Oliver Anthony, Dwayne 'The Rock'

Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson has shared a message of support for singer Oliver Anthony whose song ‘Rich Men North of Richmond’ went viral this month.

Anthony quickly went viral after a video of him performing the song went live on YouTube August 8, and has since hit Number One on the iTunes Country Charts, soared to the top spot on Apple Music’s Global Music Charts, and racked up over 47million views on YouTube.

It then made chart history by debuting at Number One on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, making Anthony the first artist to do so without any prior chart history.

However, the song – which many interpreted to be a working class anthem – has been surrounded by controversy since its release, after it was criticised for being “fatphobic”, while others labelled it a “right-wing anthem”.

Anthony – a former factory worker and farmer – has since sad that left-wingers “misunderstood my words”, while at the same time criticising Republicans for “weaponising” the meaning behind his viral hit.

The singer has now received a message of support from Johnson, who praised the singer’s handling of the sudden wave of attention that came his way.

In a recent Instagram post featuring a screenshot of Anthony’s huge surge in monthly Spotify listeners, he wrote: “I was thrilled at 300 and and I’m thrilled today. I’m beyond thankful for everyone.”

‘The Rock’ commented shortly after to say: “Great to connect with u brother. Way [to] handle your fame & influence with class & kindness. Keep kicking ass and see u down the road.” He signed off the comment with a whisky glass emoji.

Upon the release of ‘Rich Men North of Richmond’, the song was praised by various right-wing commentators including Dan Bongino and Matt Walsh. Republication representative Marjorie Taylor Greene also described it as “the anthem of the forgotten Americans who truly support this nation and unfortunately the world”.

In his recent response video, prompted by Republican Party members mentioning it at a presidential debate this week, Anthony said: “It was funny seeing it at the presidential debate, because it’s like I wrote that song about those people.

“So for them to have to sit there and listen to that, that cracks me up. It was funny kind of seeing the response to it.”

He added: “I do hate seeing that song being weaponised, like I see the right trying to characterise 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.”

The post Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson shares message of support for viral ‘Rich Men North of Richmond’ singer Oliver Anthony appeared first on NME.


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