Charlie Wilson earns his seventh No. 1 on Billboard’s Adult R&B Songs airplay chart as “Forever Valentine” bumps 3-1 on the list dated May 9. The single ascends through a 13% surge in plays in the week ending May 3, according to Nielsen Music/MRC Data.
The track is co-written and co-produced by Bruno Mars, who also provides backing vocals on the tune.
With “Valentine,” Wilson adds a pair of chart milestones to his resume. He ties Maxwell and R. Kelly for the most leaders on the list by a male act in the chart’s 26-year history, and also becomes the first artist to reign in each of the last three decades with new No. 1s. (Alicia Keys has also clocked time at the summit in the last three decades, but her 2020 chart-topper, “Show Me Love,” featuring Miguel, began its reign in December 2019.)
Keys claims first place for most Adult R&B Songs No. 1s, with 11, while Toni Braxton ranks second with eight. R. Kelly, Maxwell and Wilson round out the top five.
Wilson achieved his maiden No. 1 on Adult R&B Songs with 2005’s name-checking “Charlie Last Name: Wilson,” and notched a second champ with “There Goes My Baby” four years later. In the 2010s, the veteran returned to the penthouse four more times.
Here’s a full roster of Wilson’s leaders on the chart since it began in 1993:
Song Title, Weeks at No. 1, Date Reached No. 1
“Charlie Last Name: Wilson,” six, Sept. 17, 2005
“There Goes My Baby,” nine, March 21, 2009
“You Are,” 13, Dec. 18, 2010
“My Love Is All I Have,” five, Feb. 16, 2013
“I’m Blessed,” two, April 22, 2017
“Chills,” three, March 31, 2018
“Forever Valentine” one to date, May 9, 2020
“I am so happy and proud of ‘Forever Valentine,'” Wilson tells Billboard. “Bruno had the vision and we always wanted to work together musically. To have a No. 1 song in May with ‘Valentine’ in the title proves what we set out to accomplish in this record. It is actually an ‘Anti-Valentine’s Day’ love song because we want you to celebrate love not just on Valentine’s Day but every day. After 20 years since my first hit as a solo artist, it’s amazing to consistently earn these No. 1 songs. I so appreciate radio and the streaming services for all of their support over the years.”
As Wilson notes, “Valentine” also marks a special day for Bruno Mars, one of the single’s co-writers and co-producers. As an artist, Mars has topped Adult R&B Songs four times, most recently with his Cardi B collaboration “Finesse,” which reigned for three weeks in 2018. As with “Valentine,” the prolific hitmaker claims writing and production shares on each of his own leaders.
Before his solo tenure, Wilson was best known as a member of The Gap Band with his brothers Ronnie and Robert. The trio, of “You Dropped A Bomb on Me” and “Outstanding” fame, earned its greatest success from 1979 – 1990, with 15 top 10 hits on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, including four No. 1s.