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Rema becomes first African on IFPI global single chart for 2023

Rema becomes first African on IFPI global single chart for 2023

The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) has unveiled its 2023 Global Single Chart, offering a glimpse into the year’s most-streamed hits.

While the chart boasts established international stars like Miley Cyrus, The Weeknd, and Taylor Swift, it also marks a significant milestone for Afrobeats and Nigerian music with the inclusion of Rema.

Read also: Grammy Afrobeats many firsts: New category, first live performance

Divine Ikubor, the 22-year-old popularly known as Rema, secured the coveted second-place position with his summer anthem, ‘Calm Down (Remix),’ featuring global pop sensation Selena Gomez. This achievement isn’t just a personal victory for Rema but represents a historic moment for African music on the global stage as he became the first African artist to crack the IFPI’s Top 10.

‘Calm Down (Remix)’ amassed 1.89 billion Global Subscription Stream Equivalents (GSSE), a metric that combines audio and video streams across various platforms. The song’s vibrant energy and Rema’s signature blend of melody and rap seamlessly intertwined with Selena Gomez’s vocals created a global smash.

This collaboration not only introduced Rema to a broader audience but also highlighted the versatility and crossover potential of Afrobeats.

Miley Cyrus reigned supreme at the top of the chart with her introspective ballad, ‘Flowers’, which garnered 2.70 billion GSSE. The song’s emotional resonance and powerful message of self-love struck a chord with listeners, propelling it to the number one spot.

The rest of the chart featured diverse genres and established artists. SZA’s sultry R&B anthem, ‘Kill Bill’ took third position with 1.84 billion GSSE, followed closely by the collaborative effort between The Weeknd and Ariana Grande, ‘Die For You’ at 1.78 billion GSSE.

Harry Styles continued his reign with the catchy pop tune ‘As It Was’ at number five, while Yng Lvcas and Peso Pluma’s Latin smash ‘La Bebe’ secured the sixth spot. Rounding off the chart are pop favourites Taylor Swift with ‘Cruel Summer’ and ‘Anti-Hero’, country music star Morgan Wallen with ‘Last Night’, and BTS’s Jungkook featuring Latto with their hit ‘Seven’.

Read also: Spinall becomes first Afrobeats DJ to perform at Coachella Valley Music

Rema’s historic achievement on the IFPI chart is a testament to the growing influence of Afrobeats. It also paves the way for a new generation of African artists to break into the mainstream and share their unique sounds.