The Year in Music 2023: SOS! SZA stole the year … and all the top honors along the way

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SZA‘s 2023 has been a life-changing one. She said so in a heartfelt social media post celebrating the one-year anniversary of her chart-topping, Grammy-nominated smash album, SOS. Not only did SZA, born Solána Imani Rowe, break records, grace covers of renowned magazines and snag genre-spanning collaborations, this year she lived out her career “wildest dreams” as one of the biggest hip-hop, R&B and pop artists of modern-day music.  

Here’s a snapshot of a few events that contributed to SZA’s impressive 2023: 

Awards

— At the BET Awards, SZA took home three trophies: Video of the Year for “Kill Bill,” Album of the Year for SOS and Best Female R&B/Pop Artist.
 
— At the BET Soul Train Awards, she won four of the nine awards she was nominated for: Best R&B/Soul Female Artist, Album of the Year, Song of the Year and The Ashford & Simpson Songwriter’s Award for “Snooze.”  

— SZA led the Billboard Music Awards with 16 nods, taking home four awards: Top R&B Artist, Top Female R&B Artist, Top R&B Song for “Snooze” and Top R&B Album.
 
— At the MTV Video Music Awards, SZA took home a Best R&B trophy for “Shirt.”

— SZA earned nominations at the NAACP Image Awards, MTV Europe Music Awards, MTV’s Millennial Awards and the UK Music Video Awards.

— After only receiving one nomination in 2023, SZA is the most-nominated artist heading into the 2024 Grammy Awards. SOS is up for Album of the Year and Best Progressive R&B Album; “Kill Bill” is up for Record of the Year; “Snooze” nabbed a nod for Best R&B Song. SZA has nine chances to add her Grammy collection, which is currently comprised of her 2022 win for Pop Duo/Group Performance.

Billboard chart achievements 

SOS

— Debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 
— Broke the record for the biggest streaming week for an R&B album by a woman with 404.6 million streams, per Luminate
— After topping the Billboard 200 for 10 weeks, became the first R&B album by a woman to hit the double-digit mark since Mariah Carey‘s self-titled debut
— Broke Aretha Franklin‘s 54-year-old record after notching 18 weeks atop the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart

“Kill Bill” 

— Marked SZA’s first #1 on the Hot 100
— Spent a history-making 21 weeks atop the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, surpassing the 20-week run of “Old Town Road” by Lil Nas X
— Notched 50 weeks on the Hot 100

“Snooze”

— Spent every week of the year on the Hot 100
— Reached #1 on the Radio Songs chart

Magazine spreads

Billboard Woman of the Year

Variety Hitmaker of the Year

Wall Street Journal Music Innovator 

The New York Times February 

Elle May 

Rolling Stone October 

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