The Billboard Music Awards (BBMAs) announced their 2023 nominees Thursday (Oct. 26) and among the names was country newcomer and viral star, Oliver Anthony Music.
This year’s biggest BBMAs categories are dominated by country acts including Morgan Wallen, who has the second-most nominations behind Taylor Swift with 17, Zach Bryan with 14, and Luke Combs with 10. All three of these male country acts are in the running for the all-genre category of Top Male Artist, while Combs and Wallen also have a chance to take home the biggest award of the night, Top Artist, as well as Top Billboard 200 Artist and Top Hot 100 Artist.
But, another name getting a lot of attention following the nominations announcement is Oliver Anthony Music.
Oliver Anthony Music, whose real name is Christopher Lunsford, earned two nominations, marking his first-ever major awards show nods.
Oliver Anthony is up for Top Song Sales Artist and is nominated alongside Jason Aldean, Taylor Swift, Miley Cyrus and Morgan Wallen. He also received a nomination for Top Selling Song for “Rich Men North of Richmond.” It is interesting to note that Oliver Anthony wasn’t recognized in any country specific categories. Regardless, the nominations he received are well-deserved based on the success he has achieved in recent months.
In early August, Oliver Anthony partnered with RadioWV to release a video for his self-penned song “Rich Men North of Richmond.” Within a matter of days the singer found himself with 5 songs in the all-genre iTunes Top Songs top 10, beating out Jason Aldean, Morgan Wallen, and even Taylor Swift.
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The Farmville, Virginia, native went on to make history following the video’s release and the subsequent release of the song to streaming platforms. He became the first artist to ever debut atop the Billboard Hot 100 Chart with no prior chart history. He also became the sixth artist ever to top the Billboard Hot 100 with their debut single. Zayn, Baauer, Carrie Underwood, Fantasia and Clay Aiken all accomplished that feat previously.
In addition, “Rich Men North of Richmond” is the first song by a solo male to debut atop the Billboard Hot 100 and Billboard Hot Country Songs charts simultaneously.
As one of the biggest success stories of 2023, it was only fitting that Billboard recognize Oliver Anthony and the impact he has had on country music and the ever-changing music industry as a whole.
Billboard chooses nominees for its annual Billboard Music Awards based on performance metrics on its year-end charts, “the music industry’s ultimate authority and data-driven measure of success.” The eligibility period for the awards, based on music consumption, run from November 19, 2022, through October 21, 2023.
Award winners will be announced on BBMAs and Billboard social channels, as well as via BBMAs.watch on Sunday, Nov. 19.
Watch Oliver Anthony’s debut release, “Rich Men North of Richmond” in the video below.