Nigeria Afrobeat singer Divine Ikubor, best known as Rema, has broken a four-decade-old record held by the legendary King Sunny Ade, as his album, “Rave & Roses”, emerges longest-charting African album in the US.
Rave & Roses is currently ranked 137 on the Billboard 200 after 30 weeks.
The Billboard 200 is a record chart ranking the 200 most popular music albums and EPs in the United States. It is rated based on streaming and sales activity.
With its remarkable staying power on the charts, Rema’s album has secured its place in history as the longest-charting album by an African artiste in the United States.
The 23-year-old Afrobeats singer took the industry by storm with his unique blend of Afrobeats and pop and has been a rising star since his debut in 2019. But his sophomore album, “Rave & Roses,” has propelled him to an entirely new level of stardom and accomplishment.
“Rave & Roses” is Rema’s 16-track debut album, released in March 2022.
Rema’s hit song, “Calm Down”, featuring Selena Gomez, is also number 6 on the US Billboard chart.
The Edo-State-born singer featured international artistes such as 6lack, Chris Brown, AJ Tracey, and Yseult on the album.
In 1982, the legendary musician King Sunny Ade released ‘Juju Music’, his critically-acclaimed album.
It represented the first worldwide release for Adé, who was already a superstar in Nigeria. The album was a critical and commercial success, peaking at #111 on Billboard’s “Pop Albums” chart.
It was ranked among the top ten “Albums of the Year” for 1982 by New Musical Express (NME a British music, film, gaming, and culture website and brand.
The hits, “Ja Funmi” and “Eje Nlo Gba Ara Mi” were off the album.
Sunny Ade’s album spent 29 weeks on the chart — from May 1, 1983, to September 1, 1983 — on the Billboard 200 chart. It was the longest-running Nigerian album in the chart’s history until recently.
A Pitchfork review of the album stated that ‘‘The success and sheer gorgeousness of Juju Music led to a windfall of Nigerian releases in the West, including LPs by Adé’s main jùjú competitor, Chief Commander Ebenezer Obey. More Fela Kuti recordings appeared in the States, as well as compilations from other African scenes.”
Rema’s“Rave & Roses’’ has now spent its 30th week on the chart — as of this week — setting a new record.
Rema and stardom
Rema rose to stardom after releasing the song “Dumebi”. In 2019, he got signed to Jonzing World Record, owned by D’Prince, affiliated with Mavin Records.
The singer launched his self-titled first EP ‘Rema’ in 2019, which reached number one on Apple Music Nigeria.
He also earned the ‘Next Rated’ award in 2019 and was nominated for Viewer’s Choice at The Headies’ 13th edition.
Rema won the Soundcity MVP Award for ‘Best New Artiste’ in January 2020.
In April, the album’s track ‘Calm Down’ became the longest-charting African song on the Billboard Hot 100.
On 28 April 2023, Rema released a version of his debut album Rave & Roses titled Rave & Roses Ultra containing an additional six tracks: “Charm”, “Hov”, “Reason You”, the remix of “Calm Down” with Selena Gomez, “Holiday”, and “Dunno Me”. It became the first African album to cross one billion streams on Spotify
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