Oliver Anthony Says He’s Rejected $8 Million Offers Following Success Of ‘Rich Men North of Richmond’ 

“There’s nothing special about me,” he insists in a new social media post.

By

Lauren Jo Black

| Posted on

August 17, 2023

Share on:

Oliver Anthony; Photo Courtesy radiowv on YouTube

Oliver Anthony is taking time to introduce himself to his newfound followers after his song, “Rich Men North of Richmond,” went viral. 

The former factory worker penned a lengthy message on Facebook on Thursday (Aug. 17), reacting to the success of the song and revealing the offers that have come his way after the tune took over the internet.

Reveals His Real Name

His performance of “Rich Men North of Richmond” has raked in over 18 million views in just eight days, and Oliver Anthony, who revealed his real name to be Christopher Anthony Lunsford, says he is blown away by the response to the song. In fact, according to his post, he never anticipated that the song would get more than a few hundred thousand views.

Oliver Anthony; Photo Courtesy Facebook, Oliver Anthony Music
Oliver Anthony; Photo Courtesy Facebook, Oliver Anthony Music

“I’m sitting in such a weird place in my life right now,” he admitted. With views continuing to pour in on his performance video, Anthony stated, “I still don’t quite believe what has went on since we uploaded that. It’s just strange to me.”

Received Thousands Of Messages

In the days since the song began to go viral, he’s received more than 50,000 messages reacting to the song and how it speaks to the hardships that people face. 

The success of the song has also come with business offers, some of which have been extremely lucrative, however, Anthony says he’s not interested in any of it. 

“People in the music industry give me blank stares when I brush off 8 million dollar offers. 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,” he explains. “I wrote the music I wrote because I was suffering with mental health and depression. These songs have connected with millions of people on such a deep level because they’re being sung by someone feeling the words in the very moment they were being sung. No editing, no agent, no bullshit. Just some idiot and his guitar. The style of music that we should have never gotten away from in the first place.” 

Honest Message

He went on to share his brutally honest opinion of himself and the United States of America. 

“There’s nothing special about me. I’m not a good musician, I’m not a very good person. I’ve spent the last 5 years struggling with mental health and using alcohol to drown it. I am sad to see the world in the state it’s in, with everyone fighting with each other. I have spent many nights feeling hopeless, that the greatest country on Earth is quickly fading away,” he stated. 

His life experiences led him to write “Rich Men North of Richmond,” detailing the struggles of the working class in the face of wealthy individuals driven by greed, and in his lengthy message to his followers, he recalled dropping out of high school at 17, earning his GED and working in plant jobs in North Carolina for $14.50 an hour. He also shared the story of an injury that sidelined him from his job for six months and how his latest job allowed him to speak to working-class individuals who are fed up with the cards they’ve been dealt.     

Oliver Anthony; Photo Courtesy radiowv on YouTube
“WHOliver Anthony; Photo Courtesy radiowv on YouTube

“When Is Enough, Enough?” He Asks

“From 2014 until just a few days ago, I’ve worked outside sales in the industrial manufacturing world. My job has taken me all over Virginia and into the Carolinas, getting to know tens of thousands of other blue collar workers on job sites and in factories. Ive spent all day, everyday, for the last 10 years hearing the same story. People are SO damn tired of being neglected, divided and manipulated,” he wrote. 

He went on to question, “When is enough, enough? When are we going to fight for what is right again?” 

He closed his post with a reminder about freedom of speech and the liberties Americans have been granted thanks to those who died to protect them. 

“Never in world history has the world had the freedom it currently does. Don’t let them take it away from you. Just like those once wandering in the desert, we have lost our way from God and have let false idols distract us and divide us. It’s a damn shame.”

Viral Song

YouTube video

 “Rich Men North of Richmond” resonated with millions and many took to the comments section of the original performance video to thank Oliver Anthony for speaking their truth.   

“I’m a 37 year old contractor in Florida and I’ve had one of the toughest weeks mentally and physically to the point I feel i’m on the edge of a break down. I constantly felt alone in my struggle as I didnt want my family to feel that pain,” wrote one YouTube user. “Then I heard this song 2 days later and it literally brought me to tears. I feel like i just took the biggest breath of air in a long time. It feels good and bad to know so many people feel the same way I do all across the world. Thanks for this song as it brought me back, and to all my hard working men and women in the world im here for you all! We got this!”

Another shared, “I’m a 39 year old Iraq vet and Construction worker, struggling like a dog to take care of two kids and keep a farm going when I’m not working 11 hour days. This hit so hard today I had to stop my old peterbilt and tear up. Preach brother.”

The comments section is filled with thousands of similar stories shared by people from around the country and the world. 

Oliver Anthony; Photo Courtesy radiowv on YouTube
Oliver Anthony; Photo Courtesy radiowv on YouTube

First-Ever Performance

On Sunday, August 13, Oliver Anthony appeared at the Morris Farm Market in Barco, North Carolina for his first-ever performance. 

According to social media posts, thousands of supporters showed up to witness the show, which included a surprise appearance from 10-time GRAMMY nominee and Grand Ole Opry member, Jamey Johnson.  

The pair joined forces to perform Johnson’s CMA and ACM Award-winning hit, “In Color.” 

“Ya’ll filled 25 acres with cars for the first-ever gig! I am so proud to be a part of this moment in history,” Anthony shared on social media following the event. “Thanks to everyone who stayed after for photos and to tell me your story. It means more than words can describe.” 

Oliver Anthony has additional performances planned in the coming days.

Share on:

Lauren Jo Black

Written by

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.