Chart Rewind: Alicia Keys’ ‘Fallin’ Became Her First #1 Hit This Week in 2001

Published: Friday 14th Aug 2020 by Rashad

Readers of That Grape Juice know what avid music lovers we are – especially of hits past.

So, just as our retrospective features ‘From the Vault’ and ‘TGJ Replay’ allow us the chance to re-spin the gems and jams of yesterday of one artist, our feature Chart Rewind – a variation of our current Retro Rewind assay – accedes salutes to an entire era of music history.

This week we’ll fall in love all over again with ‘Fallin’ – the debut single from Alicia Keys.

Amid the early 2000’s chart champions, Teen Pop and Hip Hop, R&B still remained a viable competitor for the Billboard Hot 100 and Billboard 200’s respective thrones.  Then-newcomer Alicia Keys would underscore that point in spring 2001 when – under the helm of music industry giant Clive Davis – her debut single received a royal welcome befitting one who would soon be a ruler of the tallies.

Titled ‘Fallin,’ the piano-driven tune was not only a sonic departure from the sounds dominating radio at the time, but its maestra  (and her booming alto) stood refreshingly opposite to the scantily clad Pop and R&B stars who were commanding the airwaves.  Apparently, the sentiment was one shared by music lovers.

Three months after its April 2, 2001 premiere, ‘Fallin’ – written and produced by Keys – was penciled in the top spot of the Hot 100 (where it was found this week in 2001).  Booting ‘Bootylicious’ (the Destiny’s Child song) from the top spot, ‘Fallin’ was cemented in the tally’s premier rung for six weeks and helped its parent album, ‘Songs in A Minor,’ to mirror its success on the Billboard 200.

Eventually landing at #2 on the Hot 100’s year-end list, the song’s success carried over into 2002 when Keys swept the Grammy Awards with wins in the Song of the Year, Best Female R&B Vocal Performance, and Best R&B Song categories.When the dust settled, the certified sales of ‘Fallin’ peaked at just over the 2x Platinum mark in the United States.

As we revisit one of modern R&B’s most celebrated debut singles, look below to see who joined her in the top 25 this week 19 years ago.


Hot 100 This Week in 2001


Hot 100 This Week

Click here to see this week’s fully updated ‘TGJ Chart Check. Hot 100.’

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  1. Martaevia La’Wayne August 14, 2020

    I remember the very first time I saw this video and heard the song. It was on midnight love. I fell In love instantly. Alicia keys has a lot of haters but one thing that can’t be denied is her talent as a vocalist… Her incredible song writing/producing skills and the way she plays tf out of that piano.

  2. Gag August 14, 2020

    What an amazing billboard hot 100

  3. Rashad August 14, 2020

    I remember trying to record this song off the radio before I knew who she was. Still love this song and remember how refreshing it sounded next to early 2000s t*** pop

  4. Late August 14, 2020

    An absolute classic!
    I remember when this came out, there was so much mystery surrounding Alicia, from the fact that it seemed she just burst onto the scene, to her tomboyish style back in the day, to her hair and her ethnicity, there was a lot of intrigue. I still believe that “Songs In A Minor” and “Aaliyah” were the best R&B albums that were released that year.

    • John+L.+Anderson+V August 14, 2020

      Agreed, I remember Alicia keys had a lot of hype and attention during this time but she was very low key. Yesss Aaliyah ‘s album was also one of the best of 2001 as well as well as maxwells Now album and Faith Evans ‘ faithfully album.

    • Johny5 August 15, 2020

      Songs in A Minor and Aaliyah were all I listened to in 2001. My fave song was “Goodbye”

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