Hillsong United’s Oceans has spent 12 weeks – that’s three full months – atop the Billboard Christian Songs chart. To put that in perspective, only Matthew West’s Hello My Name Is (17 weeks, 2013) and Building 429’s Where I Belong (15 weeks, 2012) have spent more weeks at number one in the past four years. United also becomes the first Australian worship act to top the chart in the history of the Christian Songs chart – even the revered Darlene Zschech, who was instrumental in bringing the worship teams of Hillsong to where they are today, never achieved that kind of chart ink.
As Mandisa’s Overcomer slips a notch from 2-3, Phil Wickham’s This is Amazing Grace suddenly emerges as an unlikely contender to the throne. Given that up to this point, I still don’t fully understand how Billboard computes for the new chart – United isn’t registering the kind of significant airplay typically associated with a No.1 Christian Songs chart hit – I don’t know when and how Wickham will ascend to the top. Jamie Grace’s Beautiful Day skips up from 5-4, hovering near its Top 3 peak.
Meanwhile, Joni Earickson Tada’s Alone Yet Not Alone, a song off an upcoming inspirational movie of the same title, is receiving a lot of love from Christian AC, and rockets into the Top 10 in only its third week on the chart (it’s ensconced at No.8 from No.19). The song sung by the differently abled Tada, an evangelical Christian author, radio host, and founder of Joni and Friends, an organization “accelerating Christian ministry in the disability community,” received an Academy Award nomination for Best Song earlier this year, which undoubtedly fueled the boom at Christian radio.
3. (2) Mandisa Overcomer
4. (5) Jamie Grace Beautiful Day
6. (7) tobyMac Speak Life
7. (7) Matt Maher Lord I Need You
9. (10) MercyMe Shake