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Top 5 positions of Nigerian albums on the Billboard 200

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With ‘Twice As Tall,’ Burna Boy created a new peak for Nigerian artists on the same charts.

Burna Boy, Wizkid, King Sunny Ade and the top 5 Nigerian peak positions on the Billboard 200. (Afropop/Pinterest/Tooxclusive)
Burna Boy, Wizkid, King Sunny Ade and the top 5 Nigerian peak positions on the Billboard 200. (Afropop/Pinterest/Tooxclusive)

On August 24, 2020, it was announced that Nigerian singer, Burna Boy’s new album, ‘Twice As Tall’ had debuted at No. 54 on the Billboard 200 charts for the week ending August 21, 2020.

With it, Burna Boy created a new peak for Nigerian artists on the same charts. This then got 246hits asking; what are the other Nigerian albums to have charted on the Billboard 200? We were able to find five and here they are;

5) Sunny Ade – Juju Music

Year of release: 1982

Label: Mango/Island Records

Weeks on the chart: 29

Peak: 111 [September 17, 1983]

King Sunny Ade - Juju Music. [Mango/Island Records] King Sunny Ade – Juju Music. [Mango/Island Records]

When the album was released, it was described by The New York Times as the week’s best new dance music. At the time, Sunny Ade was two years away from being touted to be the replacement for Bob Marley.

4) WIzkid – Sounds From The Other Side

Year of release: 2017

Label: Starboy/RCA UK

Weeks on the chart: 1

Peak: 107 [August 5, 2017]

'Sounds From The Other Side' from Wizkid has been Afrobeats biggest bet in cracking North America (Genius) ‘Sounds From The Other Side’ from Wizkid has been Afrobeats biggest bet in cracking North America (Genius)

Genius

Wizkid‘s crossover had been given a massive jolt by his production, writing and feature credits of Drake‘s 2016 No. 1 single, ‘One Dance.’ Thus Wizkid immediately followed it up with an album that was called an EP at the time. The crossover didn’t quite pan out as we’d hoped but we will always have this moment.

3) Burna Boy – African Giant

Year of release: 2019

Label: Spaceship/Bad Habit/Atlantic/Warner

Weeks on the chart: 1

Peak position: 104 [August 10, 2019]

Allbum art for 'African Giant' by Burna Boy. (Spaceship) Allbum art for ‘African Giant’ by Burna Boy. (Spaceship)

In 2019, Burna Boy quickly followed his well-received Outside album with African Giant – named after his infamous rant at the organizers of Coachella. The Grammy-nominated album was celebrated as a refreshing development from Africa.

2) King Sunny Ade – Syncro System

Year of release: 1983

Label: Mango/Island Records

Weeks on the chart: 7

Peak position: 91 [September 24, 1983]

Sunny Ade & his African Beats - Synchro System. [Mango/IslandRecords] Sunny Ade & his African Beats – Synchro System. [Mango/IslandRecords]

In the week of September 3, 1983, the Billboard 200 charts was topped by Synchrocity – an album by The Police. A band that would soon be joined by British singer, Sting. At No. 2 was Thriller by Michael Jackson. Then, a little known Nigerian known as King Sunny Ade saw his album, Synchro System climb 30 places from No. 139 to No. 109 on the charts.

That same week, his other album, Juju Music was at No. 116 on the charts. The next week, the album then climbed another nine places to chart at No. 98 on the Billboard 200 – then known as Billboard Pop Charts. Juju Music climbed to No. 113 that same week too. The next week, Synchro System charted at No. 93 and then the next week, it peaked at No. 91.

1) Burna Boy – Twice As Tall

Year of release: 2020

Label: Spaceship/Bad Habit/Atlantic/Warner

Weeks on the chart: 1

Peak position: 54 [August 24, 2020]

Burna Boy releases new album, 'Twice As Tall.' (Instagram/BurnaBoy) Burna Boy releases new album, ‘Twice As Tall.’ (Instagram/BurnaBoy)

On August 14, 2020, Nigerian singer, Burna Boy released his album, Twice As Tall. In its first week, the album became the first Nigerian album to have one million pure YouTube streams from Nigeria. It also debuted on the UK albums chart at 11, France at 29 and The Netherlands at 10.

But the biggest coup of all was charting at No. 54. A new record for Nigerian albums.

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