Kevin Ross Says First Billboard No. 1 is a 'Gift From God,' as Singer Tops Adult R&B Songs Chart

Kevin Ross performs at the BET Showcase at Double Door on Aug. 11, 2015 in Chicago.
Timothy Hiatt/Getty Images for BET

Kevin Ross performs at the BET Showcase at Double Door on Aug. 11, 2015 in Chicago. 

Kevin Ross scores his first Billboard No. 1 with “Long Song Away,” topping the Adult R&B Songs chart (dated April 1), stepping 2-1 on the airplay ranking (despite a one percent decline in plays in the tracking week ending March 19, according to Nielsen Music). The track is the lead single from the singer’s debut set, The Awakening, out March 24. The track concurrently debuts at No. 23 on Hot R&B Songs, earning the singer his second hit on the multi-metric ranking which blends airplay, sales, and streams.

The single treks to the No. 1 spot in its 27th charting frame, with 59 stations at the format supporting the track. WMJM, Louisville, Ky., championed the song with 52 plays in the most recent week.

“I really feel great about the record going No. 1,” Ross tells Billboard. “It’s truly a gift from God and truly a blessing. I didn’t have any expectations since it was my first record. I’m just so grateful for the opportunity and platform that I’ve been given to share the music and message.”

“The song is about the practice of patience, and how anything in this life can take time, whether that’s in love or in your career” says Ross.

Ross first appeared on the Billboard charts in December 2014 with “This Is My Wish,” a song that was featured -- along with Ross -- in a Glade TV commercial. The tune spent five weeks on Hot R&B Songs and has amassed over 100,000 downloads sold to date. He has spent the time since being careful not to rush his debut album, stating, “Ultimately, I need to stand firm in what I believe in, as an artist, in order for me to have longevity.”

Ross, who will be in his hometown of Washington D.C. for the release of the album, shares what we can expect from the project: “It’s a full spectrum with a variety for R&B, from old-school nostalgic vibes, to more contemporary, and with a signature sound based on the things that I love.”

He also highlighted his goal for how he wishes the audience will receive his message. “It’s for people to understand how necessary they really are to their culture, to their community, and to themselves -- that they matter. Understanding our greatness can change the world.”

Over on Hot R&B Songs, the debut is also supported by 242,000 U.S. streams registered in the week ending March 16 and over 1,000 downloads. “Long Song Away” simultaneously scores a new peak on the R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay chart, stepping 13-12 in its 19th week, lifting 16 percent to 11.3 million audience impressions at the format.


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