Twitter user. “i feel like that should’ve helped me a bit.” When another commenter claimed that his last few records weren’t hip-hop, he clapped back saying, “they have a pop category.”
In response to another tweet, Lil Nas — who was nominated for the BET Awards’s best new artist in 2020, and five BET Hip Hop Awards in 2019 and 2021 — also spoke about how he feels like he’s fighting an uphill battle most of the time, even with the amount of success he’s already achieved. “doesn’t even have to be me nominated,” he wrote. “i just feel like black gay ppl have to fight to be seen in this world and even when we make it to the top mfs try to pretend we are invisible.”
While he may not be receiving a BET Award this year, Lil Nas X is set to accept the Hal David Starlight Award at the 2022 Songwriters Hall of Fame Gala on June 16. The award, given in past years to stars such as Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran, Halsey and more, is presented each year to “gifted young songwriters who are making a significant impact in the music industry via their original songs.” Lil Nas X will become the second songwriter associated with hip-hop to receive the award (following Drake in 2011), and one of the three youngest recipients in the award’s history at just 23 years old (alongside Swift, who received the award at 20, and Nick Jonas, who was also 23).