SZA Scores First No. 1 on Hot R&B Songs Chart With 'The Weekend'
(The new chart, as well as all other Billboard rankings this week, is dated Wednesday, Jan. 3, instead of on a usual Saturday, as Billboard is adjusting chart and magazine issue dates.)
SZA's coronation marks the first by a woman in a lead role following a shutout in 2017. It's the first such No. 1 since Rihanna's "Needed Me" took command for three frames in October 2016.
"Weekend" ascends thanks in part to its No. 10 start on R&B/Hip-Hop Digital Songs Sales (14,000 downloads sold in the week ending Dec. 21, up 168 percent, according to Nielsen Music) and its 23-17 hike on R&B/Hip-Hop Streaming Songs (15.7 million U.S. streams, up 16 percent). The track holds at No. 8 on R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay (18.3 million impressions, down 6 percent, in the week ending Dec. 24).
The sales and streaming gains follow SZA's performance of the song on the Dec. 9 episode of NBC's Saturday Night Live. "Weekend" may be due for another boost on next week's charts, as its Solange-directed official video premiered Dec. 21.
"Weekend" is nominated for best R&B performance at the 60th annual Grammy Awards (Jan. 28). SZA is up for five trophies, including best new artist, making her the most-nominated woman this year.