The Decade in Christian Charts: Lauren Daigle Leads & Hillsong United Makes Waves

ISSUE 24 2018 - DO NOT USE!!! - ISSUE OUT OCT. 18, 2018
Kate Sweeney
Lauren Daigle photographed on Oct. 4, 2018 in Columbus, Ohio.

"How Can It Be" is the genre's top album & "Oceans" is the top song.

The No. 1 title on Billboard's Top Christian Albums chart for the 2010s is Lauren Daigle's first full-length, How Can It Be, released in 2015.

Another major act in the genre, worship music collective Hillsong United, claims the No. 1 spot on Hot Christian Songs for the decade with "Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)."

As the 2010s wrap, Billboard has compiled 30 charts encompassing the decade, including the all-genre Billboard Hot 100, Billboard 200 and those covering Christian and gospel; all-genre streaming, radio airplay and song sales; all-genre social and touring activity; and the top songs and albums in country, rock, Latin and dance/electronic. (See below for decade-end chart methodologies.)

DAIGLE'S DOMINATION

Daigle's How Can It Be led Top Christian Albums for 12 weeks and has spent 240 weeks on the chart date. It also produced three No. 1s on Billboard's Christian Airplay chart: "First," "Trust in You" and "O' Lord."

Veteran rock group Skillet's Awake is the genre's No. 2 album of the decade. The set debuted at No. 1 on Top Christian Albums in September 2009, becoming Skillet's first of four leaders, and dominated for 12 weeks.

At No. 3 on Top Christian Albums for the decade is NF with 2016's Therapy Session, which debuted at No. 1 ruled for three frames. The set followed 2015's Mansion as his second of two No. 1s so far.

The Nos. 4 and 5 slots on Top Christian Albums for the 2010s both belong to Casting Crowns: Until the Whole World Hears is No. 4, following its 18-week rule in 2009-11, and Thrive places at No. 5, after leading for six weeks in 2014, and charting on the ranking for nearly three years.

'MAYBE GOD CAN WORK IN THEIR HEARTS'

Hillsong United boasts the No. 1 hit on Hot Christian Songs for the 2010s, "Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)."

The act is the most mainstream-leaning among Hillsong arms; Sister acts include Hillsong Worship, which produces more church-oriented music, and Hillsong Young & Free, which, as the name implies, makes youth-targeted spiritual music. All three groups represent Hillsong Church, whose main campus is in Sydney, Australia, but has outposts all over the globe, including New York and Los Angeles.

"Oceans," with lead vocals from the group's Taya Smith, ruled Hot Christian Songs for 61 weeks starting in December 2013 and spent a record 191 weeks on the list overall (more than twice its next-closest competitor).

In a 2016 interview with Billboard, Smith marveled at the song's success. "Are you serious? I really had no idea, I didn't," she said. "It was actually one of the first two songs that I sang after joining the group. What makes me happy about that is that so many people would hear the song and then maybe God can work in their own hearts."

The No. 2 title on Hot Christian Songs for the decade is Lauren Daigle's 2018 crossover hit "You Say," which broke the record for the most weeks at No. 1, 66 to date, surpassing the reign of "Oceans." It also hit No. 1 on Adult Contemporary and, this March, No. 29 on the all-genre Billboard Hot 100.

"I really pondered the journey of 'Oceans,' and I remember seeing the impact that song made on so many people. It was just so beautiful to me," Daigle told Billboard after learning that "You Say" had bested "Oceans" for the No. 1-weeks mark. "I hoped that I could be a part of something that shakes the earth like that song. I didn't know that would ever happen, and I had no idea that 'You Say' would be something that would parallel the life of 'Oceans'."

The No. 3 Hot Christian Songs track of the decade is Hillsong Worship's "What a Beautiful Name." The act's Brooke Ligertwood sings lead vocals on and co-authored the worship-oriented single, which paced Hot Christian Songs for 37 frames in 2017-18.

Cory Asbury, part of another key worship collective, Bethel Music, broke out as a solo artist with his debut hit "Reckless Love," the No. 4 hit on Hot Christian Songs for the 2010s that led the list for 18 weeks in 2018.

No. 5 for the decade belongs to country superstar Carrie Underwood, whose spiritual hit "Something in the Water" commanded Hot Christian Songs for 26 weeks beginning in October 2014. It also led Hot Country Songs for seven frames.

TOP ARTISTS: STAY TUNED!

For overall Top Artists and genre-specific artist recaps, including Top Christian Artists, acts ranked Nos. 11 through 50 on each are viewable in our decade-end charts menu, while those at Nos. 10 through 6 will be revealed monthly leading up to the Billboard Music Awards, airing live on NBC on April 29, 2020, when No. 1 for each category will be announced from among five remaining finalists.

How We Charted the Decade: Billboard's decade-end recaps encompass chart performance from Dec. 5, 2009, through Sept. 28, 2019 (except for those for the Social 50, which began on Dec. 11, 2010, and Hot Dance/Electronic Songs and Streaming Songs, each of which launched on Jan. 26, 2013).

On the decade-end Hot Christian Songs and Top Christian Albums recaps, titles are ranked based on an inverse point system, with weeks at No. 1 on weekly charts earning the greatest value and weeks at lower positions earning the least. Due to changes in chart methodology and title turnover rates over the decade, certain periods were weighted differently.

Top Artists recaps are ranked based on a formula blending performance, as outlined above, of all their chart entries. Specifically, the overall Top Artists category ranks the best-performing artists based on activity on the Billboard Hot 100 songs chart and the Billboard 200 albums tally, as well as social media data and touring revenue from Billboard Boxscore, while genre-focused Top Artists rankings blend acts' decade-spanning performance on each genre's main song and album charts (such as, for Christian, Hot Christian Songs and Top Christian Albums).

Billboard's decade-end touring charts are based on Billboard Boxscore data for performances between Dec. 1, 2009, and Sept. 30, 2019.

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