Oliver Anthony Music’s ‘Rich Men North of Richmond’ Debuts at No. 1 on Billboard Hot 100 (2023)

Oliver Anthony Music’s breakout viral hit “Rich Men North of Richmond” debuts at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 songs chart. Among other chart achievements for the singer-songwriter, he’s the first artist ever to launch atop the list with no prior chart history in any form.


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Plus, Olivia Rodrigo’s “Bad Idea Right?” enters the Hot 100 at No. 10, marking her sixth career top 10.

The Hot 100 blends all-genre U.S. streaming (official audio and official video), radio airplay and sales data, the lattermost metric reflecting purchases of physical singles and digital tracks from full-service digital music retailers; digital singles sales from direct-to-consumer (D2C) sites are excluded from chart calculations. All charts (dated Aug. 26, 2023) will update on Billboard.com tomorrow (Aug. 22). For all chart news, you can follow @billboard and @billboardcharts on both X, formerly known as Twitter, and Instagram.

Here’s a look at the coronation of “Rich Men North of Richmond,” the 1,153rd song to top the Hot 100 over the chart’s 65-year history, and the 69th to debut at No. 1.

Streams, sales & airplay: Officially released Aug. 11, “Rich Men North of Richmond” drew 17.5 million streams and sold 147,000 downloads in the tracking week ending Aug. 17, according to Luminate. Not being promoted to radio, the song also tallied 553,000 radio airplay audience impressions, the bulk on country stations.

The single also debuts at No. 1 on the Digital Song Sales chart, and No. 4 on Streaming Songs.

The track by the Farmville, Va.-based singer-songwriter and former factory worker, born Christopher Anthony Lunsford (whose stage name honors his grandfather, Oliver Anthony), first drew buzz online, including on TikTok, where he boasts 1.5 million followers, prior to its Aug. 11 posting on the radiowv YouTube account, which spotlights unsigned Americana and country acts in the Virginia/West Virginia region. (The radiowv recording features simply Anthony’s voice and a Gretsch guitar.)

The song has drawn both praise from the right and opposition from the left, with its lyrics referencing “your dollar taxed to no end ’cause of rich men north of Richmond,” as well as “the obese milkin’ welfare.” Stated Anthony in a video posted Aug. 7, “I sit pretty dead center down the aisle on politics and always have.” He added on Facebook Aug. 17, “I am sad to see the world in the state it’s in, with everyone fighting with each other.”

Anthony’s reaction: Says Anthony exclusively to Billboard, “The hopelessness and frustration of our times resonate in the response to this song. The song itself is not anything special, but the people who have supported it are incredible and deserve to be heard.”


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“There was not a whole lot of planning involved,” Draven Riffe, Anthony’s co-manager (with Brian Prentice), told Billboard Saturday (Aug. 19) of the song’s release. Riffe is also the sole producer of “Richmond,” as well as the co-founder of radiowv, which launched in 2018. “We just knew if we got the video out there, people were going to love the song and it would resonate with a lot of folks. There wasn’t some big, massive planning team around this. I had a few friends who helped us push the song out there, like my friend Josh [Baer], who has a page called Country Central. We all coordinated and Oliver’s following [did], as well; we just tried to push it out there all at once with our little group of friends and that’s how it happened.”

First No. 1, first chart appearance: Prior to this week, Oliver Anthony Music had not appeared on any Billboard chart in any form, making him the first such artist ever to debut atop the Hot 100.

He’s just the sixth artist ever to debut a first solo Hot 100 entry at No. 1, following Zayn, Baauer, Carrie Underwood, Fantasia and Clay Aiken. Zayn’s debut solo single “Pillowtalk” opened on top in 2016, after he had become established as a member of One Direction; Baauer’s viral hit “Harlem Shake” debuted a week after first appearing on dance/electronic rankings; and Underwood, Fantasia and Aiken soared in, driven by sales, after the season finales of American Idol in 2005 (when Underwood won), 2004 (when Fantasia won), and 2003 (when Aiken finished second). “Inside Your Heaven” brought Underwood to the Hot 100 in her first sole-credited role after she first charted via the group effort “When You Tell Me That You Love Me,” billed to American Idol Finalists Season 4; “I Believe” marked Fantasia’s debut chart hit, although it reached rankings other than the Hot 100 the week before (as with Baauer’s Hot 100 arrival); and Aiken had charted prior to “This Is the Night” as a singer on the collaborative “God Bless the U.S.A.,” billed to American Idol Finalists.

Unsigned, undeterred: With Oliver Anthony Music doubling as the label credit for the self-released “Rich Men North of Richmond,” the singer-songwriter marks a rare unsigned artist at No. 1 on the Hot 100. Lisa Loeb became the first such act, when “Stay (I Missed You)” led in 1994, although the song was released on RCA Records, from the hit Reality Bites soundtrack. (Loeb subsequently signed with Geffen Records.)

“We are working on a full [lineup] of shows with bigger accommodations in the near future,” Anthony wrote on Facebook. “Everyone in the ‘industry’ is rushing me into signing something, but we just want to take things slow right now. I appreciate your patience.”

Solo-written No. 1: “Rich Men North of Richmond” is the first solo-written Hot 100 No. 1 since Glass Animals’ “Heat Waves,” penned by the band’s frontman, Dave Bayley, dominated for five weeks in March-April 2022.

“Richmond” is the first Hot 100 leader written entirely and sung by a soloist since Ed Sheeran’s “Perfect” logged its last of six weeks at No. 1 in January 2018.


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Hot 100 & Hot Country Songs No. 1s: “Rich Men North of Richmond” concurrently opens atop Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart, which uses the same methodology as the Hot 100.

The track marks the 23rd song to have topped both the Hot 100 and Hot Country Songs. With Morgan Wallen’s “Last Night” having ruled the Hot 100 for 16 weeks, nonconsecutively, from March through last week (tied for the second-longest command in the survey’s history), and Jason Aldean’s “Try That in a Small Town” leading for a week earlier this month, 2023 is the first year with at least three shared Hot 100 and Hot Country Songs leaders since 1975.

Plus, “Richmond” is the first song by a solo male to start atop both the Hot 100 and Hot Country Songs simultaneously. It’s the second overall, after Taylor Swift’s “All Too Well (Taylor’s Version)” opened atop both rankings dated Nov. 27, 2021. (The charts have shared methodology since October 2012.)

Songs to Have Hit No. 1 on Both the Hot 100 & Hot Country Songs Charts:

  • “Rich Men North of Richmond,” Anthony Oliver Music, 2023
  • “Try That in a Small Town,” Jason Aldean, 2023
  • “Last Night,” Morgan Wallen, 2023
  • “All Too Well (Taylor’s Version),” Taylor Swift, 2021
  • “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together,” Taylor Swift, 2012
  • “Amazed,” Lonestar, 1999-2000
  • “Islands in the Stream,” Kenny Rogers, duet with Dolly Parton, 1983
  • “I Love a Rainy Night,” Eddie Rabbitt, 1981
  • “9 to 5,” Dolly Parton, 1981
  • “Lady,” Kenny Rogers, 1980
  • “Southern Nights,” Glen Campbell, 1977
  • “Convoy,” C.W. McCall, 1975-76
  • “I’m Sorry,” John Denver, 1975
  • “Rhinestone Cowboy,” Glen Campbell, 1975
  • “Thank God I’m a Country Boy,” John Denver, 1975
  • “Before the Next Teardrop Falls,” Freddy Fender, 1975
  • “(Hey Won’t You Play) Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song,” B.J. Thomas, 1975
  • “The Most Beautiful Girl,” Charlie Rich, 1973
  • “Honey,” Bobby Goldsboro, 1968
  • “Harper Valley P.T.A.,” Jeannie C. Riley, 1968
  • “Big Bad John,” Jimmy Dean, 1961
  • “El Paso,” Marty Robbins, 1959-60
  • “The Battle of New Orleans,” Johnny Horton, 1959

Of the 23 songs listed above, 12 were concentrated in 1973-83. Meanwhile, Glen Campbell, John Denver, Dolly Parton, Kenny Rogers and Taylor Swift are the only acts with two songs each that have crowned both the Hot 100 and Hot Country Songs.

As Billboard reported July 6, country music has surged this year: consumption for the genre in the United States was up 20.3% year-over-year in the first 26 weeks of 2023, according to Luminate. (Comparatively, country grew by 2.5% over the same period in 2022.)

Luke Combs’ cover of Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car” adds a sixth week at its No. 2 Hot 100 high, where it’s steady in rank, and Wallen’s “Last Night” falls to No. 3. Thanks to “Rich Men North of Richmond,” “Fast Car” and “Last Night,” country hits (as defined by those that have hit Hot Country Songs) claim the Hot 100’s top three spots in a single week for only the second time; Aldean’s “Try That in a Small Town,” “Last Night” and “Fast Car” placed at Nos. 1, 2 and 3, respectively, on the Hot 100 dated Aug. 5.

“Last Night,” meanwhile, tops Billboard’s Songs of the Summer chart for a 12th week, having led each week since the list returned.


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Taylor Swift’s “Cruel Summer” dips to No. 4 from its No. 3 Hot 100 high, and Rema and Selena Gomez’s “Calm Down” descends 4-5, after reaching No. 3, as it posts a ninth week atop the Radio Songs chart (85.9 million, down 2%). “Calm Down” also tops the Billboard U.S. Afrobeats Songs chart for a 51st week, extending the longest reign since the ranking began over a year ago.

Olivia Rodrigo’s “Vampire” holds at No. 6 on the Hot 100, six weeks after it debuted as her third No. 1, and Gunna’s “Fukumean” falls 5-7, after hitting No. 4, as it rules the multi-metric and Hot Rap Songs charts for a fifth week each.

Dua Lipa’s “Dance the Night” backtracks to No. 8 from its No. 7 Hot 100 best and Nicki Minaj and Ice Spice’s “Barbie World,” with Aqua – also from the soundtrack Barbie: The Album – slips 8-9, after reaching No. 7, while winning top Airplay Gainer honors for a second consecutive week (36.8 million, up 41%).

Rounding out the Hot 100’s top 10, Olivia Rodrigo’s “Bad Idea Right?” debuts at No. 10, with 19.7 million streams, 5.3 million in airplay audience and 4,000 sold.

The song is Rodrigo’s sixth top 10, with all having debuted in the region, following “Vampire”; “Drivers License” (No. 1 for eight weeks, beginning in January 2021); “Good 4 U” (No. 1, one week, May 2021); “Deja Vu” (No. 3, June 2021); and “Traitor” (No. 9, June 2021). Her first four top 10s are from her first LP, Sour, while her two latest are from follow-up Guts, due Sept. 8.

Again, for all chart news, you can follow @billboard and @billboardcharts on both Twitter and Instagram and all charts (dated Aug. 26), including the Hot 100 in its entirety, will refresh on Billboard.com tomorrow (Aug. 22).

Luminate, the independent data provider to the Billboard charts, completes a thorough review of all data submissions used in compiling the weekly chart rankings. Luminate reviews and authenticates data. In partnership with Billboard, data deemed suspicious or unverifiable is removed, using established criteria, before final chart calculations are made and published.

Additional reporting by Alex Vitoulis.

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