Oliver Anthony has made history by earning his first ever Billboard Hot 100 with ‘Rich Men North of Richmond’.
The single has surged to the pinnacle of the all-genre chart, making Anthony the first ever artist to score a No. 1 on the Hot 100 without having any previous Billboard chart entries under his belt.
It's a testament to the meteoric nature of the Virginia native's ascent, with the studio version of ‘Rich Men North Of Richmond’ having quickly gone viral in tandem with a RadioWV performance video.
The singer-songwriter's overnight success prompted Oliver Anthony to release a lengthy letter to his fans, introducing himself and asserting that he is not interested in big-money recording contracts.
Anthony wrote, “People in the music industry give me blank stares when I brush off 8 million dollar offers. I don't want 6 tour buses, 15 tractor trailers and a jet. I don't want to play stadium shows, I don't want to be in the spotlight. I wrote the music I wrote because I was suffering with mental health and depression. These songs have connected with millions of people on such a deep level because they're being sung by someone feeling the words in the very moment they were being sung. No editing, no agent, no bullshit. Just some idiot and his guitar. The style of music that we should have never gotten away from in the first place”.
Anthony's ‘Rich Men North Of Richmond’ is followed on this week's Hot 100 chart by two fellow country artists, once again underlining the genre's dominance throughout 2023.
Some have expressed concerns over the popularity of Oliver Anthony's ‘Rich Men North Of Richmond’, with a number of commentators criticising its anti-taxes sentiment and stereotypical portrayal of certain demographics. For instance, Anthony croons, “Lord, we got folks in the street / Ain't got nothin' to eat / And the obese milkin' welfare”.
In addition, Anthony goes on to sing, “But God if you're five foot three / And you're three hundred pounds / Taxes ought not to pay / For your bags of fudge rounds”.
These complaints have not affected the stripped-back track's acceleration towards the top spot of the Billboard Hot 100, and country music fans will undoubtedly be keeping a close watch on how long ‘Rich Men North Of Richmond’ holds onto No. 1.