Just a few months ago, almost no one had heard of the artist Oliver Anthony – but now, he has become one of the most talked about men in the music industry.
It’s all thanks to his undeniably catchy track “Rich Men North of Richmond,” which went wildly viral and became a fast-rising hit. The song even entered at No. 1 on Billboard Hot 100, making him the first artist to do such a feat in the all-genre chart without having a song on the record chart beforehand.
So, who is this mysterious singer who seemingly came out of nowhere? Let’s get to know Oliver Anthony.
Oliver Anthony Is Not His Real Name
Born as Christopher Anthony Lunsford in Origin Farmville, Virginia, the singer revealed that “Oliver Anthony” is just a stage name and is actually his grandfather’s name. It is his way of honoring his grandfather’s memory and the struggles he had faced being born and raised during the Depression era in Appalachia.
His Musical Journey Is Out Of The Ordinary
Oliver Anthony actually said he “procrastinated with music for a long time.” He was only five years old when he began falling in love with music – thanks to his grandmother, who was a member of a band for many years.
Anthony said he would sit with his grandmother to watch The Dukes of Hazzard, especially Waylon Jennings, picking his guitar. He grew up listening to the classic country music that his grandmother loved. She truly introduced Anthony to a lot of music, which he held onto but, unfortunately, never pursued the way he should, he said.
It was only in 2021 that Anthony began writing music. A year later, he released music as Oliver Anthony Music.
However, He Never Intended To Find Fame
Oliver Anthony revealed that he turned down major deals with record labels, which included an eight million offer that got the people in the music industry giving him blank stares. “I don’t want six 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,” Anthony said.
The singer revealed that the music he wrote was only born from the mental health and depression he is going through. Anthony even once thought he would die from his body simply shutting down after so much stress he went through over many years.
Before his rise to fame, Anthony worked on a series of menial jobs after dropping out of high school at age 17. That includes multiple plant jobs in Western North Carolina – including a paper mill, where he worked for “$14.50 an hour in a living hell.”
His most recent job was selling aluminum siding for a construction supplier in Richmond, Virginia, which he quit to work full-time on his music.
Now, Anthony lives on farmland he purchased for $97,500 in 2019 – which he still owes $60,000 – inside a 27-foot camper with a tarp on the roof. However, Anthony is reportedly earning $40,000 per day, so it would not be too long for him to pay off the debt.
We will have to wait and see what’s more in store for Oliver Anthony. Stay tuned for more updates.