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Hot 100 First-Timers: Tyla Makes Splash With Viral R&B Hit ‘Water’

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Tyla scores her first appearance on the Billboard Hot 100 chart (dated Oct. 14), as “Water,” the breakthrough single for the South African singer-songwriter, debuts at No. 67.

The song, released July 28 on FAX Records/Epic Records, arrives on the chart with 6.4 million official streams (up 22%), 3.1 million radio airplay audience impressions (up 128%) and 1,000 downloads sold (up 9%) in the United States in the Sept. 29-Oct. 5 tracking week, according to Luminate.

Among Billboard’s other multi-metric charts, the single rises 7-6 on Hot R&B Songs and 36-22 on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs. Further on radio, “Water” debuts at No. 39 on Mainstream R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay and No. 47 on R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay.

The song is also building internationally, as it jumps 71-38 on the Billboard Global 200 and 74-41 on the Global Excl. U.S. chart, and hits the top 10 (up 12-10) on South Africa Songs. It also holds at its No. 2 high on Billboard U.S. Afrobeats Songs.

TikTok has been a major contributor in the song’s growing profile. A portion of the track has soundtracked over 600,000 clips on the platform, largely to a viral dance challenge.

Tyla is a relative newcomer to Billboard’s charts. She charted one song prior to “Water”: “Been Thinking” reached No. 27 on Rhythmic Airplay and No. 36 on Mainstream R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay earlier this year.

Outside of “Water” and “Been Thinking,” Tyla has released four additional songs on streaming services: “Getting Late” with Kooldrink; “Overdue” featuring DJ Lag and Kooldrink (from the second season of the South African Netflix TV series Blood & Water); “To Last” (along with a remix featuring DJ Maphorisa and Young Stunna); and “Girl Next Door” with Ayra Starr. She has also collaborated with the likes of Major Lazer, Daliwonga, Marioo and Kelvin Momo.

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