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John Rich defends Oliver Anthony, Jason Aldean as country stars dominate music: ‘Guys like us speak the truth’

John Rich praised Jason Aldean and up-and-coming country star Oliver Anthony for both their straightforward approach in songwriting and also connecting with fans.

The Big & Rich singer recently self-released his album “The Country Truth” on Rich Records, with tracks including “I’m Offended,” “Progress” and “Shut up About Politics.”

While Aldean initially faced backlash last month for his “Try That in a Small Town” music video from his 11th album, supporters turned out in droves to bring Jason his first career No. 1 song on the Billboard Hot 100. Oliver Anthony is enjoying sudden success after becoming the first ever artist to debut at No. 1 this week without any prior chart history with his political anthem “Rich Men North of Richmond.”Anthony, a former factory worker from Virginia whose full name is Christopher Anthony Lunsford, became a viral sensation just last week with his breakthrough song detailing his frustrations with the country. He’s since racked up more than 30 million views on YouTube and also turned down an $8 million record contract.

When a guy like myself or Jason or Oliver Anthony – our new buddy who’s coming out here now – when guys like us speak the truth in a song, it’s done that way on purpose.

In a Facebook post shared Thursday, Anthony formally introduced himself to his millions of new fans, and admitted to being shocked by his meteoric rise to super-stardom.

“There’s nothing special about me. I’m not a good musician, I’m not a very good person,” he wrote. “I’ve spent the last 5 years struggling with mental health and using alcohol to drown it. I am sad to see the world in the state it’s in, with everyone fighting with each other.”

The politically-charged song amplifying blue-collar workers’ frustrations over corrupt politicians in Washington, skyrocketed to the top of the iTunes country chart and bumped Jason Aldean’s “Try That In A Small Town” from the top spot on Billboard’s Hot 100.Prior to Aldean nabbing the No. 1 spot, “Try That” debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Aldean denied that his song had racial undertones in the wake of online backlash following the July release of the music video for the tune, which initially came out in May. In the music video, Aldean touts how small towns wouldn’t put up with the kind of riots and lawlessness many cities across the country faced during the summer of 2020.

The “Got What I’ve Got” singer was criticized for using the Maury County Courthouse in Columbia, Tennessee, as a backdrop for the video. TackleBox, the production company that created the video, confirmed the music video was shot at Maury County Courthouse, and noted that it is a “popular filming location outside of Nashville.”Several music videos and movies have been filmed at the same location, including the Lifetime Original movie “Steppin’ into the Holiday” with Mario Lopez and Jana Kramer.

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