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Unknown artist Oliver Anthony went viral over the summer but not everyone is a fan. Is the anti-government song ‘problematic’? See what one country singer had to say about Anthony’s song “Rich Men North of Richmond.”
Who is Oliver Anthony?
In July 2023, no one had heard the name Oliver Anthony. By August, his name was on everyone’s lips and his music in their ears. Christopher Anthony Lunsford is the musician’s real name, but he releases music under the name Oliver Anthony.
The singer-songwriter from Virginia didn’t have a record label or agent when his song “Rich Men North of Richmond” went viral, earning 5 million views practically overnight.
Now at almost 80 million views, the song spent a week at the top of the Billboard charts in August without any prior chart history or radio play, a feat unheard of.
His viral hit garnered the attention of members of the Republican party, but Oliver Anthony shut them down quick, saying the song was about all politicians.
Maren Morris Slams Viral Hit as ‘Problematic’
While many people found Oliver Anthony’s song relatable because of its working man’s struggles, not everyone was a fan. Controversial country star Maren Morris took issue with some of the song’s social-political lyrics.
Morris recently made headlines after vowing to leave the “toxic” country music genre behind. She then walked back her comments in an interview with New York Times’ Popcast Podcast.
— CMT (@CMT) October 6, 2023
During the podcast episode, she touched on viral sensation Oliver Anthony’s success. She was complimentary toward the singer initially, saying that her first impression was he could “sing his a** off.”
But after listening to the lyrics, she began to take issue with the song. Whiskey Riff reports that she said, “I think it was the second verse that threw me for a loop,” about the song.
The second verse slams welfare recipients.
“Well, God, if you’re 5-foot-3 and you’re 300 pounds / Taxes ought not to pay for your bags of fudge rounds / Young men are puttin’ themselves six feet in the ground / ‘Cause all this damn country does is keep on kickin’ them down.”
Maren Morris admits Oliver Anthony is a “bada**” for his anti-government song, but she also thinks the second verse is “problematic.”
This isn’t the first time Morris has been outspoken against another country star. Her comments on Morgan Wallen led to death threats, and she had a social media feud with Jason Aldean’s wife, Brittany, over anti-trans comments.
Do you agree with Maren Morris that Oliver Anthony’s song is “problematic”? Let us know in the comments below.