The singer of the breakout hit “Rich Men North of Richmond” is now saying he’s annoyed that his viral song, which quickly became a conservative anthem after being boosted by right-wing media and politicians, was used by Fox News moderators to kick off Wednesday night’s GOP presidential debate.
After vaulting from obscurity to the top of the Billboard Hot 100 in a matter of weeks, Oliver Anthony is now pushing back on Republicans’ over-the-top embrace of his folksy country ballad, saying he “wrote that song about those people” and it is “aggravating seeing people on conservative news trying to identify with me like I’m one of them.”
The very first question at Wednesday night’s debate centered on the themes in Anthony’s song, complete with the production team airing clips of the video and people reacting to his tune, which focuses on economic frustration with both the elites and welfare recipients. “Why is this song striking such a nerve in this country right now?” Martha MacCallum, one of the debate’s co-moderators, asked the candidates.
While MacCallum and fellow moderator Bret Baier said after the debate that they “tracked” Anthony down and “got approval” to use the song, the singer said in a video