The ’90s saw a peak in the Christian music industry. With artists such as D.C Talk, The Newsboys, Amy Grant, and Michael W. Smith dropping major albums, it was hard not to love the direction the industry was going towards. In more recent years, Christian music has begun to lean more and more towards the worship genre with bands like Hillsong and Elevation Worship growing in popularity. However, there seem to be more artists making music that is true to themselves rather than whatever is popular at the moment. “What I am happy to see coming out are more and more artists that are independent and that are first and foremost just being artists. They are trying to make music that is true to their art and not so much for a particular genre or culture,” comments Danara Moore, a professor at Greenville University. Here are this week’s top 5 Christian songs according to Billboard.
5. Coming in at number 5 is “Famous For (I Believe)” by Tauren Wells featuring Jenn Johnson. Tauren Gabriel Wells is an American Christian rock and pop artist and a worship leader at Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas. Wells is also commonly known for his popular song “Known.” “Famous For (I Believe)” was released on January 10, 2020, and it is the second single from his second studio album Citizen of Heaven. This song has been on Billboard charts for 41 weeks now.
4. Next on the list is “The Blessing: Live” by Kari Jobe featuring Cody Carnes. This chart-topping song was accompanied by Jobe’s entire live album, which was released in October of this year. This is Jobe’s first new album in three years, and in a comment from thechristianbeat.org, she says,” I’ve been pouring my heart into this album for more than two years, asking God what he wants the church to sing and declare – not having any idea what this year would bring to the world. In a season where fear is trying to steal the world’s attention, I believe these songs carry the overcoming power of the truth and hope of Jesus. Everything in our world seems to be shifting, but God has not and will never change.” This song has been occupying the charts for 32 weeks.
3. Number 3 is “Who You Are to Me” by Chris Tomlin featuring Lady A. Chris Tomlin is an American contemporary Christian music singer/songwriter, who has sold over 7 million records. Other notable songs of Tomlin’s include “How Great is Our God,” “Good, Good Father,” and “Our God.” “Who You Are to Me” is a part of Tomlin’s newest album titled Christ Tomlin & Friends. This album includes thirteen tracks and features some of country’s biggest music stars, such as Brett Young, Thomas Rhett, and Florida Georgia Line. “Who You Are to Me” has been on the charts for 18 weeks.
2. Coming in at a close second is “There was Jesus.” This song by Zach Williams, an American Christian rock artist, and a country music icon, Dolly Parton, was released in October of 2019 and has been topping the charts for 42 weeks now. Williams commented, “So ‘There Was Jesus’ is a song that’s really just about reflection. I’m looking back 20 years ago where I had no idea that God was in the moment, that He was even with me through some of the things I had going on in my life. Looking back now I can see that He had His hand in everything I was doing. He was creating a way and honestly allowing me to live through some of these experiences.”
1. Finally, the chart topping number 1 song is “You Say” by Lauren Daigle. Lauren Daigle’s album Look Up Child, which featured “You Say,” took not only the Christian music industry, but also the secular music industry by storm when it was released in 2018. With Daigle’s unique voice and catchy songs, it’s hard not to love her music. “You Say” has been on the charts for 121 weeks and has been at number 1 for 109 weeks. “You Say” was played on Christian and secular radio stations alike and quickly grew in popularity. “The production values on Christian songs always sound a certain way. Lauren Daigle is not that and that’s what I love about her. ‘You Say?’ I love that song. I love it. I think it’s fantastic. I think there are things about that song that are really universal. And that’s one of the hallmarks of a song, that it’s something that’s universal enough that it connects with people,” comments Moore on Lauren Daigle. She continues, “Even melodically, you have a great hook and you have lyrics that are able to be interpreted in different ways. So it’s not fully this idea that it’s a Christian song and it has to mention Jesus nine times. She’s clearly talking about Jesus; however, you could interpret it multiple ways and people can sort of fit it into their lives.” Daigle’s debut album, How Can it Be, was released in 2015 and her most recent album, Look Up Child, debuted at number 3 on the Billboard 200. Her album was the highest charting Christian album of the year as well as the biggest-selling by a female Christian artist in more than 20 years. Daigle also released a Christmas album titled Behold in 2016 that is a great soundtrack for the holidays.