Chart Beat

Frank Ocean's 'Moon River' Cover Debuts in Top 10 on Hot R&B Songs Chart

Frank Ocean
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Frank Ocean performs at The Parklife Festival 2017 at Heaton Park on June 11, 2017 in Manchester, England. 

Frank Ocean’s “Moon River” debuts at No. 10 on the Hot R&B Songs chart (dated March 3), giving the singer his fifth top 10 on the chart since it began in 2012.

Ocean's cover of the classic tune -- released on Feb. 15 -- arrives on the list thanks to streams and sales, as it had only a smattering of airplay in the tracking week (ending Feb. 25). In terms of streams, it logged 4.5 million in the week ending Feb. 22, while it generated 9,000 in digital downloads (bowing at No. 5 on R&B Digital Song Sales).

“River” follows Ocean's fellow top 10 hits “Thinkin Bout You” (No. 4, 2012), “Nikes” (No. 9, 2016), “Ivy” (No. 10, 2016) and Ocean’s featured role on Calvin Harris’ “Slide” (No. 4, 2017).

Ocean’s cover of the song, composed by Henry Mancini and Johnny Mercer for the 1961 film Breakfast at Tiffany's, was released on Feb. 15. It becomes the fifth version of the standard to reach a Billboard songs chart. The first two, ironically, became No. 11 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 within two weeks of each other: Jerry Butler’s rendition peaked at the position on the chart dated Dec. 11, 1961, while a version by Mancini stopped at the same rank two weeks later. Despite just missing the top 10 twice, “River” did score other major honors: The song won the Academy Award for best original song in 1962 as well as the Grammy Awards for record and song of the year.

After its original golden era, “River” next showed up on the Classical Digital Song Sales chart through covers by Andrea Bocelli (No. 10, 2015) and 2Cellos/London Symphony Orchestra (No. 7, 2017).

Notably, one of the most famous versions of “River,” Audrey Hepburn's solo acoustic guitar rendition heard in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, has yet to chart. (Mancini's hit single version was with an orchestra and a choir.)