African-American Music Appreciation Month
It was on June 7, 1979, when then-president Jimmy Carter decreed June to be the month of Black Music. Since that day, the USA has been known to set aside the month of June to appreciate the musical contributions of its African-American musicians, composers, singers, and songwriters.
In support of the current #BlackLivesMatter movement, let's look back on some of our African-American musicians and music artists' hits that topped the charts in the past 10 years:
Released on March 22, 2010, OMG was the first worldwide single off Usher's sixth studio album, "Raymond v. Raymond. It topped the charts in several countries, including Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, UK, and the United States. The famous song sold 6.9 million copies worldwide in 2010 and is still streamed by Millenials up until this date.
Super Bass is a song from Nicki Minaj's deluxe edition of her debut album, "Pink Friday", and it earned the title of the most commercially successful track of the said album. It broke the Billboard Hot 100 chart's Top 10, and fared digitally well, reaching multiple platinum records overseas. Raise your hand if you tried to memorize the song and had a rap-off with your friends!
"We found love in a hopeless place", seemed like the perfect song line for all the hopeful romantics back in 2012, and indeed "We Found Love" by Rihanna "found" its success on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart for ten non-consecutive weeks. Its mixture of dance-pop, techno, and Europop helped push the song to top charts in twenty-five other countries, including Canada, Ireland, New Zeland, Switzerland, and the UK.
The winner of the Grammy Award for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration at the 56th Grammy Awards, "Holy Grail" came from Jay-Z's twelfth studio album "Magna Carta Holy Grail" released on July 4, 2013. It charted in many regions and peaked at the fourth spot in the US Billboard Hot 100 in 2013. It also charted well at number seven on the UK Singles Chart and sold over 3.4 million copies in the US as of 2018.
The movie Despicable Me 2 wouldn't be completed without its upbeat soundtrack album and its widely-popular single, Happy. Written, produced, and performed by Pharell Williams, the song served as the lead single from Williams' second studio album, Girl. Its uptempo soul and neo-soul vibe led the song to its peak as the best-selling song of 2014, selling over 6.45 million copies sold for the year, as well as in other countries like the UK, Canada, Ireland, and New Zealand. A live rendition of the song won the Grammy Award for Best Pop Solo Performance at the 57th Annual Grammy Awards, and its music video was nominated for Best Male Video and Video of the Year at the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards and it also won Grammy Award for Best Music Video at the 57th Annual Grammy Awards.
With the untimely death of Paul Walker in 2013, See You Again, a track by Wiz Khalifa featuring American singer Charlie Puth was commissioned for the soundtrack of the 2015 action film, Furious 7. It served as a tear-jerking tribute to the famous "Fast and the Furious" actor, who died in a single-vehicle accident before the release of the popular movie sequel. It spent 12 non-consecutive weeks atop the US Billboard Hot 100 and even held the record for the most-streamed track in a single day on Spotify in the United States.
A controversial hit that spawned several parodies across the worldwide web, Hotline Bling is a song recorded by Drake, which served as the lead single from his fourth studio album Views (2016). The song has gained subsequent popularity on YouTube and eventually reached number two on the US Billboard Hot 100 in the same year. It also won the award for Favorite Rap/Hip-Hop Song at the 2016 American Music Awards and received two wins at the 2017 Grammy Awards for Best Rap Song and Best Rap/Sung Performance.
Debuting atop the Billboard Hot 100, I'm The One became DJ Khaled's first number-one single on the chart, and the first hip-hop song to do so since Eminem's Not Afraid in 2010. The song entered the UK Singles Chart at number one, as well as in other countries like Australia, Scotland, and Canada. As of June 2020, it has received more than 1.4 billion views on YouTube.
Released in January 2018, God's Plan, another track recorded by Drake, became the 29th song in the history to debut at number one on the US Billboard Hot 100, making it the popular rapper's fourth chart-topper in the country and second as a lead artist. The song also broke first-day streaming records on both Apple Music and Spotify and even became the most-streamed song of the year on both services. The song was streamed 82.4 million times in its first week.
Probably the most surprising collaboration of 2019, Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus thickened the plot with their release of "Old Town Road" Billy Ray Cyrus remix, achieving a cultural ubiquity. The unique collaboration brought the song to break records for weeks atop the Hot 100, picking up six Grammy nominations, including a nod for record of the year. A genre-bending hit, indeed!