Edward Snowden Warns ‘Rich Men North of Richmond’ Singer Oliver Anthony That He’s Probably on the FBI’s List
Oliver Anthony, the overnight country music sensation, may have been added to millions of playlists across America, but some believe he may have made a different type of list as well.
Edward Snowden, the National Security Administration whistleblower who revealed that the United States was keeping files on its own citizens through a vast network of snooping, warned that Anthony may have been placed on an FBI watchlist for his overnight rise to fame.
Snowden, who currently lives in Russia due to being wanted by the U.S. government, is connected enough to America to know about Anthony’s song and newfound success.
“After hitting topping the iTunes list and tweeting like this, the FBI will be making space for him another kind of list, too,” Snowden tweeted.“Think I’m kidding? The FBI had a file on John Denver for attending *one* anti-war protest. They’re gonna keep making lists — until they’re made to stop,” Snowden added, quote tweeting a post from Anthony that read, “You weren’t born to just pay the bills and die.”
Snowden later posted images of the alleged file on Denver.
Others on social media agreed with Snowden’s assessment, adding that it may be more than just the list.
“Worse, @Snowden. I bet Oliver Anthony has also been the victim of the FBI’s NSA database spying, where they illegally search your bank records & communications without a warrant. Each search is a crime, but they did it 3.2 million times in 2021 alone, including to a senator,” radio host Tara Servatius posted on X.
The Washington Examiner reported that the FBI kept a file on Denver after he showed up at a “Dump the War Rally” in Minnesota in 1971, during the Vietnam War.
Additionally, Rolling Stone magazine reported that the FBI’s list of famous musicians it has kept tabs on includes Pete Seeger, Phil Ochs, Dave Van Ronk, Sam Cooke, Richie Havens, the Monkees, Grateful Dead, Marvin Gaye, Whitney Houston, Aretha Franklin, Robin Gibb, Jimi Hendrix and Kurt Cobain.
In his hit song, “Rich Men North of Richmond,” Anthony himself pointed out the efforts to control others made by the FBI and other government entities.
“Lord knows they all just wanna have total control / Wanna know what you think, wanna know what you do / And they don’t think you know, but I know that you do,” the song goes, according to the website AZ Lyrics.
Anthony has also recently spoken in more depth on his frustrations surrounding the song, primarily with politicians on both sides of the aisle attempting to use it to further their own goals.
“The one thing that has bothered me is seeing people wrap politics up into this,” Anthony said. “It’s aggravating seeing people on conservative news try to identify with me, like I’m one of them.”
“It’s aggravating seeing certain musicians and politicians act like we’re buddies and act like we’re fighting the same struggle here, like that we’re trying to present the same message,” he said.
He said it was “funny seeing my song at the [GOP] presidential debate.”
“It’s like, I wrote that song about those people. For them to have to sit there and listen to it, that cracks me up,” he said. “That song is written about the people on that stage, and a lot more, too.
”Anthony later clarified that he wasn’t exclusively talking about conservative politicians.
“Corporate news (big surprise) is now trying to twist me into being a Biden supporter,” he said in a post on Instagram, taking issue with the fact that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis attempted to put the focus of the song exclusively on Biden.
“He talks about needing to get Joe Biden out, as if that would automatically solve all the problems. Biden is a big part of the issue, [but] it runs much deeper,” Anthony said. “Rich Men North of Richmond is about corporate owned DC politicians on both sides. Though Biden’s most certainly a problem, the lyrics aren’t exclusively knocking Biden, it’s bigger and broader than that.”The country singer added:
“It’s knocking the system collectively. Including the corporate owned conservative politicians that were on stage that night.”