It’s been one year since Normani (Normani Kordei Hamilton) ignited the 2018 Billboard Music Awards stage with a breathtaking performance of “Love Lies” with Khalid. The performance was one of the first moments where we saw the 22-year-old emerge into the spotlight on her own, just months after her former successful girl group, Fifth Harmony, announced an indefinite hiatus to pursue their solo careers.
Her action-packed year included a Janet Jackson tribute performance at the 2018 BMI R&B/Hip-Hop Awards in August 2018, where she gave stellar rendition of Jackson’s “The Pleasure Principle.” She also released a two-track joint EP with producer Calvin Harris (also featuring Nigerian musician Wizkid) in October 2018 and debuted her first solo single, “Waves” featuring rapper 6lack, one month later.
A monumental achievement occurred for the singer-songwriter earlier this year, when she was featured on the cover of Billboard Magazine’sJanuary 12 issue. In her Billboard cover story, she used her platform to talk about the importance of representing for Black women, finding her own creative freedom and defining herself in the pop music industry. Now, she takes the reign as the fastest solo artist (without an album) to surpass one billion combined Spotify streams, and according to Twitter fans, has sold more than 11 million records worldwide.
But while the singer has been working on her highly-anticipated solo album, it’s been her two top-charting solo releases, both collaborations (“Love Lies” and “Dancing With A Stranger”), that have climbed the charts and reached historic feats. “Loves Lies,” released back in February 2018, has remained on American Top 40 radio for 54 weeks — making it the longest run single since LMFAO’s “Party Rock Anthem” (which lasted 67 weeks in 2012).
Her most recent duo was released in January 2019, when she teamed upwith Sam Smith to deliver their sultry hit “Dancing With A Stranger.” Billboard announced that the track peaked No. 1 on the Radio Songs chart (dated May 18). This is Normani’s first all-genre radio songs No. 1, after landing the No. 3 spot last September with “Love Lies.”
On pop radio, “Dancing With A Stranger” reached No. 1 on this week’s Billboard’s Adult Pop Songs chart, No. 2 on Billboard‘s Pop Songs Radio Airplay chart and No. 1 on Mediabase’s Pop Radio chart, dethroning“Sucker” by the Jonas Brothers. This is Normani’s second U.S. pop radio No. 1 (“Love Lies” peaked No. 1 in Sept. 2018). The success of “Dancing With A Stranger” has made Normani the first lead Black female artist and the youngest female artist of 2019 to hit No. 1 on U.S. pop radio.
A release date has not yet been set for Normani’s debut album, but according to a December 2018 interview with Billboard, she’s had studio sessions with producers like Pharrell (who also worked on Ariana Grande’s successful Sweetener album). Since March 2019, Normani has performed as a supporting act for Grande’s North American leg of the Sweetener World Tour.
Based on the large success of Normani’s collaborations thus far (and her undeniable raw talent), it’s likely that when her debut album finally drops, she will be unstoppable.