“Essence,” everyone’s favorite soundtrack to this summer, has topped the R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay chart, reaching No. 1. According to MRC Data, it jumped from No. 3 with an 11 percent improvement—which made it the most-heard song in the radio format. The monumental feat makes this Wizkid’s first leading No. 1 after snagging his first joint No. 1 on R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay with Drake’s “One Dance,” in 2016. This is 26-year-old Tems’ first No. 1 and first entry onto this chart.
The intoxicatingly sexy song snagged the No. 1 spot after spending nine weeks on the R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay chart, but it’s worth noting that this is one of the swiftest times an act has topped the list without having a lengthy chart history. Wizkid is the first artist to achieve this success without having any prior Top 5 hits since DaBaby’s “Suge” in 2019.
“Essence” also debuted at No. 25 on Adult R&B Airplay, broke into the Top 10 of Rhythmic Airplay, and is also progressing upwards in Pop Airplay. RCA Executive VP A&R Tunji Balogun told Billboard, “[‘Essence’] has become emblematic of being back outside. Then, a narrative on the internet started about the song being the song of the summer — and we took that energy and ran with it.” Wizkid chimed in to say, “We just came out of the craziest pandemic… Afrobeats just spreads love around a room when you play it.”
Balogun also spoke on how pairing the 31-year-old Nigerian powerhouse with fellow Nigerian rising stars like Tems is “breaking barriers globally.” The visual for “Essence” has currently amassed more than 26 million views and counting. Wizkid also recently dropped the “Essence” remix featuring Canadian crooner Justin Bieber.
Check out the stunning and sultry video for “Essence” below: