Tems secures a piece of history as the first woman to reach No. 1 on the Billboard U.S. Afrobeats Songs chart as “Free Mind” rises from No. 3 to crown the list dated June 25. The track becomes the chart’s third overall leader since it launched this April.
The Billboard U.S. Afrobeats Songs chart ranks the 50 most popular Afrobeats songs in the country based on a weighted formula incorporating official streams on both subscription and ad-supported tiers of leading audio and video music services, plus download sales from top music retailers.
In the latest tracking week, which ended June 16, “Free Mind” registered 4.3 million official U.S. streams, down 1% compared to the previous week, according to Luminate. Though the song first appeared on Tems’ 2020 album, For Broken Ears, it has achieved its highest levels of stateside popularity this year. Of the single’s 77.4 million U.S. streams since its 2020 release, 59.2 million have come in 2022. Likewise, 8,000 of the track’s 10,000 in U.S. sales downloads have occurred this year.
Though radio airplay does not contribute to the Billboard U.S. Afrobeats Songs chart, part of the “Mind” surge may trace to U.S. radio. The single was serviced to U.S. radio formats amid its growth in streaming in sales and has reached No. 22 on both the audience-based R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay and plays-based Mainstream R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay charts this month. In the latest radio tracking week, ending June 19, “Mind” crossed the 5 million audience threshold on the R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay chart for the first time.
Plus, the “Mind” success aligns with Tems’ rising profile thanks to her featured roles on three Billboard Hot 100 hits in the last year: Wizkid’s “Essence,” which soared to No. 9 on the Hot 100 in 2021 following a remix with Justin Bieber, a guest turn on Drake’s “Fountains,” which debuted and peaked at No. 26 in September 2021, her first Hot 100 champ through a supporting spot on Future’s “Wait 4 U,” which also features Drake, in May 2022.
In addition to “Mind,” Tems lands 12 other songs on the 50-position Billboard U.S. Afrobeats Songs chart, including three in the top 10. “Essence” ranks in the runner-up position, “Higher” is at No. 5 and “Found,” featuring Brent Faiyaz, rounds out the top 10 in the anchor slot.