After a second-place finish on the 2022 year-end rankings, Burna Boy avenges his result from 12 months ago (he finished No. 2 last year) and achieves the No. 1 rank on Billboard’s 2023 year-end U.S. Afrobeats Artists chart. The global superstar captures the top spot thanks to a leading 26 entries during the 2023 chart year (Nov. 19, 2022 – Oct. 21, 2023) on the weekly U.S. Afrobeat Songs chart, which measures the top 50 Afrobeats songs based on a formula blending U.S. sales and streaming activity.
Diving into Burna Boy’s year of highlights, the Nigerian powerhouse’s hit single “Last Last,” which topped U.S. Afrobeats Songs for eight weeks in July-August 2022, consistently ranked high even after vacating the summit, remaining in the top 10 each week of the chart year. Six more top 10 hits arrived in 2023 – the Black Panther: Wakanda Forever soundtrack release “Alone” (No. 2), plus five tracks from his I Told Them… studio album: “Big 7” (No. 5); “Cheat on Me” (No. 7); “City Boys” (No. 2); “Sittin’ on Top of the World” with 21 Savage (No. 4); and “Talibans II” with Byron Messina (No. 3).
The last tracks listed, “Sittin’ on Top of the World” and “Talibans II,” expanded Burna Boy’s reach into the U.S. market thanks to their huge radio receptions amid the R&B/hip-hop format’s growing acceptance of Afrobeats tracks. The former hit has reached a No. 4 best (thus far) on the Mainstream R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay chart, while the latter has climbed as high as No. 11. Notably, both tracks are still ascending as of November 2023, underscoring Burna Boy’s status as one of the format’s biggest hitmakers. In addition to the current hits, “Last Last” was a big breakthrough for Burna Boy; it became his first top 25 hit on the radio ranking, and soon, became much more – flying all the way to No. 1 in October 2022.
Explore All of Billboard’s 2023 Year-End Charts
After Burna Boy, Rema grabs the 2023 year-end U.S. Afrobeats Artists silver medal, spurred by the record-breaking hit “Calm Down,” with Selena Gomez (more on that below). Last year’s champ, Tems, slips to No. 3 on this year’s roundup; despite a fairly quiet year in terms of new music, the singer’s back catalog – particularly “Free Mind” – ensures she is the chart’s top female act for a second straight year.
Libianca ranks fourth thanks to her monster hit “People,” which logged a stunning 34 weeks at No. 2 on the weekly U.S. Afrobeats Songs chart and crossed over to the all-genre Billboard Hot 100, a No. 80 best there. Wizkid rounds out the top five on the artists list, spurred by several tracks from his More Love, Less Ego album flooding the chart in 2022, with the biggest two, “2 Sugar” featuring Ayra Starr and “Mood” featuring Buju, clocking 47 weeks and 42 weeks, respectively, on the weekly songs chart.
For the U.S. Afrobeats Songs recap for 2023, there was only going to be one winner: Rema’s “Calm Down,” featuring Selena Gomez. Following Gomez’s addition to the buzzing track for a September 2022 remix release, it flew to No. 1 on the weekly U.S. Afrobeats Songs chart and rang up a record 58 weeks in charge, nearly obtaining a perfect shutout of holding the No. 1 spot for each week of the chart yea that fell short when Tyla’s “Water” broke the stranglehold in the final frame. The dominant “Calm Down” year helped the track make massive inroads for Afrobeats across multiple Billboard charts, setting new marks for the genre’s highest-charting hit on the Hot 100 (No. 3) and posting a 10-week command on the all-genre Radio Songs chart. Strong performances reap rewards for the track on both year-end lists, with “Calm Down” at No. 6 on the 2023 Hot 100 review and No. 4 on Radio Songs’ recap.
Just like “Calm Down,” the second-place race on the year-end U.S. Afrobeats Songs chart also aligns with its rank’s longest resident, with the prize going to Libianca’s “People.” The Cameroonian-American singer, who competed on the 21st season of NBC’s The Voice in 2021, had her breakout single post 34 weeks at No. 2 on the weekly list. The song also found success on other charts, including the Global 200 (No. 20), Rhythmic Airplay (No. 25) R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay (No. 29) and Hot 100 (No. 80).
Tems’ “Free Mind” finishes at No. 3 for the 2023 year-end U.S. Afrobeats Songs chart but does capture two major radio crowns as the No. 1 title on the R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay and Adult R&B Airplay lists. The hitmaker also shows up at No. 4 on the annual U.S. Afrobeats Songs recap, thanks to Wizkid’s “Essence,” featuring Tems and Justin Bieber, which – as last year’s champ – proves its enduring popularity with U.S. audiences. Such is a similar story with Burna Boy’s “Last Last,” which completes the top five, as it maintained steady performance following an eight-week rule in the summer of 2022.
Billboard’s year-end music recaps represent aggregated metrics for each artist, title, label and music contributor on the weekly charts from Nov. 19, 2022, through Oct. 21, 2023. Rankings for Luminate-based recaps reflect equivalent album units, airplay, sales or streaming during the weeks that the titles appeared on a respective chart during the tracking year. Any activity registered before or after a title’s chart run isn’t considered in these rankings. That methodology detail, and the November-October time period, account for some of the difference between these lists and the calendar-year recaps that are independently compiled by Luminate.