Out gay rapper Lil Nas X snagged Video of The Year for “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)” and two other honors at this year’s MTV Video Music Awards.
During the award ceremony at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, Lil Nas X walked away with the evening’s top prize along with Best Direction and Best Visuals for the “Montero” video, where he’s famously giving Satan a lap dance. Lil Nas X, who donned a light pink outfit, also trolled homophobic critics in his award speech on September 12.
“First, I wanna say thank you to the gay agenda,” Lil Nas X told the audience. “Let’s go, gay agenda!”
Lil Nas X performed hits from his soon-to-be-released album, including “Industry Baby,” which he collaborated on with rapper Jack Harlow. But the performance also came with a message from Mardrequs Harris, director of community investments at the Southern AIDS Coalition, an HIV advocacy group in the South. Harris made a brief appearance on stage to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS and wore a black outfit with the number 433,816 in red to signal the number of people living with HIV in the southern part of the US, according to a statement from the LGBTQ media advocacy group GLAAD.
.@LilNasX delivered a powerful performance at the #VMAs and shined a spotlight on the stigma that fuels HIV, especially across the South. Mardrequs Harris from @SouthernAIDSCo wore the number 433,816 in red, representing the the number of people living with HIV in the U.S. South pic.twitter.com/XNLvt9x9C7
— GLAAD (@glaad) September 13, 2021
“This experience was surreal!” Harris said in a written statement to Gay City News. “Having the opportunity to share the stage with Lil Nas X was something I never would have imagined. And to have him use his platform to raise awareness about HIV stigma is invaluable to our work.”
The rapper’s latest award comes days ahead of the release of his album, “Montero,” which is slated to hit streaming platforms on September 17. Earlier this month, Lil Nas X was also tapped as the Trevor Project’s inaugural Suicide Prevention Advocate of the Year for his “continued advocacy around mental health issues, and his unapologetic celebration of his queer identity.”
You can watch a full video of his 2021 MTV Video Music Award performance below.
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