Yes, Lil Nas X had about as good a year as any new-to-the-game musician possibly could, including a record-setting 19 week run at the top of Billboard’s Hot 100 singles chart. Which is just one reason why Forbes Magazine put him on their list of the 2020 music class of 30 Under 30.
Since LNX uploaded “Old Town Road” to Amuse last December, the country rapper has earned an estimated $14 million, which helped land him on Forbes‘ tally alongside Normani, Maluma, Megan Thee Stallion, Luke Combs and Tierra Whack, among others.
The list was compiled by a panel of alumni judges including 21 Savage, The Chainsmokers, songwriter Michaela “Mickey” Shiloh and manager Adriana Arce, based on the criteria that their picks were under the age of 30 as of Dec. 31 of this year and did not appear on the tally previously.
Former Fifth Harmony singer and “Motivation” solo star Normani got on the list thanks to her smash collab with Sam Smith (“Dancing With a Stranger”), which the mag said was the world’s most-played radio track in 2019; to date Normani has racked up three billion streams since launching her solo career.
Among the other hip-hop acts on the list are “Hot Girl Summer” star Megan Thee Stallion, DaBaby and viral sensation Whack, as well as Normani and Lil Nas’ managers (Brandon Silverstein and Zachary Kardisch), WME agent Sarah Tehrani, CAA’s Joseph Harris, Apple’s Glenne Christiaansen and Warner’s Gabz Landman. Country is represented by Combs and Carly Pearce, and reggaeton by 25-year-old singer Maluma, who has scored four singles in the Billboard top 10 and a Latin Grammy.
“Maluma is a force to be reckoned with,” The Chainsmokers told Forbes. “His creativity and showmanship has been unmatched this year.”
Other acts on the list: the first openly genderqueer act to make the Fobes Under 30, King Princess, plus singer/songwriter Maggie Rogers. “Maggie is a brilliant example of true artistry and authenticity,” said Arce. “She has built a dedicated following all on her own terms surrounding her truth. She is not here for trends, but is here for the long run.”