The partnership of R&B hitmakers Kem and Toni Braxton pays dividends as their collaboration “Live out Your Love” rises 2-1 to lead Billboard’s Adult R&B Songs airplay chart dated Jan. 2, 2021. The track, billed to Kem featuring Braxton, ascends despite suffering a 7% drop in plays in the week ending Dec. 27, according to Nielsen Music/MRC Data.
The new champ dethrones Chris Brown and Young Thug’s “Go Crazy,” which slips to No. 2 after one week in charge.
“Live” secures Kem’s seventh No. 1 on the Adult R&B Songs chart and gives the singer-songwriter his second consecutive leader, after “Lie to Me” reigned for seven weeks in June – August. The combo No. 1s makes for Kem’s second time posting back-to-back chart champs, following his double play of “It’s You” (four weeks in 2014) and “Nobody” (nine weeks, 2015).
Here’s a look at Kem’s full No. 1 collection on the chart:
Song Title, Weeks at No. 1, Date Reached No. 1
“Love Calls,” two, Sept. 13, 2003
“I Can’t Stop Loving You,” seven, May 21, 2005
“Why Would You Stay?,” two, Sept. 25, 2010
“It’s You,” four, Sept. 6, 2014
“Nobody,” nine, Feb. 21, 2015
“Lie to Me,” seven, June 27, 2020
“Live out Your Love,” featuring Toni Braxton, one (to date), Jan. 2, 2021
Plus, with seven No. 1s, Kem matches the totals of R. Kelly and Maxwell for the second-most among male artists since the chart began in 1992. The trio trail only Charlie Wilson in that count, who owns eight.
Alicia Keys leads the pack for all artists, with 11 No. 1s on the radio ranking.
But she also has competition. With “Love,” featured artist Toni Braxton banks her 10th leader on Adult R&B Songs, moving within one of Keys’ record.
Here’s a look at the full leaderboard:
11, Alicia Keys
10, Toni Braxton
8, Charlie Wilson
7, R. Kelly
6, Mary J. Blige
6, Whitney Houston
6, Brian McKnight
6, Luther Vandross
It’s possible, though the odds are slimming, that the contest between Braxton and Keys could renew soon. Both singers currently have singles in the Adult R&B Songs top 10 – Keys’ “Show Me Love,” featuring Khalid, and Braxton’s “Gotta Move On,” featuring H.E.R. – though the tracks are retreating from the pole position. On the current list, Keys slides 7-9, while Braxton similarly backtracks two spots, 8-10, with both enduring 16% tumbles in airplay.
Part of the slide, however, comes from the adult R&B radio format’s general shift toward holiday music in the past weeks. As that play will likely vanish in the next tracking week (Dec. 28 – Jan. 3), one or both songs may rebound and restart their ascents.