‘Rich Men North of Richmond’ singer earns Billboard nominations

The numbers keep going up and now the award nominations are starting to come in. Oliver Anthony was one of five musicians nominated Friday for “Top Song Sales Artist” and “Top Selling Song” for ‘Rich Men North of Richmond’ as part of the Billboard Music Awards. He joins a pretty well-known group in both cases. 

For “Top Song Sales Artist”, Anthony is one of five finalists, including Jason Aldean, Miley Cyrus, Morgan Wallen and Taylor Swift. On the “Top Selling Song” side, his “Rich Men North of Richmond” is a candidate alongside “Flowers” by Miley Cyrus, “Anti-Hero” by Taylor Swift, “Like Crazy” by Jimin and “Try That in a Small Town” by Jason Aldean. It’s not bad at all for a Prince Edward County musician who hasn’t finished his first album yet. 

Anthony has been on Billboard’s Top 100 for 10 straight weeks, debuting at No. 3 in August. Despite not releasing an album or a new single, he’s still in the list two months later. As of Monday, Oct. 30, he came in at No. 85. And if you’re wondering how he made the “Top Selling” nominations without a physical album, it’s because of a change made by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). The group has a new formula, stating that 1,500 streams is now the official equivalent of of 10 single track sales or one album sale. 

Anthony to date has 101.8 million streams on Spotify of ‘Rich Men’ alone, with 17 million for his second song “Aint Gotta Dollar”. His third single “I Wanna Go Home” comes in at 9.7 million and his last single, I’ve Got to Get Sober, has 9.8 million streams. Based on those numbers alone, it’s enough to certify ‘Rich Men’ as a platinum single. 

‘Rich Men North of Richmond’ on the charts

That’s a big enough challenge, but Anthony topped it by doing something no other musician has. ‘Rich Men’ debuted at number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart the week of Aug. 23, the first time that’s happened for a singer with no record label or chart history. He’s also just the sixth person to debut their first single at number 1. The other names aren’t bad company to be in. That includes people like Carrie Underwood, Clay Aiken, Zayn Malik and Fantasia Barrino.
To even get on a Billboard chart, a musician has to do one of two things. You either have to sell an average of 450 to 500 albums in that week or get between 562,500 to 1.68 million streams. The streaming part doesn’t seem to be a problem for Anthony. Spotify is currently considered the most popular streaming service, with more than 100 million active users. 

As of Wednesday morning, Oliver Anthony Music was rated number 73 on the group’s “most viral artists” list. He’s been on the list for more than 56 days, debuting at No. 1 back in August. 

We’ll find out if Anthony wins either of his categories when the Billboard Music Awards airs on Nov. 19. But that’s just one of several award shows he might be competing in. 

Anthony’s ‘Rich Men’ has been submitted in the best record and song of the year categories for the Grammys. Oddly enough, Anthony wasn’t, however, submitted for consideration under the best new artist category. 

New music won’t change

Anthony returned to Farmville this past Saturday, as he played a concert at Longwood’s Joan Perry Brock Center on Oct. 28. A fairly large and sold out concert, in fact. The Joan Perry Brock Center can hold more than 3,000 fans for basketball games, while concerts and other performances can accommodate more than 4,000.  That’s definitely the case here, with more than 4,000 tickets sold. And this is set to be the first of many such events at the facility, school officials say. The Harlem Globetrotters, for example, have already been booked to perform at the JPB coming up next April. 

As far as Anthony’s future goes, he’s discussed plans to release more music in 2024, including his first album. But anyone expecting him to change the sound will be disappointed. 

“Will be recording my first official album in January,” Anthony wrote on his Facebook page. “Going to be recording outdoors, much like the RadioWv session videos you’ve seen popping up on YouTube recently, but with a few more instruments added.”