Chart Beat

MercyMe Extends No. 1 Record on Christian Airplay Chart, Pastor Mike Jr. Tops Gospel Airplay

MercyMe
David Molnar

MercyMe

Plus, new top 10s for TobyMac and Cochren & Co.

MercyMe banks its record-extending 17th No. 1 on Billboard's Christian Airplay chart, as "Almost Home" soars 5-1 on the list dated Feb. 22. The track increased by 1% to 10.8 million audience impressions in the week ending Feb. 16, according to Nielsen Music/MRC Data.

MercyMe pads its lead for the most No. 1s since the survey launched in June 2003 over runner-up Casting Crowns, with 11. Jeremy Camp, TobyMac and Chris Tomlin follow with nine No. 1s each.

MercyMe, which formed in 1994, scored its first No. 1 when "Word of God Speak" topped the Aug. 16, 2003-dated ranking and reigned for 23 weeks, the longest rule in the chart's archives.

Meanwhile, the 5-1 flight for "Almost Home" marks the biggest jump to the top of Christian Airplay since Unspoken's "Reason" also bolted 5-1 on the survey dated Aug. 17, 2019, becoming the outfit's first No. 1.

"Almost Home" is MercyMe's second straight Christian Airplay No. 1 (excluding holiday fare), after "Best News Ever" led for five weeks starting last March.

'BIG' NEWS Pastor Mike Jr. (actual name: Mike McClure Jr.), pastor of The Rock Church in Birmingham, Alabama, notches his first No. 1 on Gospel Airplay, as his debut single, "Big," rises 2-1, thanks to a 4% hike in plays.

"Big" is the first single from the artist's debut set Live Free, which led the Top Gospel Albums chart for a week in October.

"Big" is the first launch single to rise to the Gospel Airplay pinnacle since Koryn Hawthorne's "Won't He Do It" dominated for 19 weeks beginning in March 2018. "Big" marks the first debut No. 1 by a male in a lead role since Todd Dulaney's "The Anthem," which ruled for five frames starting in April 2016.

MUSICAL CHEERS Back on the Christian Airplay chart, tobyMac's "Edge of My Seat," featuring Cochren & Co., ascends to the top 10, bumping 11-10 as the survey's Greatest Gainer (7 million impressions, up 40%).

tobyMac tallies his 22nd top 10, tying Jeremy Camp for the fourth-most. Chris Tomlin ranks first with 28, followed by Casting Crowns and MercyMe with 26 apiece.

Cochren & Co., which is fronted by singer-songwriter Michael Cochren, earn their second Christian Airplay top 10. Their first entry, "Church (Take Me Back)," peaked at No. 9 last May.