“Rich Men North of Richmond” hit the top of the charts after becoming a viral hit.
Its massive success is forcing country music executives to take notice.
And viral sensation Oliver Anthony threw the music industry for a loop with this shocking number.
Country artist Oliver Anthony came out of nowhere to become one of the most talked about musicians in the country.
His blue-collar ballad “Rich Men North of Richmond” took off like wildfire after it was shared on a small YouTube channel showcasing unsigned country artists in West Virginia and Virginia.
The song’s themes of welfare abuse, high taxes, and a corrupt political class struck a chord with conservatives.
They helped spread the song on social media and turn Anthony into an overnight celebrity.
He went from toiling away in obscurity to having a question about “Rich Men North of Richmond” fielded by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis at the first Republican Presidential Primary debate.
The viral hit landed at number one on the all-genre Billboard Hot 100 chart making him the first musician in history to debut at the top spot without a previous charting song.
The former factory worker who lives in a camper in Farmville, Virginia is having his life turned upside down by the success of his song.
“Rich Men North of Richmond” is reportedly earning Anthony $40,000 a day as the most popular song in the country.
The song is generating most of its profits from sales on Apple’s iTunes and streaming services like Spotify.
In its first week on iTunes, the viral hit sold 147,000 downloads, which pays up to 70 cents a download for a total of roughly $102,000.
Artists on Spotify can receive about four cents every time one of their songs is streamed on the service.
The song is being streamed about two million times per day according to data compiled by music analytics service Chartmetric.
The singer is also selling his music directly to his fans with the platforms Bandcamp and Patreon.
Anthony made headlines when he said that he turned down an $8 million record deal in an interview.
“I don’t want 6 tour busses, 15 tractor trailers and a jet,” Anthony said. “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. No editing, no agent, no bulls–t. Just some idiot and his guitar. The style of music that we should have never gotten away from in the first place.”
The success of “Rich Men North of Richmond” will allow him to continue to create authentic music without the control of industry executives.
So while Oliver Anthony may have turned down a major record deal, he’s still able to find major success outside the corporate record labels in Nashville.