Oliver Anthony’s viral populist track “Rich Men North of Richmond” remains the number one song in the country, topping Billboard’s Hot 100 chart for the second week in a row, the publication announced on Monday.
Like last week, the song saw particularly high digital download sales that helped bolster its chart placing, with 117,000 sales for the week ending August 24th according to data service Luminate, which powers the Billboard chart. The song has been atop the iTunes sales chart for weeks, with four other of his songs cracking the top 25 as of Monday.
At Number Two once again was Luke Combs’ “Fast Car.” Morgan Wallen’s “Last Night” took third. And Taylor Swift’s “Cruel Summer” and Doja Cat’s “Paint the Town Red” rounded out the top 5.
While traditional sales remained a key factor in the chart success of “Rich Men North of Richmond” this week, it’s been a major streaming hit as well. “Rich Men” topped Apple Music’s U.S. Songs chart for over two weeks and had floated interchangeably within the top three spots on Spotify’s as well, finally dropping to two and four on those charts by Monday. The digital sales of “Rich Men” fell by about 30,000 but its streams have only further climbed, rising 30 percent to over 22 million — more streams than any song on Billboard’s chart.
Anthony and “Rich Men” first blew up a little over two weeks ago after conservative figures and influencers started touting the song on social media, and it even received a shoutout during the first Republican presidential primary debate last week when moderator Martha MacCallum asked why the song was striking a nerve with the country.
Despite the early support from conservatives, however, Anthony rebuked politicians’ adoption of the track in a YouTube video on Friday, noting that they — along with their Democratic rivals — were the very people he was condemning in his song. Anthony has said that he is politically down the middle and contends that “Rich Men,” wasn’t intended to align with a political party, but to speak out in frustration about a system in America that isn’t supporting its people.
“The one thing that has bothered me is seeing people wrap politics up in this,” he said. “It’s aggravating seeing people on conservative news try to identify with me like I’m one of them. It’s aggravating seeing certain musicians and politicians act like we’re buddies and act like we’re fighting the same struggle here, like we’re trying to present the same message.”
With a second week atop the charts, the question becomes how much longer Anthony can stay at Number One. The song’s sales have been dropping for days; from Friday, August 18, to last Thursday — the dates that account this week’s chart rankings — the daily sales of “Rich Men North of Richmond” have dipped from nearly 27,000 to just under 10,000. Daily streams for the period held much more steady at over 3 million.
Along with “Rich Men,” next week’s chart will be heavily competitive between steady hits like “Cruel Summer,” “Last Night,” and “Fast Car,” which have hovered at or near the top of the Billboard chart for months. As “Paint the Town Red” continues to spike, it will likely be in the mix as well, with streams rising more than 63 percent last week. Meanwhile, Zach Bryan and Kacey Musgraves’ new collab “I Remember Everything” could mark yet another country track to top the Billboard charts: It’s currently sitting at Number One on both Apple Music and Spotify’s U.S. charts.
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