The Story Behind Viral “Rich Men North of Richmond”

Marta Design /
Marta Design /

One of the newest viral sensations of the day is a song called “Rich Men North of Richmond” by Oliver Anthony, a little-known country singer. But even more inspiring than the protest anthem that the song is, is Anthony’s own story.

If you haven’t heard it, I implore you to check it out. The video can be found here:

Like many country songs, it speaks of the troubles in life and how easily they can drag us all down. Specifically, he called out mental illness, human trafficking, high taxes, obese people on welfare, and issues with the working class.

But then the song crescendos into what can only be called defiance against “these rich men north of Richmond” who are trying to “have total control” and making life harder for everyday Americans like Anthony himself.

To be clear, it’s a powerful message that has now resonated with millions across the country (and even the globe), making Anthony a near-overnight sensation.

But the true inspiration comes from Anthony’s personal story itself.

As entrepreneur and fatherhood advocate Jason Howerton explained following an interview with Anthony, it hasn’t been much more than a mere 30 days since Anthony was at rock bottom and even tempted to end it all.

“In the past, Oliver was struggling with mental health & coping with alcohol. In depths of despair, just about a month ago, Oliver got to his knees & broke down in tears. Though he wasn’t a religious man, that night, he promised God to get sober if he helped him follow his dream.”

Then, 30 days later and out of the blue, “someone reached out & asked him to come record a song for his YouTube channel. That song was ‘Rich Men North of Richmond.’ Within days, the song was going viral on social media.”

As Anthony explained in a video posted to YouTube on August 7, his story proves that God will meet you anywhere and that he cares about you. “Everything can change in a moment.”