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Afro Nation and Billboard partner to debut new US Afrobeats Chart

The partnership will celebrate the recent rise in popularity of Afrobeats music in the United States

Photo: Courtesy of the publicist
Photo: Courtesy of the publicist

Billboard, in association with music festival and global Afrobeats brand Afro Nation, launches the first-ever United States chart for Afrobeats music. Billboard US Afrobeats Songs chart goes live on on March 29, 2022. The 50-position Billboard US Afrobeats Songs chart ranks the most popular Afrobeat songs in the country based on a weighted formula incorporating official-only streams on both subscription and ad-supported tiers of leading audio and video music services, plus download sales from top music retailers.

After Afrobeats sounds and influences crept into the US market in the 2010s through artists such as Beyoncé and Drake, the genre has become a major force stateside in the 2020s and yielded some of the biggest success stories of the young decade.

Wizkid’s ‘Essence’ featuring Tems, has registered over 300 million US streams, according to Luminate (formerly MRC Data), reached #9 on the Billboard Hot 100 and held at #1 on the R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay chart for 27 straight weeks, one of the three longest runs at #1 ever on the chart. Likewise, CKay’s ‘Love Nwantiti (Ah Ah Ah)’, led to a #9 result on the Streaming Songs chart as it rocketed to more than 330 million US streams. Plus, Fireboy DML’s current smash ‘Peru’, assisted by its remix with Ed Sheeran, has raced to nearly 60 million US streams and has cracked the top 10 on Rhythmic Airplay, the top 15 of R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay, and is scaling Pop Airplay. Afrobeats’ surging popularity has led to collaborations between the genre’s biggest stars and artists including Justin Bieber and Ed Sheeran, helping expose the genre to new territories and fans around the world.

Afro Nation founder, Co-Head of UTA London and Founder of Event Horizon Obi Asika speaks about the partnership, “The last decade has seen Afrobeats explode into a worldwide phenomenon, influencing culture and fashion across the globe and I am humbled to have made a contribution to growing the genre alongside many talented, passionate people. There is still so much more potential within the scene and the community that has grown around it and I believe it is vital that with Billboard we now have a US chart that reflects this growth and provides a platform for emerging artists from every continent to showcase their talent to new audiences.”

Billboard is excited to collaborate with Afro Nation on the launch of the Billboard US Afrobeats Songs chart, said Billboard’s SVP of Charts and Development, Silvio Pietroluongo. As with much of the world, Afrobeats has grown tremendously as a genre in America and we are proud to showcase the top songs and artists with this new weekly ranking

Afro Nation is one of many key contributors to developing the sound’s presence in the United States, with the 2022 iteration of their festival in Puerto Rico centering artists such as Wizkid, Burna Boy, and Davido. This latest move follows Afro Nation’s Official Charts Company collaboration in the UK with the Top 20 Afrobeats Chart, launched in July 2020. Now, they extend their influence to do so with Billboard through the revolutionary Billboard US Afrobeats Songs chart. Read more about the collaboration via this link.

Written by Manny King John

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