Oliver Anthony made history hitting No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 with his blue-collar anthem, “Rich Men North of Richmond.”
Anthony, whose stage name honors his grandfather and real name is Christopher Anthony Lunsford, became the first artist to skyrocket to the top with no prior chart history in any form, according to Billboard.
“The hopelessness and frustration of our times resonate in the response to this song,” the former factory worker told the outlet. “The song itself is not anything special, but the people who have supported it are incredible and deserve to be heard.”
The Farmville, Virginia singer-songwriter calls himself “just some idiot” with a guitar.
“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,” he wrote on Facebook. “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.”
For him, it’s about the connection to real people.
“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,” Anthony added. “No editing, no agent, no bullshit … the style of music that we should have never gotten away from in the first place.”