How a British ‘X Factor’ reject conquered America
Ella Mai is number one on the Billboard R&B chart
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On Sunday, British singer Ella Mai hit a new peak. Her debut single, ‘Boo’d Up,’ hit number one on the Billboard Hot R&B Songs Chart.
The last time a chart debut took the spot was in 2015, when Alessia Cara’s smash hit ‘Here’ went to number one. ‘Boo’d Up’ also rose several places on the Billboard Top 100, where it now sits at 11. But Ella Mai has yet to chart back home. Maybe it’s connected to her past – the singer moved from London to New York when she was 12. After returning to the UK for high school, Ella tried out for ‘The X Factor.’ She was one-third of Arize, a group that failed to make it past the auditions.
Fast forward to 2018 and Ella Mai is a chart success. ‘Boo’d Up’ is a viral craze that has created multiple memes on social media. Ella Mai's success can be credited in part to Dijon McFarlane, otherwise known as DJ Mustard. The US producer signed Mai to his 10 Summers label back in 2016. This helped the singer link with US pop acts like Ty Dolla Sign, who helped to build her a cult following. After a sell-out tour with Kehlani, the British singer was ready to release ‘Boo’d Up.’ British music fans clearly have a bit of catching up to do.
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