1 Year of ‘SOS’: 8 Records & Achievements for SZA’s Blockbuster Album

1 Year of ‘SOS’: 8 Records & Achievements for SZA’s Blockbuster Album

Music

In the year since SZA’s SOS set sail on Dec. 9, 2022, the album has swelled into a blockbuster success that has dominated the R&B game. With a string of hit singles that preceded the release, exploded alongside it, or kept the momentum alive months after the drop date, SOS pushed SZA’s career into the stratosphere, while gliding from milestone to milestone on Billboard’s charts.

Before the first inklings of a title, release date or single, SZA’s second studio album was already among the industry’s most-anticipated albums. The singer-songwriter’s full-length debut, 2017’s Ctrl, proved a phenomenon, debuting at No. 3 on the Billboard 200 and, as of December 2023, remaining on the chart every week since its arrival. Ctrl singles “Love Galore,” featuring Travis Scott, and “The Weekend” scored SZA a pair of top 40 hits on the Billboard Hot 100, while collaborations “All the Stars,” with Kendrick Lamar, and a supporting turn on Maroon 5’s “What Lovers Do” not only added to SZA’s success in the Ctrl era, but also produced top 10 Hot 100 results.

As anticipation mounted, SZA’s sophomore era began with a cycle of hope and disappointment for fans, as a series of single releases warmed up the speculation machine each time. “Hit Different,” featuring Ty Dolla $ign, landed in September 2020, followed by “Good Days” in December 2020 and “I Hate U” in December 2021, but each came and went without any further announcements regarding S2.

And suddenly, the five-year wait had an expiration date. In a November 2022 Billboard cover story, SZA revealed the second album’s title, SOS, and promised its release the following month. If there was any doubt that the gap cooled the fervor for SOS, its initial success answered with authority. SOS debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and broke the record for the biggest streaming week for an R&B album, while its new singles expanded the hitmaking legacy of its predecessors, with “Kill Bill,” in particular, reaching historic heights.

That explosion, however, was just the beginning of a historic year for SOS, both in terms of all-time records on Billboard’s storied R&B/hip-hop charts and personal milestones for SZA’s career. As we hit the one-year anniversary of SOS, here’s a rundown of what the juggernaut album has achieved in its time.

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