After enjoying a historic opening week on Billboard’s Hot 100 songs chart, Oliver Anthony’s “Rich Men North of Richmond” now spends a second week topping a list that also includes fresh releases from Doja Cat, Olivia Rodrigo and Gunna.
The single first launched to No. 1 in the tracking week ending Aug. 17, making Anthony the first artist ever to notch the achievement with no prior chart history. The country-folk song drew nearly 23 million streams in the last week — that’s an increase of 31% — and also earned 2.3 million airplay audience impressions for a spike of 310%. It also continued to overperform in digital download sales, logging 117,000 sales for the week ending Aug. 24, per Luminate.
After the song propelled its way into the mainstream, the Virginia-based singer-songwriter and former factory worker has found himself at the center of numerous conversations surrounding the song’s messaging. It was recently mentioned during a GOP debate when moderator Martha MacCallum opened the event by asking Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis why he thinks the message of “Rich Men North of Richmond” is striking a chord with Americans. (DeSantis responded by bashing “Bidenomics” and referencing Congress: “Those rich men north of Richmond have put us in this situation.”)
Anthony (real name Christopher Anthony Lunsford) issued his response to the increased political attention to his song in a teary-eyed, 10-minute video posted to YouTube. “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, like we’re trying to present the same message.”
Meanwhile, country music continues to dominate the first three slots of the songs chart with Luke Combs’ “Fast Car” keeping its No. 2 peak and Morgan Wallen’s “Last Night” at No. 3. The remaining top five is occupied by Taylor Swift’s “Cruel Summer” and Doja Cat’s “Paint the Town Red.”
Rema and Selena Gomez’s “Calm Down” retreats to No. 6 and Gunna’s “Fukumean” also keeps at No. 7 after hitting a No. 4 high. Olivia Rodrigo’s “Vampire” — the first single off her incoming sophomore album “Guts” is at No. 8 and Dua Lipa’s “Dance the Night” off the “Barbie” soundtrack is at No. 9. Nicki Minaj and Ice Spice’s “Barbie World,” with Aqua — another “Barbie” soundtrack hit — rounds out the top 10 at No. 10.
The albums chart also remains mostly unchanged, with Travis Scott’s “Utopia” album hitting one month at the summit, surpassing “Astroworld” as Scott’s long-running No. 1 album on the Billboard 200. It earns 161,000 equivalent album units in the U.S. with album sales comprising 92,000 of that sum. The featured-laden set continues to profit off a vinyl sale on Scott’s official website (which discounted the “Utopia” vinyl LP from $50 to only $5 for a limited time) as vinyl sales accounted for 89,000 of the 92,000 total.
New in the top 10 of the Billboard 200 this week is Hozier’s “Unreal Unearth,” which debuts at No. 3 with 62,000 equivalent album units earned and 30 million on-demand official streams of the set’s 16 songs. like “Utopia,” vinyl sales accounted for a large sum (60%) of the record’s opening-week sales.
Elsewhere, J-Hope’s year-old “Jack in the Box” makes a reappearance on the list and spends its first week in the top 10 at No. 6 with 50,000 equivalent album units earned. The increase in plays and sales is due to its recently released reissued with additional bonus tracks and its CD sales (the set was originally released for online consumption only).
Filling out the rest of the top 10 albums are recurring chart-toppers: Wallen’s “One Thing at a Time” continues at No. 2 and the “Barbie” soundtrack at No. 4. Swift’s “Midnights,” “Speak Now (Taylor’s Version)” and “Lover” sit at 5, 7 and 8, respectively. Peso Pluma’s “Génesis” is at No. 9 and Wallen’s 2021 set, “Dangerous: The Double Album,” is at No. 10.
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