Oliver Anthony, the singer behind the polarising country hit ‘Rich Men North Of Richmond’, has signed with United Talent Agency.
The song was first shared on YouTube last month and made Anthony the first artist in history to debut at No. 1 on the Billboard charts without previously having a chart entry.
“We’re honored to represent such an authentic artist, and excited to put together a global strategy to bring Oliver Anthony and his music to the people,” said UTA’s Co-Heads of Nashville, Jeffrey Hasson and Music Agent Curt Motley, on the signing [via Deadline].
‘Rich Men North Of Richmond’ divided opinion across social media, drawing differing reactions across political lines. Its lyrics describe the frustrations of working-class Americans – “I’ve been selling my soul, working all day/Overtime hours for bullshit pay,” – but some have tried to claim it as a conservative anthem, pointing to lines such as “your dollar ain’t shit and it’s taxed to no end” and “these rich men north of Richmond/Lord knows they all just wanna have total control/Wanna know what you think, wanna know what you do”.
Congresswoman and notorious right-wing figure Marjorie Taylor Greene called the song “the anthem of the forgotten Americans”, while Kari Lake, the Trump-backed Republican who ran for governor of Arizona, said it was “the anthem of this moment in American history”.
On the other hand, Connecticut Democrat Senator Chris Murphy posted that “progressives should listen to this”, and that the issues Anthony was highlighting were “all problems the left has better solutions to than the right”.
Meanwhile, Anthony said in a recent appearance on The Joe Rogan Experience that explained that the amount of discussion on the song has come, from his perspective, as a surprise.
“It’s funny because the song is not even in my top five,” he explained. “I’ve written songs with similar messages. But as far as that sort of anthem format, as people are calling it, that’s not something I would normally write… I had no idea that that song would have the reaction that it did.”