Oliver Anthony says song ‘Rich Men North of Richmond’ has been weaponized after Republican debate

Singer Oliver Anthony says his viral song "Rich Men North of Richmond" has become politically weaponized. (Source: CNN, YouTube/Oliver Anthony Music)
Published: Aug. 28, 2023 at 3:44 PM CDT
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(CNN) – Singer Oliver Anthony says his viral song “Rich Men North of Richmond” has become politically weaponized.

It was played at the first Republican presidential debate last week.

In it, Anthony sings about the struggles of the working class. The song has been embraced by conservatives.

However, in a video uploaded on Friday, Anthony says the song doesn’t support either party.

“The one thing that has bothered me is seeing people wrap politics up into this. I’m disappointed to see, like, it’s aggravating seeing people on conservative news try to identify with me, like I’m one of them,” Anthony said. “It’s aggravating seeing certain musicians and politicians act like we’re buddies and act like we’re fighting the same struggle here, like that we’re trying to present the same message.”

Fox News anchor Bret Baier, who was one of the debate’s moderators, says the network had approval to air the song during the debate.

As far as his own political beliefs, Anthony says he sits “pretty dead center” and finds fault with leaders on both sides of the aisle.

The song has racked up millions of views on social media and debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, making Anthony the first-ever artist to debut atop the list with no prior chart history in any form.