Oliver Anthony Music On ‘Crazy’ Rise To Fame, New Album, And World Tour

The Virginia native promises to stay grounded amid his success.


Lauren Jo Black

| Posted on

May 22, 2024


2:34 pm

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Oliver Anthony Music; Photo by Chris Hollo

A year ago, no one knew the name Oliver Anthony Music or the song “Rich Men North Of Richmond.” That all changed late last summer when the singer/songwriter shared an acoustic performance of the song on YouTube. Against all odds, “Rich Men North Of Richmond” achieved massive success on streaming platforms and YouTube, propelling the track to a No.1 debut on the Billboard Hot 100—an unprecedented feat for a new, independent artist.

Prior to the success of the song, Oliver Anthony Music, whose real name is Christopher Lunsford, was working a normal job and had never even played a live show. 

“It all happened real fast,” he recalled during a recent conversation with Country Now and other outlets. 

Oliver Anthony Music; Photo Provided
Oliver Anthony Music; Photo Provided

As the song gained momentum, Lunsford landed his very first show at a local farmers market.    

“That was my first paid gig and 12,000 people showed up,” he recalled. “And me and the guitarist, he had never played with me before and I had never played at all. And so…we were totally winging it up there. And it’s been just that crazy ever since.”

“Crazy” is an understatement. Months after playing his first show, Lunsford booked a world tour dubbed the “Out of the Woods Tour,” taking his music to 40+ cities throughout 2024. The trek kicked off on February 1 with a run of sold-out shows in Europe, a two-night, sold-out debut at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium, a massive show at RODEOHOUSTON, and more. 

YouTube video

One of the most eye-opening aspects of the tour so far has been the deep connection he’s gotten to share with his fans, particularly through the song “I’ve Got To Get Sober,” which he considers “the best song that I’ll ever write.”  

“It’s like that at every show,” Lunsford pointed out. “There was somebody at the rodeo, these two people who lost their son to [addiction] and he’d been in and out of rehabs…When you sit there and play a show for an hour, and then somebody comes up to you after and they say they’ve been sitting there crying the whole time and they lost their son and you’re helping ’em get through [it]…What do you even say to that? How do you even… But it’s like that at every show.”

He acknowledged that some people “are just there to get drunk and have a good time,” but said he believes a third of the audience comes to experience something more meaningful. In fact, he shared that his fans “feel like family.” 

“It’s above my head to understand, but it’s obviously more than just people coming to listen to a band. Some people come to those shows for a, it’s like a spiritual thing is the only way I know how to say it,” he added.  


Amid his tour, Lunsford dropped his first studio album, HYMNAL OF A TROUBLED MAN’S MIND. Arriving on Easter Sunday, this collection was produced by GRAMMY winner Dave Cobb and tells Lunsford’s personal stories through 10 self-penned tracks.    

“I was using those songs in the same way that some people might journal their thoughts,” he explained. They [the songs] were kind of put almost chronologically and maybe almost in the order they were written. The whole album is just supposed to tell a story from maybe 10 years ago until everything blew up.” 

The Virginia native promises to remain true to himself despite his rapid success, and continues to place value on what matters most to him in life: his family.  

Oliver Anthony Music; Photo Provided
Oliver Anthony Music; Photo Provided

“I’m just very careful to not let any of this change us. We’re not going and buying fancy cars. We’re not buying any new crap…The wealth that we’ve got is our time now. I can see my kids all day. We are not both at work all day worrying about stuff. That’s really what I’ve tried to invest heavily in.”  

Someday, he hopes to create a foundation to “do some good” for others, but until then, his focus is on making music and traveling the world with his family in tow.  

Oliver Anthony Music’s Out Of The Woods Tour continues through the fall. 

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Lauren Jo Black

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Lauren Jo Black

Lauren Jo Black, a University of Central Florida graduate, has immersed herself in the world of country music for over 15 years. In 2008, she co-founded CountryMusicIsLove, eventually selling it to a major record label in 2015. Following the rebranding of the website to Sounds Like Nashville, Black served as Editor-in-Chief for two and a half years. Currently, she assumes the role of Editor-in-Chief at Country Now and oversees Country Now’s content and digital footprint. Her extensive experience also encompasses her previous role as a Country Music Expert Writer for Answers.com and her work being featured on Forbes.com. She’s been spotlighted among Country Aircheck’s Women of Influence and received the 2012 Rising Star Award from the University of Central Florida. Black also spent time in front of the camera as host of Country Now Live, which brought live music directly to fans in 2021 when the majority of concerts were halted due to the pandemic. During this time, she hosted 24 weeks of live concerts via Country Now Live on Twitch with special guests such as Lady A, Dierks Bentley, Jordan Davis, Brett Young, and Jon Pardi. Over the course of her career, she has had the privilege of conducting interviews with some of the industry’s most prominent stars, including Reba McEntire, Blake Shelton, Luke Combs, Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Lainey Wilson, and many others. Lauren Jo Black is a longtime member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.