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Lil Nas X claps back after criticism for kissing male backup dancer

By Lisa Respers France, CNN

Lil Nas X stunned Sunday night both on the red carpet and during his performance at the 2021 BET Awards.

The rapper, who donned an elaborate gown to walk the carpet, paid homage to Michael Jackson’s “Remember The Time” music video during his Egyptian-themed performance of his single, “Montero (Call Me By Your Name).”

At the end, the “Old Town Road” star passionately kissed one of his male backup dancers, which won him a standing ovation from some members of the audience, including “Pose” star Mj Rodriguez.

But not everyone was happy about it, and there was some backlash on social media.

After one person tweeted that the rapper shouldn’t have used African culture for such a display, admonishing that he should “respect our ancestors,” Lil Nas X responded by tweeting, “y’all really like to pretend homosexuality didn’t exist in african culture.”

Others were complimentary, praising the artist for honoring Pride Month and his openness about his sexuality in hip-hop, which has a history of being homophobic.

The performance won praise from legendary hip-hop producer, artist and entrepreneur Sean “Diddy” Combs.

“Lil Nas X did that!!” Combs tweeted. “Be fearless!!!”

In 2019, Lil Nas X closed out Pride Month by revealing that he is gay.

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