Chart Beat

Fit for a King Finds a 'Path' to No. 1 on Top Christian Albums Chart

Fit for a King
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Ryan Kirby of Fit for a King (R) performs onstage at Seaside Park on June 21, 2015 in Ventura, Calif.

Plus, moves for Koryn Hawthorne and Demetrius West & Jesus Promoters.

Christian hard rock band Fit for a King achieves its first No. 1 on Billboard's Top Christian Albums chart, as its sixth full-length The Path flies in atop the list dated Oct. 3.

In its first week, ending Sept. 24, the set earned a career-best 11,000 equivalent album units, with 9,000 in album sales, according to Nielsen Music/MRC Data.

The LP follows Fit for a King's first three top 10s: Dark Skies debuted at No. 2 in September 2018 with 10,000 units; Death Grip arrived at No. 2 in October 2016 (8,000 units); and Slave to Nothing opened at No. 3 in November 2014 (7,000 sold).

HAWTHORNE RETURNS On Top Gospel Albums, Koryn Hawthorne's I Am enters at No. 2 with 2,000 units. The set is the 22-year-old Abbeville, Louisiana, native's second studio LP, after Unstoppable, which debuted at No. 1 in July 2018 with 2,000 units. Hawthorne's first entry, her self-titled EP, debuted and peaked at No. 19 in 2017.

Concurrently, the new album's lead single "Speak to Me" leaps 13-3 on the Hot Gospel Songs chart (which is powered by streaming, airplay and sales data), awarding Hawthorne her fourth top 10 on the tally. It bounds 13-1 on Gospel Digital Song Sales (up 137 percent), becoming her fourth leader, and 29-22 on Gospel Airplay (up 30 percent in plays) and corralled 407,000 U.S. streams in the tracking week (up 41 percent).

Hawthorne, a finalist from the eighth season of NBC's The Voice in 2015, boasts two Hot Gospel Songs No. 1s: "How Great Thou Art" (one week, 2015) and "Won't He Do It" (41 weeks starting in March 2018, the most for a song by a woman in the chart's 15-year history).

'NEXT' UP Demetrius West & Jesus Promoters notch their first Gospel Airplay No. 1, as "I'm Next" jumps 4-1 (up 18 percent).

The song is the second entry for the Indianapolis-based choir (fronted by West), after "Open the Floodgates," featuring Karen Hoskins, climbed to its No. 2 peak in May 2019.