Khalid Donnel Robinson is an American singer and songwriter. He is signed to Right Hand Music Group and RCA Records. His debut single, "Location", was released in July 2016 and peaked at number 16 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart and was later certified quadruple platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). His debut studio album, American Teen, was released on March 3, 2017. Since then he has achieved several top 10 hits, a number one album and five Grammy nominations.
Khalid began writing and creating music in high school; he posted his early works to SoundCloud. In July 2016, he reached number two on the Billboard Twitter Emerging Artists chart. His single "Location" began charting, which led to his being featured in many publications, including Billboard, Yahoo, Buzzfeed, and Rolling Stone. With production from Syk Sense, Tunji Ige, and Smash David, "Location" finished the year 2016 at number 20 on the US Mainstream R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay chartand reached the Top 10 on the US Hot R&B Songs chart on January 21, 2017. The music video for "Location" premiered on The Fader's website. The album's second single "Young, Dumb & Broke" became a sleeper hit, becoming a hit at rhythmic formats and crossing over to pop radio into early 2018.
In January 2016, Alina Baraz's single "Electric", featuring Khalid, was released. His collaboration with Brasstracks, called "Whirlwind", was part of the Yours Truly & Adidas Originals Songs from Scratch series, and received over 700,000 SoundCloud plays. Khalid contributed uncredited vocals to Kendrick Lamar's song "The Heart Part 4", released on March 24, 2017. On April 28, 2017, Logic released the single "1-800-273-8255", which featured Khalid and Alessia Cara; the single peaked at number three on the Billboard Hot 100, making it Khalid's highest charting single.
Khalid sold out every venue on his 21-city January–February 2017 Location Tour, including the 1,500-capacity Tricky Falls in El Paso. Following the completion of the tour, his debut studio album American Teen was released on March 3, 2017. The album received critical acclaim and Grammy Award nominations for Best Urban Contemporary Album and Best R&B Song (for "Location"), at the 2018 ceremony. On October 24, 2017, the album was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for selling over 1,000,000 in combined pure sales and album-equivalent units.
In 2017, Khalid won a VMA Award for Best New Artist. Khalid made his television debut performing "Location" on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon March 15, 2017, backed by The Roots. His song "Angels" was featured on the ABC drama series Grey's Anatomy in the episode entitled "Don't Stop Me Now", which aired April 27, 2017. September 2018, El Paso Mayor Dee Margo Friday presented R&B singer Khalid with the key to the City of El Paso.
Khalid's song "The Ways" with rapper Swae Lee was featured in the Marvel film Black Panther. As of February 23, 2018, the song peaked at number 63 on the Billboard Hot 100. In 2017, he collaborated with Lorde, SZA, and Post Malone on Lorde's "Homemade Dynamite" remix. He released a duet with singer Normani, called "Love Lies", recorded for the Love, Simon film soundtrack, which reached the top ten of the Billboard Hot 100 in 2018. "Love Lies" was each artist's first number one on the US Pop Songs chart, and finished in the top 20 of the 2018 Billboard Hot 100 Year-End chart.
In May 2018, he wrote "Youth" in collaboration with Canadian artist Shawn Mendes. The song was featured on Mendes' self titled album and contains references to the social and political climate at that time. Mendes and Khalid performed "Youth" at the 2018 Billboard Music Awards on May 20, 2018, as a tribute to the victims of gun violence. The performance featured the show choir from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
He collaborated with Billie Eilish on the song "Lovely", which was sampled multiple times in the debut album of rapper Juice WRLD. In July 2018, he was featured alongside Halsey on Benny Blanco's debut single "Eastside". The song charted in the Billboard Hot 100's top ten and reached number one on the US Pop Songs chart, after a record 30-week climb. He also released a song called "Better" on September 14, the first day of two hometown shows. The song topped the Rhythmic Songs airplay ranking and charted in the top five at pop radio.
In October 2018, Khalid released an EP, Suncity, on October 19, 2018 through RCA Records. The EP debuted at number eight on the Billboard 200. The album also spawned the song "Saturday Nights", later remixed to feature country artist Kane Brown.
In February 2019, Khalid released the single "Talk", and he made his debut on Saturday Night Live on March 9, 2019, performing "Talk" and "Better". His second studio album Free Spirit was released on April 5, 2019, along with an accompanying short film. It debuted atop the US Billboard 200 with 202,000 album-equivalent units (including 85,000 pure album sales) in its first week, becoming Khalid's first US number-one album.
On April 20, 2019, Khalid made history by becoming the first and only artist to occupy the entire top 5 of the Billboard R&B Songs chart.
On April 25, 2019, Billboard magazine reported that since March 2018, Khalid had landed a 59-week straight streak of hits (and counting) on the Hot 100 since his Normani-collab "Love Lies" debuted on the chart. He charted 12 tracks (both solo hits and features) on the Hot 100 throughout the last year.
Following the release of Free Spirit, Khalid was reported to have become the biggest global artist on Spotify, hitting 50.4 million monthly listeners on the streaming platform, and subsequently surpassing Ariana Grande.