Tyla’s ‘Water’ Surges to No. 1 on Hot R&B Songs Chart

It’s Tyla’s turn at No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot R&B Songs chart as the singer-songwriter’s “Water” springs from No. 4 to rule the list dated April 6. The song, which reached a prior No. 2 best as far back as November, pools enough activity to claim the throne on the heels of its parent album’s release March 22.

In the March 22-28 tracking week, “Water” recorded 10.3 million official U.S. streams, a 17% surge from 8.8 million in the previous frame, according to Luminate. The boost pushes the single 5-4 on R&B Streaming Songs, where it previously peaked at No. 2, and wins Greatest Gainer honors, given each week to the song with the largest improvement among the chart’s 15 titles. Plus, the latest haul gives “Water” its best streaming week since Jan. 5-11, when it accrued 10.9 million clicks.

For the two remaining metrics that funnel into the Hot R&B Songs chart – song sales and radio airplay – “Water” sold 2,000 downloads in the same period, a 17% bump from the prior week, and registered 51.7 million in airplay audience across all formats, down 4%.

“Water” was already a proven smash on Rhythmic Airplay and Mainstream R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay, ruling the charts for one and eight weeks, respectively, over the winter, helping explain the current audience decline. It remains active, however, at pop radio, holding at its No. 6 high on the Pop Airplay chart. The crossover appeal reflects the singer-songwriter’s “popiano” sound — a hybrid of pop, R&B and Afrobeats characteristics, as detailed in Tyla’s March Billboard cover story.

The song’s streaming and sales growth aligns with the release of Tyla’s self-titled debut album March 22. The set, released via FAX Records/Epic Records, opens at No. 2 on the Top R&B Albums chart with 24,000 equivalent album units earned in its first week. The arrival makes the set only the second of 2024 to debut in the top two, following the No. 1 launch of Usher’s Coming Home in February.

Beyond “Water,” Tyla finds five more tunes on Hot R&B Songs: “Truth or Dare” rises 8-7 in its eighth chart week, while four tracks – “Art” (No. 8), “No. 1,” featuring Tems (No. 13), “Jump,” with Gunna and Skillabeng, and “Safer” (No. 22) – all debut.

Notably, Tyla tops Hot R&B Songs after SZA had reigned for 66 of the past 68 weeks, via four No. 1s.

Elsewhere, Tyla floods the Billboard U.S. Afrobeats Songs chart, as 12 of the album’s cuts land on the 50-position list. “Water” retains the top rank for a 25th consecutive and total week, while a familiar set of titles shows in the top 10: “Truth or Dare” (No. 3), “Art” (No. 4), “No. 1” (No. 5), “Jump” (No. 6) and “Safer” (No. 8), while the Becky G collaboration “On My Body” begins at No. 10. With the tidal wave, Tyla becomes the first act to occupy seven of the top 10 spots on the two-year-old chart.

The “Water” triumphs add to a spate of honors of late for the single. In addition to the Afrobeats Songs and radio crowns, the track won the singer, age 22, the first-ever Grammy Award presented for best African music performance, on Feb. 4. “It’s something that a lot of people strive toward and want to win at least once in their lifetime,” she said in the cover profile. “And I’m so blessed to have received one so early in my career.”

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