The singer-songwriter in Virginia who performs as Oliver Anthony has made Billboard history with his working man anthem “Rich Men North Of Richmond,” which debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the top spot.
The singer, born Christopher Anthony Lunsford, has become the first artist ever to debut in the number one spot on the all-genre music song chart with no prior chart history of any kind, Billboard magazine reported.
Anthony’s song is the 1,153rd song to top the Hot 100 over the the charts 65-year history, the outlet noted. It is also the 69th hit to debut at No. 1.
— New York Post (@nypost) August 22, 2023
“Rich Men North Of Richmond,” was released on August 11, drawing nearly 18 million streams with 147,000 downloads in the week ending August 17, according to Luminate. A YouTube video of him singing the song has earned 33 million views at the time of this publication.
Anthony’s song also scored 553,000 radio airplay audience impressions, despite not being promoted on the radio, the outlet noted.
Speaking to the outlet, Anthony reacted to the response to his viral hit and said, “The hopelessness and frustration of our times resonate in the response to this song.”
“The song itself is not anything special, but the people who have supported it are incredible and deserve to be heard,” he added.
His entry makes him just the sixth artist ever debut a first solo Hot 100 entry at No. 1, following such stars as Carrie Underwood, Clay Aiken, Zayn, and more.
“Rich Men North Of Richmond” debuted on the Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart in the number one spot as well, the outlet noted.
The song from Oliver Anthony has also generated headlines because for the second time in history, country music artists dominate the all genre music chart, with “Rich Men North Of Richmond,” followed by Luke Comb’s cover of Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car,” and Morgan Wallen’s “Last Night” in the third spot. In July, Jason Aldean’s “Try That in a Small Town” led a takeover of the chart for the first time by country music when he scored the top spot followed by “Last Night” and “Fast Car,” Variety noted.
At the time, it was the first time in the history of the all-genre music chart that country music artists scored the top three spots in a single week, dating back to the start of the chart in August 1958.