On Monday (8.28) Billboard confirmed that “Rich Men North of Richmond” by Oliver Anthony was the number one song on Hot 100 chart for the second week running.
According to the current data, like the week prior, the composition recognized extremely high digital download sales accounting for 117,000 units for the week ending August 24th The song has also remained atop the iTunes sales chart for weeks, with four other songs of his cracking the top 25 as of Monday.
While traditional sales remained a key factor this week in the chart success of “Rich Men …”, it’s also been a major streaming hit, topping Apple Music’s U.S. Songs chart for more than two weeks as well as floating within the top three spots on Spotify. The digital sales of “Rich Men” fell by about 30,000 but its streams rose 30% to over 22,000,000 — more streams than any song on Billboard’s chart.
Anthony and “Rich Men” came to the fore more than fourteen days ago after conservative figures and influencers started touting the song on social media, and received a shoutout during the first Republican presidential primary debate last week when moderator Martha MacCallum asked why the song was striking a nerve with the country.
Despite the early support from conservatives, however, on Friday (8.25) in a YouTube video, Anthony rebuked politicians’ adoption of the track, stating that they – along with the Democratic – were the very people he was condemning in his composition. Oliver added that he is politically down the middle and contends that “ … Richmond,” wasn’t intended to align with a political party, but to speak out in frustration about a system in America that isn’t supporting its people.
“The one thing that has bothered me is seeing people wrap politics up in this,” said the singer/songwriter. “It’s aggravating seeing people on conservative news try to identify with me like I’m one of them. It’s aggravating seeing certain musicians and politicians act like we’re buddies and act like we’re fighting the same struggle here, like we’re trying to present the same message.”