Oliver Anthony’s Historic Climb to the Top: A Timeline of the ‘Rich Men North of Richmond’ Singer’s Rapid Rise

Oliver Anthony Music‘s meteoric rise to the top of the Billboard charts has shattered norms, garnered endless headlines, landed the bearded country folk singer an unexpected cameo at the the first Republican presidential debate and otherwise set a new standard for the trajectory of a viral hit single.

Just a week after a barebones video of Anthony’s broadside against out-of-touch elites, “Rich Men North of Richmond,” was uploaded, the previously unknown singer-songwriter and former factory worker shot straight to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, marking the first time an artist debuted at the top without any prior chart history.

Boosted by co-signs from a number of influential conservative pundits, as well as Fox News, the song about said rich men has made a star of the soft-spoken artist born Christopher Anthony Lunsford; his stage name is an homage to his grandfather, with the “Music” appended to avoid confusion with an EDM artist of the same name.

Through it all, the proudly independent singer — who says he’s already turned down recording contract offers worth as much as $8 million — has mostly let his music do the talking, performing just one free show, uploading another no-frills music video and speaking out only when he felt that his words were being twisted during the Fox News presidential debate.

It’s a truly only-in-America story that has made Anthony into an overnight star, while again proving that there are now many paths to success in the music industry. Check out a timeline of Anthony’s improbable, supersonic rise to stardom.

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