Nigerian musician wikiKid Makes History as ‘Essence’ Becomes First African Song to Break Top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart

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It’s an official top hit in the United States. Wizkid’s ubiquitous afrobeat jam Essence featuring Tems has been the soundtrack to every brunch party and Instagram story for months, and it just broke the Billboard top ten chart -the first-ever Nigerian song to achieve such a feat.

It’s another huge milestone for the artist and the song, as Essence just officially went platinum last week. Pushed in large part by featured artist Tems’ sultry and soulful chorus, the song has been steadily climbing the charts since the early part of 2021. It was the first African song to hit this sales milestone as well.

Though the song’s popularity was certainly born in the Black community, its success transcends “urban” audiences. The Billboard Hot 100 blends all-genre U.S. streaming (official audio and official video), radio airplay, and sales data, according to their official website.

This was likely due in part to the addition of a verse from pop-R&B artist Justin Bieber on the official remix of the song, which is the version that has pushed WizKid’s breakout hit to the top rung of the US top 40. The afrobeat artist even recently joined Bieber onstage during the Made in America music festival last month to perform his smash hit.

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Billboard charts are updated weekly, so keep watch for Essence climbing even higher up the list.

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