Burna Boy Breaks Several Milestones on Apple Music

I-Told-Them cover scaled

Burna Boy’s I Told Them… was a global blockbuster on Apple Music, breaking a number of worldwide records and becoming the latest album to show just how much of a global phenomenon African music has become.

From August 25th to August 31st, I Told Them… — which includes features from American rappers J. Cole and 21 Savage, British rapper Dave, and Nigerian singer Seyi Vibez, among others — smashed the record for the biggest African album in Apple Music history by first-week streams worldwide. I Told Them… also set the record in more than 100 countries worldwide, including the U.S., France, the U.K.. Japan, and Germany. It set the record for the biggest first week for an album released in 2023 — across all genres — in Nigeria.

The album also broke the record for the most simultaneous No. 1s for an African album, topping the albums chart in 69 countries worldwide.

Burna Boy I Told Them…
Burna Boy I Told Them…shoot

As if that wasn’t enough, the album promptly launched 10 songs to Apple Music’s Global Daily Top 100, setting a new record for the most simultaneous entries on the chart for an African artist. “Cheat on Me (feat. Dave),” a standout, peaked at No. 44 on the global chart, and reached the top 10 in 32 countries, including the U.K. and Nigeria. All told, songs off I Told Them… reached Apple Music’s Daily Top 100 in 91 countries worldwide. On Shazam’s charts, the track “City Boys” hit No. 1 in Nigeria, and No. 16 in Shazam’s Global Charts.

I Told Them… is just one of many African releases that have set global records and brought African music to a new level of ubiquity. In the past year, Asake, Burna Boy, Davido, and more have all broken major records on both Apple Music and Shazam. In April, after Davido’s record breaking album Timeless, Rema and Selena Gomez’s “Calm” entered Apple Music’s Global Daily Top 100 and became third African song to reach the top 15, and has become one of the biggest songs of the summer on Apple Music.

All told, streams for African music have grown at a rate four times that of overall streams. Shazams for African songs have grown twice as fast year on year as Shazams on the whole, with notable growth in France, the U.K. and the U.S.