John Rich / Instagram, wvradio / YouTube
Unless you have been taking a social media cleanse, you must have undoubtedly come across the fame of a man named Oliver Anthony and his sensational original song titled “Rich Men North of Richmond.” On August 8, a video featuring his live rendition of the song was shared on the YouTube channel radiowv.
The video captures Anthony’s acoustic performance set against a rustic countryside backdrop, and its popularity skyrocketed almost instantaneously. His video went so viral that it has over 20 million views on the YouTube video alone. That does not count the 25.6 million views on his personal X account, and the millions of views on reposted videos across all social media.
On Thursday, August 10, Oliver posted a clip of the video on X – formerly Twitter – and it has over 19 million views. By Friday morning (Aug 11), “Rich Men North Of Richmond” was the #1 song on iTunes, besting Jason Aldean’s “Try That In A Small Town.” Fans continued to look up his other music, making four more of his songs burst into the Top Ten.
On August 13th, Oliver Anthony performed live for the first time since going viral at Morris Farm Market in Currituck, North Carolina, a place he previously performed for 20 people. This time, there were thousands.
View this post on Instagram
Ever Jamey Johnson showed up and they sang “In Color” together!
Since the release of the video featuring his performance of “Rich Men North of Richmond,” Anthony’s life has been a whirlwind. In a statement posted on his Facebook page on Thursday (August 17), he revealed that he has been inundated with more than 50,000 messages and emails in the past week. He also revealed that he has received $8 million record deal offers. Here’s what he said:
“People in the music industry give me blank stares when I brush off 8 million dollar offers,” he said. “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.”
Click here for his full statement.
Some people may wonder why he is turning down $8 million dollars and John Rich – from the duo Big and Rich – might know why.
He took to X to slam the big record labels who are trying to claw at Oliver. Rich said, “All the major record labels in Nashville are falling over themselves to lure Oliver Anthony. The irony is, if he would’ve been signed to a label when he wrote this song, none of us would have EVER heard it! His song fried their brains. Their greed is overriding their wokeness.”
Travis Tritt replied, saying, “100% truth!” while Larry The Cable wrote, “Agreed!”
Watch the video that caught everyone’s attention below.