A major breakthrough day for country singer Oliver Anthony.
His song “Rich Men North of Richmond” has propelled him to No. 1 on the Billboard music charts. Anthony wrote and recorded the hit without the benefit of a record company and self-released it on Aug. 11.
Some pundits suggested that the song’s popularity was due to it being embraced by right-wing commentators. The song is not necessarily favored by the left.
For his part, Anthony — real name Christopher Anthony Lunsford — says he is more or less down the middle politically.
One thing he is clear about is that he doesn’t want to pursue the traditional route of a big record deal. He revealed he already turned down a seven-figure offer.
“People in the music industry give me blank stares when I brush off 8 million dollar offers,” he wrote on Facebook just days ago. “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.”
The singer said he wrote the music because he was suffering with his “mental health and depression.” He explained that the relatable nature and emotion of his songs are why they’re working.
“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 b******t. Just some idiot and his guitar.”