On Wednesday (January 25), her 2020 single “Above and Beyond” — off of her third studio album Chilombo — was certified Gold by the Recording Industry Association of America’s (RIAA), meaning that the song has sold over 500,000 copies.
The announcement marked a career milestone for the six time Grammy-nominated songbird, one that only a select group of Black female performers have achieved. With her 20th Gold single, Jhené Aiko has earned a seat at the table alongside Beyoncé, Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, Whitney Houston, Janet Jackson, Doja Cat, and Mariah Carey.
Revisit “Above and Beyond” below:
In a previous interview with REVOLT, Jhené shined some light on the process she followed when crafting songs – like “Above and Beyond” – for Chilombo.
“When I’m going through something, it actually flows out easier for me. Doing ‘Triggered’ and several other songs… [gives me] that same feeling that I have to release [it],” Aiko explained. “It just flows out and I try not to overthink it until I want to [put] ad-libs in or background [vocals]. My new album I’m working on now is like that. Every song that you hear is me [freestyling].”
The chart-topping album, snagged the #1 spot on the Billboard Top R&B Albums chart and the #2 slot on the Billboard 200 chart, in its first week. Chilombo remains the biggest album debut from a female R&B artist since Beyoncé’s Lemonade in 2016, selling over 1,057,000 copies. The album also secured a NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Album and an iHeartRadio Music Award for R&B Album of the Year in 2021.
While Jhené Aiko hasn’t released any new music since her third LP, her debut mixtape Sailing Souls — the 2011 independent project that skyrocketed her to fame — was made available on streaming platforms worldwide in 2021.
In December, the singer partnered with YouTube to craft the second volume in their Sleep Soul collection, which combines familiar R&B melodies with white, brown and pink noise to create a soundtrack meant to soothe parents and babies alike.
The collaboration arrived just weeks after Aiko and longtime partner Big Sean welcomed their first child together. Taking to Instagram, the couple revealed that their son, Noah, had arrived on November 8, 2022.
“After 24 hours of Labor, A Lunar Eclipse, with rain from the beginning of labor til he was born, he’s here safe and sound,” Big Sean wrote. “Happy, Healthy and everything we could ever ask for and more. Any and everything for you Son.”
On January 3, fans got their first glimpse of the babe, when Jhené Aiko shared a photo collage of her growing family, including a snap of her breastfeeding. “2 months [heart emoji],” she captioned the photo.
In addition to her baby boy, Aiko is also the mother of a 14-year-old daughter with R&B singer O’Ryan.