Oliver Anthony graced the renowned Opry Circle for the very first time on December 16, 2023.
Emerging as an unexpected yet significant force in country music throughout the year, this singer-songwriter, born Christopher Anthony Lunsford, captured widespread attention earlier in the year when a video of his performance of the original track “Rich Men North of Richmond” went viral, propelling him to overnight stardom. The song quickly racked up over 100 million views on YouTube and nearly 130 million streams on Spotify.
In a groundbreaking achievement, Oliver Anthony etched his name in music history by accomplishing a feat no other artist had before – debuting at No. 1 on the Billboard charts without any prior chart presence. His hit single “Rich Men North of Richmond” claimed the top spot on the all-genre Billboard Hot 100 for two consecutive weeks.
His Grand Ole Opry Debut
Oliver Anthony achieved a significant career milestone through his memorable debut performance at the Grand Ole Opry on Saturday (Dec. 16).
As Oliver Anthony took his first steps into the iconic Opry Circle, he started things off in a bit of an unexpected way. He began with a Bible reading, delving into a passage from the book of Matthew. Of course, he also delivered his viral sensation “Rich Men North of Richmond” not just once, but twice.
His Duet With Jamey Johnson
For a special performance, he teamed up with Opry member and mentor Jamey Johnson for a rendition of “In Color.”
This held special significance for Anthony, as he had covered the song last year and even received a surprise visit from Johnson himself, who joined him on stage for a performance at Morris Farm Market in Barco, North Carolina.
“I’m not sure I’ll ever top this moment where @jameyjohnsonofficial made a surprise appearance to sing his all-time classic with me on stage.