Ella Mai never expected “Boo’d Up” to be a hit. The British R&B singer has released three EPs since 2016, and her most recent, Ready, was already being promoted with the single “Anymore.” But audiences and radio and club DJs latched on to the sweet, playful “Boo’d Up” instead, making it into a word-of-mouth hit that eventually climbed into the top 10 on the Billboard singles charts. In an era of carefully crafted release patterns for pop music, Mai found success the old-fashioned way, by recording a song that resonated with listeners, independent of what record labels and streaming services promoted.

The song has even gone viral among fellow hip-hop stars, with T-Pain, Fabolous and Fetty Wap releasing their own remixes, and Nicki Minaj and Quavo (of rap trio Migos) appearing on the song’s official remix. “It’s a clean song, there’s no cursing, it’s super innocent, and everyone’s been through that puppy-love sort of thing,” Mai told The Fader in May about the appeal of “Boo’d Up.” She’s already capitalizing on that unexpected success, with two new singles (“Naked” and “Trip”) released from her debut full-length album, which is due out in the fall. “Boo’d Up” is just the beginning.

Hard Rock Hotel, 8 p.m. Aug. 23, starting at $11 plus tax and fee. 888.929.7849 AXS