The United States is one of the biggest economies in the world and for music, it is no different. The country has the biggest music market in the world, ahead of the likes of Japan, The United Kingdom, Germany, France etc. In this regard, artists from different countries of the world are constantly seeking to crack into this luscious market.
Hip-Hop/R&B has been dominating the airwaves in recent times. According to Statista, Hip-Hop counts at a wholesome 29.9% in terms of streamed music consumption in the United States in 2021, by genre. Rock comes next with 17% and then Pop with 13.3%.
Latin Music with a 6.1% consumption rate, has been able to crack the market and as a matter of fact, sit comfortably as one of the most consumed genres in the country. Artists like Bad Bunny, J Balvin, Daddy Yankee, Becky G, and others have championed and enjoyed its success in recent years.
K-Pop on the other hand is currently thriving in the United States. Major thanks to the renowned group BTS, the genre has been granted categories in major awards in the country. They recently won the award for the Group of The Year at the recently concluded 2022 MTV VMAs.
Afrobeats is relatively new in the U.S market and has been moving impressively. The inception of its success on the west side of the Atlantic can be traced to a few years back when Davido got the first ever RIAA gold certification for an Afrobeats song in the United States with his smash hit single ‘Fall.’ Since then, a few other artists from the African continent have also earned gold and platinum certifications.
The Billboard Hot 100 chart has provided reliable data for measuring the hottest songs in the United States for decades and over 64 years since its creation, only a few Afrobeats songs have appeared on the chart. To that effect, I’ve decided to compile the list of songs that have appeared on the chart.
Without further ado, check out all the Afrobeats songs and their peak positions on the Billboard Hot 100.
Wizkid – Essence feat. Tems & Justin Bieber
Weeks: 35 | Peak position: 9
According to many, Wizkid’s ‘Made In Lagos‘ deluxe edition is the singer’s best project yet. Made up of tracks like Ginger feat. Burna Boy, Sweet One, Blessed feat. Damian Marley, Piece of Me feat. Ella Mai, and of course, Essence feat. Tems and its Justin Bieber-assisted remix amongst many others, the album got its best acclaim from the American market. Just days ago, the album earned a gold certification from the RIAA for selling 500,000 units in the United States.
Any conversation about the success of the Made In Lagos album without highlighting the important role of Essence and its remix, is a complete hoax. Although Wizkid has been familiar with the American market via his involvement on the 8x platinum One Dance; one of Drake’s biggest records of all time, Essence (particularly the Justin Bieber-assisted remix) marked his solo victory in the United States.
The song has been certified 2x platinum by the RIAA and peaked at No. 9 position on the Billboard Hot 100, spending a total of 35 weeks on the chart, making it the highest charting African song on the Billboard Hot 100 so far.
CKay – Love Nwantiti (Ah Ah Ah)
Weeks: 29 | Peak position: 26
CKay’s ‘Love Nwantiti‘ was initially released back in 2019, housed under his critically acclaimed extended play, CKay the First. With multiple certifications in different countries and going by its numbers on streaming platforms, it is the biggest Afrobeats song of all time.
The Love Nwantiti international success initially started in Europe before it finally moved to America. The song has now earned a platinum certification by the RIAA and has an impressive Billboard Hot 100 history with a peak position of No. 26 and a total of 29 weeks spent on the chart.
Fireboy DML – Peru feat. Ed Sheeran
Weeks: 15 | Peak position: 53
The success of Fireboy DML’s ‘Peru‘ was quite surprising. Initially, the song started as a hit in Nigeria and later on, it was bolstered to new levels of recognition after UK singer-songwriter, Ed Sheeran joined in for the remix.
Thanks to Ed Sheeran, the song was impressively received in the UK market, topping the country’s Apple Music chart, as well as earning a gold certification in the United States, spending a total of 15 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 peaking at the 53rd spot.
Amaarae & Kali Uchis – Sad Girls Luv Money (Remix) feat. Molliy
Amaarae became the first Ghanaian artist to debut on the Billboard Hot 100 chart after she appeared at the No. 80 spot. Thanks to the Kali Uchis and Molliy-assisted remix of her soothing tune ‘Sad Girls Luv Money,’ the song marks both Amaarae and Molliy’s first entry into the chart.
Tems – Free Mind
Weeks: 6 | Peak position: 56
The Billboard Hot 100 is not new to Tems, she is in fact, the highest charting African artist on the chart at the moment with a total of five entries. Thanks to her contributions to Wizkid’s Essence, Drake’s Fountains, Future’s Wait For U, Beyonce’s Move as well as her solo record ‘Free Mind‘ which is housed under her debut extended play, For Broken Ears.
Free Mind is her first solo entry on the Billboard Hot 100. It debuted at No. 90 and has now attained a peak position of No. 56, spending 6 weeks on the chart so far.
Burna Boy – Last Last
Weeks: 7 | Peak position: 63
Burna Boy’s ‘Last Last‘ has been regarded by many as the song of the summer. With its popularity in various countries of the world, it is not far from the truth. The song is housed under Burna Boy’s sixth studio album ‘Love, Damini‘ which also offered other eargasmic tracks like Its Plenty, Common Person, Kilometre, Different Size featuring Victony, the Ed Sheeran-assisted For My Hand and more.
‘Last Last’ marked the fastest debut for an African song on the Billboard Hot 100 after it debuted at the 86th spot nine weeks after its release. Weeks later, the song moved further to a peak position of No. 63 and has spent 7 weeks on the chart so far.