Photo Credit: Kwanza Tyree Visuals
Atlanta’s own Lil Nas X returned home this week to celebrate his critically acclaimed album MONTERO.
Lil Nas X attended a private event at The Gathering Spot hosted by legendary record producer Dallas Austin and the Gilead COMPASS Initiative® with prominent members of the Atlanta entertainment scene in attendance showing support – including Chloe Bailey, Kandi Burruss, Catherine Brewton (VP of Creative at BMI), Emil Wilbekin (Founder of Native Son), Shanti Das, and Miss Lawrence. Mardrequs Harris of The Southern AIDS Coalition, a non partisan coalition that brings together government, community advocates, business leaders and people living with HIV to end the HIV epidemic in the Southern United States, also organized a stunning choir performance of songs from MONTERO at the event. The entire choir was made up of members of the LGBTQ community, allies and faith leaders, and each member wore purple in honor of GLAAD’s #SpiritDay on October 21, the most visible anti-LGBTQ bullying day and social campaign when people wear purple to show their support for queer youth. During the party, Lil Nas X was also presented with a boarded proclamation from Atlanta Councilman Antonio Brown naming October 20th the official Lil Nas X Day.
BMI (Broadcast Music, Inc.) also hosted an intimate dinner prior to the event and presented Lil Nas X with two BMI R&B/Hip-Hop awards for his mega-hit “Old Town Road (Remix)” and the catchy single “Panini,” a BMI Pop Award for “Old Town Road (Remix)” and a “Million-Air” certificate in recognition of “Old Town Road (Remix)” reaching over one million broadcast performances.
“I would want to make sure they know that Lil Nas X is a part of the movement in the Atlanta music scene,” says Dallas Austin. “The scene is ever growing and progressing with a community of creative people that push the envelope and that’s what we’re doing.”
“Through the Gilead COMPASS Initiative, we provide funding to support local community organizations working to end the HIV epidemic in the Southern United States. Collaboration with partners to raise awareness about HIV and dismantle stigma is an essential part of the initiative. Lil Nas X is a fierce advocate and we are grateful that he continues to use his platform to raise awareness and change the public perception of HIV,“ says Atlanta-based Dr. Shanell L. McGoy, Director, Public Affairs of Gilead Sciences, Inc. “Empowering new leaders to reach members of their communities was one of the main reasons we started the Gilead COMPASS Initiative® three years ago. Thrive SS and other partners throughout the U.S. South are making real progress dismantling HIV stigma in their communities.”
Also, Lil Nas X visited with his baby registry donation recipient and COMPASS grantee, Thrive SS, a nonprofit working to improve health equity for Black gay men living with HIV through direct support, advocacy and building collective power. He also stopped by Ponce De Leon Center to meet with youth and families affected by HIV and learn about the advancements being made to treat and cure the virus. The baby registry has raised more than $100,000 so far for the Gilead COMPASS Initiative® grantees and Gilead will match up to an additional $25,000 per grantee, once the baby registry has closed.
Lil Nas X will return to State Farm Arena to appear at opening night for the Atlanta Hawks tomorrow. Back in March 2019, this was one of the first places to show hometown love while “Old Town Road” was just beginning to explode across the country.
Atlanta fans can also keep an eye out in the coming days as Lil Nas X takes over billboards across the city. The 22-year-old Grammy Award winning artist was born and raised in Atlanta before taking his first plane ride ever to New York City in 2019 to sign his record deal with Columbia Records. This week serves as a special homecoming for him as he returns to his roots as a brand new man and connects with the local community like he never has before.
MONTERO is available everywhere now.
© 2021, Seth Barmash. All rights reserved.