Lance Bass on the ‘incredible’ way Lil Nas X has been accepted as gay by country and hip-hop

Lance Bass pulling his jacket aside to show the 'Tearin' Up My Heart' message on his t-shirt

Speaking at the MTV VMAs, Lance Bass reflected on how the music industry has changed since his days in *NSYNC – reserving particular praise for ‘Old Town Road’ rapper Lil Nas X.

Bass, who came out as gay in 2006, four years after *NSYNC went on permanent hiatus, spoke to GLAAD about how the music world has embraced LGBT+ performers.

“It’s incredible, I’ve been coming to the VMAS since ’99 and you have seen evolution,” he said.

“Music has been so amazing to embrace so many different types of people, especially the LGBT+ community [which] is being really represented now and that’s only happened in the last handful of years.”

Bass said that while for some, coming out is no longer big news, “for Lil Nas X it is of course a big deal”.

“For someone to come out in the hip-hop industry – it’s very ballsy,” he continued.

“The way he was accepted was incredible, from country music and the hip-hop world, that’s ballsy and they both accepted him.”

Lil Nas X holding his VMA Awards

Lil Nas X won song of the year for ‘Old Town Road,’ which also won best direction. (Getty)

Lil Nas X came out as gay at the end of Pride month, and has said that he is now “living life to the fullest”.

Speaking to GQ, he admitted that he has faced a backlash from some fans in the country and hip-hop scenes, confessing: “It’s not really accepting in either.”

The rapper won his first-ever VMA during Monday night’s ceremony, taking home song of the year for ‘Old Town Road’. The video for the track also won best direction.

Lance Bass on coming out as gay.

Bass said that looking back to his boyband days, he “couldn’t imagine being able to be [himself] and say, ‘Hey guys, I’m gay.'”

He has previously spoken about the fear that kept him in the closet during his *NSYNC heyday.

I couldn’t imagine being able to say ‘Hey guys, I’m gay.’

“I knew that I was in this popular band and I had four other guys’ careers in my hand, and I knew that if I ever acted on it or even said (that I was gay), it would overpower everything,” he told People Magazine in 2006.

“I didn’t know, could that be the end of *NSYNC? So I had that weight on me of like, ‘Wow, if I ever let anyone know, it’s bad.’ So I just never did.”

Since coming out, Bass has food love with actor Michael Turchin, who he married in 2014.

Recently he revealed that he came out as gay to Britney Spears to stop her from crying on the night of her 2004 Las Vegas wedding.