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Normani & Cardi B’s ‘Wild Side’ Tops Mainstream R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay Chart

The single reaches longevity markers on both R&B/hip-hop and rhythmic radio.

Normani achieves her first No. 1 on Billboard’s Mainstream R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay chart as “Wild Side,” featuring Cardi B, ascends from the runner-up spot to lead the list dated Jan. 1. The single climbs despite a 2% drop in plays in the week ending Dec. 26 to become the most played song on U.S. monitored mainstream-centered R&B/hip-hop radio stations, according to MRC Data. (The previous week’s No. 1, Drake’s “Girls Want Girls,” featuring Lil Baby, falls to No. 2 with a 7% decline in plays.)

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Notably, “Wild Side” completes its slow-but-steady trek to No. 1 in its 22nd week on the chart, tying for the fifth-longest march to the top slot since the chart began in 1992. Here’s a look at the tracks with the most weeks to No. 1:

Weeks to No. 1, Song Title, Artist, Date Reached No. 1
25, “Before You Walk Out My Life,” Monica, Jan. 13, 1996
24, “Planez,” Jeremih featuring J. Cole, Sept. 12, 2015
23, “Location,” Khalid, May 13, 2017
23, “Crew,” GoldLink featuring Brent Faiyaz & Shy Glizzy, Nov. 18, 2017
22, “Oui,” Jeremih, May 14, 2016
22, “Wild Side,” Normani featuring Cardi B, Jan. 1, 2022

While “Wild Side” is Normani’s first champ on Mainstream R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay, it gives her a third radio chart No. 1 of her solo career, after two previous successes in the pop sphere. “Love Lies,” her debut with Khalid, topped the Pop Airplay chart for two weeks in 2018, while “Dancing With a Stranger,” a collaboration with Sam Smith, led the Adult Pop Airplay list for one week the following year.

For Cardi B, “Wild Side” is the rapper’s ninth No. 1 on Mainstream R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay. As the new champ joins the ranks, here’s a rundown of Cardi B’s chart-toppers on the radio ranking:

Song Title, Artist (if other than Cardi B), Weeks at No. 1, Date Reached No. 1
“Bodak Yellow (Money Moves),” nine, Sept. 16, 2017
“No Limit,” G-Eazy featuring A$AP Rocky & Cardi B, five, Dec. 9, 2017
“I Like It,” with Bad Bunny & J Balvin, one, July 28, 2018
“Ring,” featuring Kehlani, one, Nov. 17, 2018
“Money,” five, Feb. 2, 2019
“Backin’ It Up,” Pardison Fontaine featuring Cardi B, one, March 9, 2019
“Please Me,” with Bruno Mars, six, April 13, 2019
“Up,” one, March 27, 2021
“Wild Side,” Normani featuring Cardi B, one (to date), Jan. 1, 2022

In line with its journey on Mainstream R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay, “Wild Side” also hits a longevity mark on Rhythmic Airplay, where it wraps the second-longest wait to the chart’s top 10. The single advances 11-10 in its 23rd week, trailing only the 25-week wait of Los Del Rio’s “Macarena (Bayside Boys Mix)” to reach the Rhythmic Airplay top 10 since the list began in 1993, though the latter required two separate chart runs before its top 10 appearance.

Among female artists, “Wild Side” outdoes previous record holder Christina Milian’s “Dip It Low,” which needed 21 weeks to reach the top 10 in 2004.

The “Wild Side” wait aligns with the song’s second wind on Rhythmic Airplay. The track debuted on the radio ranking on July 31 and climbed to a No. 20 peak by mid-September before it retreated as low as No. 33 on the 40-position chart. Amid renewed acceptance with R&B/hip-hop audiences and increased promotion, “Wild Side” has rallied at rhythmic radio to its new levels of success.

Elsewhere, “Wild Side” rebounds 5-4 on R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay despite a 1% drop to 15.3 million in audience in the week ending Dec. 26. The song previously reached a No. 3 best alongside a weekly audience peak of 18.7 million in the week ending Nov. 4.