It’s Ari Lennox’s “time” again to rule Billboard’s Adult R&B Airplay chart, as the soul singer-songwriter’s “Waste My Time” ascends to the top of the list dated April 8. The track advances from the runner-up slot after a 3% increase in plays that made it the most-played song on U.S. monitored adult R&B radio stations in the week ending March 30, according to Luminate. (All charts dated April 8 will be available on Billboard‘s website on Tuesday, April 4.)
“Waste My Time” gives Ari Lennox her third career No. 1 on Adult R&B Airplay among five chart appearances. Her most recent two visits both went all the way: “Pressure” led three weeks in 2022, and the one-week champ “Unloyal,” a collaboration with Summer Walker, followed suit in September.
“I’m so grateful that people love my sarcastic bop,” Ari Lennox tells Billboard in a statement. “[Hitting No. 1] feels like the icing on the cake to a wonderful, enlightening and loving 30-city tour,” referencing her age/sex/location tour that wrapped on March 28 in her hometown of Washington, D.C. “Radio has changed my life, and I’m super grateful for all the legendary DJs, radio personalities, crew and fans for loving the song. Sending love to Tim Suby, MNEK, Jaycen Joshua and Elite for their involvement in the song’s creation.” (Ari Lennox co-wrote the track with Suby, MNEK and LOXE, while Joshua engineered the track. Elite, a frequent collaborator, executive produced the age/sex/location album.)
Radio certainly has played a critical role in the Ari Lennox story in the last year. As “Waste My Time” advances, Ari Lennox earns her third consecutive No. 1 on Adult R&B Airplay. She becomes the first artist to achieve the feat since Silk Sonic, whose “Smokin’ out the Window,” “Love’s Train” and “After Last Night,” Thundercat and Bootsy Collins, all captured the crown in 2022. Among women, she’s the first act to post three straight leaders since Toni Braxton sent “Long as I Live,” “Do It” and a feature on Kem’s “Live Out Your Love” in 2018-21. Further restricting to women in lead or co-lead roles, Ari Lennox’s triple play is the first since Queen Naija’s run in 2018-2020 with “Medicine,” “Karma” and “Butterflies, Pt. 2.”
Though Ari Lennox managed to reach No. 11 on Adult R&B Airplay with “Shea Butter Baby,” a J. Cole collaboration that was the title track of her 2019 debut album, the returns from her sophomore effort, last year’s age/sex/location, have solidified the singer-songwriter’s status as a force at adult R&B radio. “Ari’s accession to becoming to a staple at the R&B format is a product of her hard work and music that resonates across many demographics,” says Keinon Johnson, SVP Urban Promotions at Interscope Records, the label that promotes Ari Lennox’s songs. “Ari’s music resonates with women of all ages and backgrounds, and as she’s grown her following has as well. From her elevated sound, dynamic live show and amazing presentation, it’s clear that she has leveled up.”
Elsewhere, “Waste My Time” climbs 17-16 to reach a new peak on the R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay chart, which ranks songs based on combined audience totals from mainstream R&B/hip-hop and adult R&B radio stations. There, the single registered 7.9 million in format audience, essentially even with its total from the prior week.