No Album, No Problem: How Rihanna and Justin Bieber Stayed on Top In 2017

Neither Justin Bieber nor Rihanna released an album (or even a solo single) in 2017, but both continued to lord over the pop world -- and manage to stay on the charts. Below, a timeline of how each star stayed hyper-relevant to the music world over the past year, including every chart triumph, super-collab and surprise feature.

Feb. 24: Future’s second album of 2017, HNDRXX features Rihanna on “Selfish,” the full-length’s first single.

March 25: Rihanna’s “Love on the Brain,” off 2016’s ANTI, peaks at No. 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 more than six months after its debut.

April 14: Kendrick Lamar drops DAMN. with Rihanna offering verses on “Loyalty,” which  hits No. 2 on R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay.

April 17: Bieber jumps on a bilingual remix of Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee’s “Despacito” that tops the Hot 100 for 16 weeks.

April 28: Bieber guests on DJ Khaled’s Hot 100 chart-topper “I’m the One,” alongside Quavo, Chance the Rapper and Lil Wayne.

June 16: Khaled’s follow-up, “Wild Thoughts,” features Rihanna with Bryson Tiller. The song goes on to hit No. 2 on the Hot 100.

June 29: Bieber’s third feature of 2017 comes courtesy of EDM star David Guetta’s “2U.” It debuts at No. 16 on the Hot 100.

Aug. 17: The first co-lead of Bieber’s 2017 is with producer BloodPop for “Friends,” which bows at No. 5 on Digital Song Sales.

Nov. 1: Rihanna raps! Her N.E.R.D collaboration “Lemon” becomes the trio’s first Hot 100 hit, bowing at No. 63.

Billboard Year in Music 2017

This article originally appeared in the Dec. 30 issue of Billboard.


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