Three years ago he debuted on the charts with the single “Locked Up.” This year, Akon locks up Billboard’s top pop artist honor.
The singer’s “Konvicted” album (Konvict/Upfront/SRC/Universal Motown/UMRG), released in November 2006, may not have reached No. 1 on The Billboard 200, but its sturdy performance aided Akon’s rise to the top of the pop heap. “Konvicted” spent its first 30 weeks lodged in the top 30 of The Billboard 200 after its bow at No. 2. u While Akon ends the year at No. 1 on the Top Artists recap, “Konvicted” ranks just behind Daughtry’s self-titled album at the peak of the Top Billboard 200 tally.
Akon is also a heavyweight on the year-end Billboard Hot 100 Songs recap, where he earns six placings on the tally: as a guest on Gwen Stefani’s “The Sweet Escape” (No. 3), T-Pain’s “Bartender” (No. 33) and Bone Thugs-N-Harmony’s “I Tried” (No. 58), and with three of his own songs, “I Wanna Love You” (No. 8, featuring Snoop Dogg), “Don’t Matter” (No. 11) and “Smack That” (No. 15, featuring Eminem).
Akon kept himself busy collaborating with a host of other artists, just like another male superstar: the No. 3 name on the Top Artists recap, Justin Timberlake. The Jive singer was frankly inescapable on The Billboard Hot 100 in 2007, notching numerous solo hits as well as smashes with the likes of Beyoncé, 50 Cent and Timbaland.
For the full 2007 wrap-up, see the year-end issue of Billboard Magazine, on newsstands Dec. 14.