Alaska fans of singer-songwriter Oliver Anthony will have a reason to applaud next summer, as the country music sensation best known for “Rich Men North of Richmond,” is set to perform at the Alaska State Fair on Sept. 1, 2024.
The performance offers an opportunity to experience the gritty working class music of Anthony and to be part of his journey from being an unknown artist to a nationally known star in weeks.
In August 2023, he released his overnight hit “Rich Men North of Richmond” independently, and it debuted at number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, making Anthony the first artist to debut atop the chart without having any songs on any charts previously.
The video of Anthony performing “Rich Men North of Richmond” was uploaded to YouTube on Aug. 8 and immediately went viral. Some have described it as an indictment of politicians, welfare abusers, and other issues, all coming from the perspective of a working-class man who pays the taxes to support a country going insane. Leftists describe Anthony as promoting white supremacy and racism, according to the World Socialist website.
But Anthony says he is right down the middle politically: “I sit pretty dead center down the aisle on politics and always have. I see the right trying to characterize me as one of their own, and I see the left trying to discredit me, I guess in retaliation. That shit’s got to stop,” he said in Variety.
Born and raised in the Piedmont area, rolling foothills and river valleys between the Coastal Plain and the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, Anthony as of August lived with his wife and two children in a $750 camper on property that he intends to raise livestock on. He dropped out of high school in 2010 and later earned a general educational diploma and worked at a paper mill in North Carolina. Anthony fractured his skull in a work accident in 2013, which caused him to be unable to work for several months.
Tickets for this performance are bound to go fast. They can be purchased at the Alaska State Fair website.