Eighteen-year-old Kamilaroi artist, The Kid LAROI, has become the youngest male solo artist to have a Billboard number one album since 2015.
The Kid LAROI, born Charlton Kenneth Jeffrey Howard, reached the number one spot on Billboard’s top 200 with the third release of his mixtape F*CK LOVE, F*CK LOVE 3+: OVER YOU.
He is the youngest solo male to top the Billboard charts since Shawn Mendes took out pole position at 16-years-old in 2015 with his album Handwritten, and the youngest artist to reach number one since 2019 when Billie Eilish took the top spot with When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? at 17.
F*CK LOVE 3+: OVER YOU is currently sitting at number one in the ARIA Top 20 Australian Albums, and the various incarnations of the album have charted in the ARIA Top 50 for the last 56 weeks.
In a post on Instagram reacting to the news of his album reaching number one, Howard thanked his fans for their support.
“Thank you to every single one of you … for streaming, buying and supporting the f**k out of this record,” he wrote.
“This is not only a big moment for me, but a really big moment for Australia. Growing up all I ever wanted to do was ‘make it big’ in America and show everyone what we have to offer.”
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Howard was born in Waterloo, New South Wales, and grew up near Redfern before moving to Broken Hill at seven-years-old.
In a 2017 interview, Howard revealed that his great-great-grandfather was a member of the Stolen Generations who was placed with a white family and not told of his Aboriginality until he was 18-years-old.
His stage moniker The Kid LAROI is a reference to his mob, the Kamilaroi people.
The original edition of F*CK LOVE was released on July 24, 2020 by Grade A Productions and Columbia Records, and features guest appearances from Corbin Smidzik, Juice Wrld and Lil Mosey.
A deluxe edition of the mixtape, titled F*CK LOVE (SAVAGE), was released four months later on November 6, 2020 with appearances from Machine Gun Kelly, Marshmello, Internet Money and YoungBoy Never Broke Again.
The mixtape added seven new tracks including breakout single Without You, which achieved mass success on TikTok and has now racked up 70 million views on YouTube and more than half a billion streams on Spotify.
The third release of the mixtape, titled F*CK LOVE 3+: OVER YOU, was released on July 23, 2021 with another seven new tracks including Stay, the Kid LAROI’s collaboration with Justin Bieber.
Stay has achieved huge commercial success, with 81 million views on YouTube and 339 million streams on Spotify.
An expanded edition of F*CK LOVE 3+: OVER YOU was released shortly after on July 27, 2021.
The original mixtape, F*CK LOVE, received a nomination for Best Hip Hop Release at the 2020 ARIA Music Awards.
The mixtape reached number one on the Australian ARIA album chart in February 2021, making the Kid LAROI the youngest Australian solo artist to hit that milestone.
The Kid LAROI has also been nominated in three categories for the postponed 2021 National Indigenous Music Awards.
He’s up for awards in the Artist of the Year, Album of the Year and Song of the Year categories.
By Sarah Smit