Davido performs onstage during the Power 105.1'S Powerhouse 2019
NEWARK, NEW JERSEY - OCTOBER 26: Davido performs onstage during the Power 105.1'S Powerhouse 2019 presented by AT&T at Prudential Center on October 26, 2019 in Newark, New Jersey. Credit: Brad Barket/Getty Images for 105.1

Afrobeats music has surged in popularity and carved a prominent space in mainstream music today. With its infectious rhythms, rich melodies, and captivating dance moves, Afrobeats has become a global phenomenon, influencing and reshaping the music industry. This fusion genre, blending elements of Afropop, dancehall, reggae, and hip-hop, has captivated audiences worldwide and garnered attention from renowned musicians and producers, leading to collaborations and cross-over hits. As Afrobeats continues to evolve and gain momentum, its cultural impact and influence in mainstream music are undeniable, solidifying its position as a dynamic force shaping the sound of today’s music landscape.

Here are the Defender Top 5 U.S Afrobeats crossover moments.

Oliver Twist (2012)

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This infectious track by Nigerian artist D’banj became a global sensation, receiving widespread airplay and reaching high positions on international charts. Its catchy melody and fusion of Afrobeats and pop elements helped introduce the genre to a broader audience.

Fuse ODG:
Azonto (2012)

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The dance craze surrounding the Azonto genre in 2012 played a crucial role in introducing Afrobeats to a global audience. Fuse ODG’s hit single “Azonto” became a viral sensation, with its catchy beats and dance moves captivating listeners worldwide and helping to popularize Afrobeats as a dance-driven genre.

Personally (2013)

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Nigerian duo P-Square gained massive popularity across the globe. The song’s catchy melody, energetic dance routine, and tribute to Michael Jackson resonated with audiences and solidified Afrobeats’ position in the international music scene.

Davido (2013)

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Davido’s hit single “Skelewu” became an anthem both in Africa and beyond. The song’s catchy chorus and dance moves sparked a viral dance challenge, making it a crossover hit and further exposing Afrobeats to a wider audience.

Wizkid Collaborations:

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Nigerian superstar Wizkid made significant strides in crossing over to the international music scene during this period. His collaborations with artists like Akon (“Don’t Dull” remix) and Wale (“My Love”), Drake (One Dance) Beyoncé (Brown Skin Girl) Tems (“Essence”) helped showcase Afrobeats’ infectious sound and brought it to a broader audience.

We aren’t done yet…

Burna Boy:
African Giant Album (2019)

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Burna Boy’s Grammy-nominated album “African Giant” marked a significant milestone for Afrobeats. With its rich fusion of Afrobeats, reggae, and Afro-fusion sounds, the album garnered critical acclaim and introduced Burna Boy as a global powerhouse, solidifying his position as one of the genre’s biggest stars.

Master KG featuring Nomcebo Zikode:
Jerusalema (2020)

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Although originating from South Africa’s house music scene, “Jerusalema” gained immense popularity globally and became a cross-over hit. Its uplifting beats, accompanied by energetic dance challenges on social media platforms, captured the attention and participation of people worldwide.

Rema ft Selena Gomez:
Calm Down (2022)

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Rema and Selena Gomez’s “Calm Down” has become the highest-charting single from an Afrobeats lead artist in Billboard Hot 100 history. Rema has gained worldwide recognition as the single achieved significant milestones such as obtaining a Diamond certification in France, Platinum certifications in the UK and the US, and various certifications in other countries.

I cover Houston's education system as it relates to the Black community for the Defender as a Report for America corps member. I'm a multimedia journalist and have reported on social, cultural, lifestyle,...