Lil Nas X Explains How 'That' BET Awards Kiss Came About: 'It's What Needed to Be Done'

"My family had no idea it was about to happen, but they loved it," Lil Nas X says of his steamy kiss with a male backup dancer during his recent BET Awards performance

Lil Nas X BET
Lil Nas X. Photo: Bennett Raglin/Getty

Lil Nas X has made waves once again, this time with a kiss during his BET Awards performance that has been met with mixed reactions.

The two-time Grammy Award winner, 22, reveals how his kiss with a male backup dancer came about at the end of his "Montero (Call Me By Your Name)" performance in PEOPLE's exclusive sneak peek of this week's Open House Party podcast.

"I feel like it's what needed to be done," Lil Nas X (né Montero Hill) says."Because it's easy to just hug a guy, but I feel like if you kiss the guy, you get straight to the point. I really sugarcoat the performance, and it gets the job done."

He chose the same dancer who licked his neck in another racy performance of the chart-topping single for his recent Saturday Night Live debut. "I was like, 'Hey, what if we kissed in this one?'" he explains. "He was like, 'Yeah, sure.'"

Lil Nas X BET
Lil Nas X. Johnny Nunez/Getty

Lil Nas X has since hit back at the social media backlash from the usual critics who've taken issue with him expressing his sexuality. Meanwhile, many have pointed out the double standard of Madonna's kiss with Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera (three straight women) at the 2003 VMAs not getting nearly the same scrutiny.

The "Sun Goes Down" artist has otherwise been met with overwhelming support from his devoted fans, as well as from his family. "My family had no idea it was about to happen, but they loved it," he admits.

"I think one of my sisters, I forgot exactly what she said," Lil Nas X recalls. "She was like, 'Wow, you absolutely murdered that.' She was like, 'The best performance of the night, not just saying that.'"

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He recently opened up to PEOPLE about how his career has evolved since he came out publicly on June 30, 2019, the last day of Pride Month. "It's been such a huge shift, a huge change," he said. "It's been a transformation throughout the small three years of my career so far. It's been fun, it's been sad, it's been a lot of things. But that's life."

Lil Nas X has been hard at work on his long-overdue debut studio album Montero, which is expected to be released this summer.

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