My Top 25 Songs for 2014

It’s that time of year to publish year-end charts! Every year since 1990, I’ve been publishing my personal Top 25 hits weekly since 1990, and I’m continuing a recent tradition of separating Christian from secular songs. :)

The No.1 Christian song of the year on my personal chart is Francesca Battistelli’s He Knows My Name. It’s a brilliant single, and my favorite Battistelli song of all time. The track itself peaked in the Top 5 of Billboard’s Christian Songs chart, and finishes at No. 20 for the year, bested by its predecessor single, Write Your Story, which finishes at No.12 for the year on Billboard’s year-end chart, and No.10 on my personal year-end chart.

Runner-up to Battistelli is Jonathan Thulin’s incomparable Architecture, a No.1 Christian CHR hit that didn’t quite do as well on the main chart (No. 96 on the year-end chart), but a No.1 hit on my personal chart. Like last year, there is a good mix of bona fide hits in my year-end Top 10, including Phil Wickham’s No.2 hit, This is Amazing Grace (No.5) and Michelle Williams’ No.1 gospel hit, Say Yes, but there are also songs that didn’t scratch the Top 20 at all, including Thulin’s single, plus Selah’s incredible You Amaze Us (No.3) and two of Victory Worship’s singles, Radical Love (No.4) and Grace Changes Everything (No.6). Also remarkable is the performance of Sparrow Records artist Dan Bremnes, whose Beautiful ends the year at No.8, and Shine Bright Baby’s irresistible Beautiful Love, which rounds up the Top 10.

The songs from Nos. 11-20 are also a great mix of certified hits, especially with Billboard year-end chart runner-up Carrie Underwood’s Something in the Water at No.12 on my year-end chart. Underwood has had a history of releasing faith-themed singles in country music–Jesus Take the Wheel and Temporary Home, in particular, come to mind–and the carrier single of her greatest hits collection is no different. Meanwhile, female soloist Kari Jobe does one better than Underwood, just missing the year-end Top 10 with Forever, the carrier of her latest release, Majestic. Pretty much all the songs in this next group of 10 were certified Billboard Christian Songs Top 20 hits, save maybe for Ellie Holcomb’s The Broken Beautiful, which missed the Top 20 by inches.

The No.1 single on Billboard’s Christian Songs chart, United’s Oceans (Where Feet May Fail), barely makes the chart at No.25, while its runner-up, Carrie Underwood’s Something in the Water, just misses the Top 10, finishing at No.12. The No.1 single on Billboard’s Hot Gospel Songs chart, Beautiful Day by Jamie Grace, finishes at No.21 for the year; one of its runners-up, Erica Campbell’s A Little More Jesus, also finishes in the Top 25.

1. Francesca Battistelli, “He Knows My Name”
2. Jonathan Thulin, “Architecture”
3. Selah, “You Amaze Us”
4. Victory Worship, “Radical Love”
5. Phil Wickham, “This is Amazing Grace”
6. Victory Worship, “Grace Changes Everything”
7. Michelle Williams f/ Beyonce & Kelly Rowland, “Say Yes”
8. Dan Bremnes, “Beautiful”
9. Francesca Battistelli, “Write Your Story”
10. Shine Bright Baby, “Beautiful Love”

11. Kari Jobe, “Forever”
12. Carrie Underwood, “Something in the Water”
13. Crowder, “I Am”
14. Building 429, “Press On”
15. MercyMe, “Shake”
16. Ellie Holcomb, “The Broken Beautiful”
17. MercyMe, “Greater”
18. Mandisa, “Back to You”
19. Matthew West, “Do Something”
20. Unspoken, “Start a Fire”

21. Jamie Grace, “Beautiful Day”
22. Hillsong Young & Free, “Alive”
23. Victory Worship, “Jesus My Savior”
24. Erica Campbell, “A Little More Jesus”
25. Hillsong United, “Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)”

Over on (K)Pop Songs, Hi Suhyun, the YG Entertainment unit group composed of solo artist Lee Hi & Akdong Musician’s cute Suhyun, earn the year-end No.1 with I’m Different, edging out SECRET’s I’m In Love, which was a sure lock for the year-end chart until Hi Suhyun released this massive single in late November. In an ugly case of deja vu, SECRET has to settle for runner-up position, AGAIN, like last year, when their Yoo Hoo! finished at No.2, behind SISTAR’s Give It to Me. If it’s any consolation, two of SECRET’s singers released solo singles that finish in my Top 10, Hyosung’s Good Night Kiss at No.4 and Ji Eun’s Beautiful at 25 at No.8.

Other artists have great distribution across the chart. Akdong Musician, for example, actually performs really well this year; in addition to Suhyun’s No.1 finish, the duo’s autumn single, Time and Fallen Leaves, finishes at No.3 for the year. Girls’ Generation’s Sunny earns a No.5 year-end slot for her single, First Kiss, and SISTAR’s SoYou performs better than her group, with Some, her duet with Junggigo, ending the year at No.6, besting SISTAR’s Touch My Body, which finishes at No.13 for the year. Also a surprise: APINK’s Mr Chu, which ends the year at No. 9, better than its new single, LUV; and B1A4, whose Solo Day makes No.7 on the year-end chart, unlike its predecessor, Lonely, which completely misses the Top 25.

1. Hi Suhyun, “I’m Different”
2. SECRET, “I’m in Love”
3. Akdong Musician, “Time and Fallen Leaves”
4. Hyosung, “Good Night Kiss”
5. Sunny, “First Kiss”
6. SoYou f/ Junggigo, “Some”
7. B1A4, “Solo Day”
8. Song Ji Eun, “Beautiful at 25”
9. APINK, “Mr. Chu”
10. Taeyang, “Eyes Nose Lips”

11. tiny-G, “Ice Baby”
12. Super Junior, “Mamacita”
13. SISTAR, “Touch My Body”
14. BEAST, “12:30”
15. SoYou f/ Urban Zakapa, “The Space Between”
16. 2PM, “Go Crazy”
17. B1A4, “Lonely”
18. WINNER, “Color Ring”
19. Girl’s Day, “Darling”
20. CN Blue, “Can’t Stop”

21. Hyuna, “Red”
22. INFINITE, “Back”
23. Girl’s Generation, “Mr. Mr.”
24. f(x), “Red Light”
25. TVXQ, “Something”

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