Ella Mai’s “DFMU” goes up to No. 1 on Billboard’s Adult R&B Airplay chart to give the singer-songwriter her fourth champ. The single ascends from No. 2 to lead the list dated July 2, following its 2% gain in spins to become the most-played song on U.S. monitored adult R&B radio stations in the week ending June 26, according to Luminate.
“DFMU,” on 10 Summers/Interscope Records, secures Ella Mai’s fourth leader on Adult R&B Songs. Her run began with breakout single “Boo’d Up,” which ruled for 13 weeks in 2018. She then followed with the nine-week champ “Trip,” and gained two more weeks at the summit through her featured turn on Usher’s “Don’t Waste My Time” in 2020.
“Honestly, I’m really honoured and grateful to have achieved another No. 1 record at radio,” Ella Mai tells Billboard via email. “Like many others, due to the pandemic and just really wanting to take my time and create timeless music, I haven’t released any music in almost 3 years so to come back and have it be received so well is incredible.”
“DFMU” appears on Ella Mai’s sophomore full-length studio album, Heart on My Sleeve, which debuted and peaked at No. 2 on Top R&B Albums in April. The set also includes another Adult R&B Airplay hit in “Not Another Love Song,” which reached a No. 2 best in April 2021.
In addition to its adult R&B victory, “DFMU” has enjoyed strong reception among mainstream R&B programmers and fans. The song peaked at No. 9 on the Mainstream R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay chart earlier this month, and the twin success at both formats sent the song to No. 5 on the R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay chart, which ranks by audience at both adult and mainstream stations. Thanks largely to its strength in the R&B/hip-hop radio market, “DMFU” reached a No. 38 high on the all-genre Radio Songs chart.
Beyond “DFMU,” Ella Mai also scores a new top 20 hit on Adult R&B Airplay, as “Keeps on Fallin,” her collaboration with Babyface, debuts at No. 20. “Getting to work with someone who has inspired me and my music before he even knew I existed is literally a dream come true,” Mai writes. “So much doesn’t exist in R&B without Babyface, so to be a part of that in some way is amazing.” Ella Mai and Babyface performed “Fallin” on the BET Awards on Sunday (June 26) during her medley, which also included “DMFU” and current Rhythmic Airplay and Sleeve single “How,” featuring Roddy Ricch.
Notably, the song gives Mai her highest debut among her seven career entries (the previous six have all reached the top 10). “Getting to witness the song take off so quickly with the Adult R&B radio audience is a great achievement because I aspire to make music for R&B lovers of all ages, so it’s an honour that it’s taken off in an audience that really value authentic R&B music.”
“Fallin,” meanwhile, will appear on a forthcoming Babyface album, Girls Night Out, featuring appearances from Mai, Ari Lennox, Kehlani, Queen Naija, Doechii and more.