The Billboard’s U.S. Afrobeats Songs chart hits a major milestone this week with its first anniversary on the list dated April 1, 2023. The chart’s 53rd weekly edition brings it to the one-year mark, dating to its launch with the chart dated April 2, 2022. Since its debut, the U.S. Afrobeats Songs chart, a partnership chart between Billboard and the music festival and global Afrobeats brand Afro Nation, has tracked the genre’s 50 most popular tracks stateside each week through a weighted formula incorporating U.S. official streams and sales, according to Luminate. In the past year, the Afrobeats genre has continued to expand its global footprint and reach, exposing millions of fans to new sounds and songs, making international stars out of its biggest acts, and inspiring new creative directions and collaborations for artists in every part of the globe.
As Billboard celebrates the U.S. Afrobeats Songs’ charts first birthday, let’s recap some of the highlights from the past 12 months.
Six of One: In the first 53 weeks of the U.S. Afrobeats Songs chart, only six songs have managed to lay claim to the No. 1 spot. Nigerian singer-songwriter Ckay owns a piece of chart history with the inaugural No. 1, “Love Nwantiti (Ah Ah Ah),” which eventually ruled for six non-consecutive weeks. Of the half-dozen champs, however, one overshadows them all: Rema and Selena Gomez’s smash collaboration “Calm Down,” which has dominated for 30 of the chart’s first 53 weeks, or nearly 57% of that first year.
Here’s a full rundown of the six lucky No. 1s:
“Love Nwantiti (Ah Ah Ah),” CKay, six weeks at No. 1, beginning April 2, 2022
“Peru,” Fireboy DML & Ed Sheeran, six, April 9, 2022
“Free Mind,” Tems, one, June 25, 2022
“Essence,” WizKid featuring Justin Bieber & Tems, two, July 2, 2022
“Last Last,” Burna Boy, eight, July 16, 2022
“Calm Down,” Rema & Selena Gomez, 30, Sept. 10, 2022
Tems, notably, is the only repeat champion that we’ve seen thus far, thanks to “Free Mind” and her featured appearance on “Essence.” Burna Boy almost became the first act to capture two lead-role No. 1s. In addition to “Last Last,” he ranked at No. 2 for two weeks with “Hold My Hand,” featuring Ed Sheeran in July 2022 and returned to the runner-up spot in November 2022 with “Alone.”
Perfect Attendance: Of the 217 songs to have appeared on the U.S. Afrobeats Songs chart since its inception, just 13 have been on the chart for all 53 weeks the chart has existed. Tems claims the most of the crew, with five tracks. Let’s revisit those 13 continual hits, based on their position rank on the most recently published list:
Song Title, Artist, Rank on chart dated April 2, 2023
“Calm Down,” Rema & Selena Gomez, No. 1
“Free Mind,” Tems, No. 3
“Essence,” Wizkid featuring Justin Bieber & Tems, No. 6
“Love Nwantiti (Ah Ah Ah),” CKay, No. 7
“Peru,” Fireboy DML & Ed Sheeran, No. 8
“Found,” Tems featuring Brent Faiyaz, No. 14
“Ye,” Burna Boy, No. 19
“Finesse,” Pheelz x BNXN, No. 26
“Damages,” Tems, No. 32
“On the Low,” Burna Boy, No. 36
“Replay,” Tems, No. 38
Burna Boy’s Hot Streak: His song may be “Last Last,” but Burna Boy is … first first (had to) in the count for the artists with the most charted songs in the first year of the U.S. Afrobeats Songs chart. The global hitmaker posted 28 titles on the list in its initial 12 months, with Wizkid (22) winning the silver medal and Nigerian singer Asake (16) claiming bronze. In total, six acts crossed the double-digit mark in the inaugural year:
Burna Boy, 28
Burna Boy also heads the leaderboard for most top 10 hits on U.S. Afrobeats Songs, with eight different cuts that have reached the region: “Last Last,” (No. 1 for eight weeks), “For My Hand,” featuring Ed Sheeran (No. 2), “Solid,” featuring Kehlani and Blxst (No. 8), “It’s Plenty” (No. 8), “Cloak and Dagger,” featuring J Hus (No. 10) and “Alone” (No. 2). The remaining pair are through guest spots, on Asake’s “Sunbga” (No. 7), and Master KG’s “Jerusalema” (No. 10).
Thanks in part to that Burna Boy teamup, Asake owns six top 10s, putting him next in line behind his former collaborator. Tems’ five top 10s puts her in third place, while Fireboy DML and Wizkid round out the top five, with four top 10s each.