Tems becomes first Nigerian artist to debut atop the Billboard Hot 100
The 26-year-old singer has exceeded expectations at every turn in her career, while performing in a genre many in and from Nigeria maintain an adamancy regarding viability.
Future’s “Wait For You” featuring Tems and Canadian superstar Drake has emerged atop the Billboard Hot 100 songs chart, alongside his latest album, I Never Liked You, which accomplished the same feat on the Billboard 200 and the Billboard Hip-Hop/R&B charts. Streamed a total of 40.2 million times, with 7.9 million radio airplay audience impressions and 6,400 downloads, it is safe to say that Tems’ presence on Billboard is anything but a fluke. A clear indicator of her upward trajectory, “Wait For You” becomes Tems’ third appearance on the Hot 100 in the last nine months; first with Wizkid and Justin Bieber on the Grammy-nominated "Essence" which peaked at the number 9 spot on the coveted chart, next with Drake on “Fountains” off Certified Lover Boy which peaked at 29 and again now with Future on “Wait For You”.
The feat places the Lagos-born singer and songwriter in a class of her own, establishing her as a global hitmaker with nowhere to go but up. While most of her contemporaries have managed equally impressive feats of their own – cases include CKay’s run and resurgence, Fireboy’s impressive recent feature list, BNXN’s slew of singles etc – none of them seem to possess Tems’ sublime but slightly muted approach to chart-topping hits.
As a result of this approach, she has exceeded expectations at every turn in her career, while performing in a genre many in and from Nigerian maintain an adamancy regarding viability. Tems’ trajectory appears to be changing that notion for the better and more than a few artists are riding the boon at the moment. Not only creating records for herself and artists on the continent, Tems is effectively aiding in the same process for other global acts. Future’s “I Never Liked You” LP earned him his eighth No. 1 album to debut atop the Billboard 200, with 222,000 equivalent album units earned. Much of the album’s success is owed to the record's numbers alone. Outside topping the charts, the 26-year-old is slowly but surely impacting musical history and culture, in and out of the continent.
Long may it last.