Chart Beat

Koryn Hawthorne's 'Speak to Me' Tops Hot Gospel Songs: 'I'm Grateful to Offer Inspiration'

Koryn Hawthorne
Rob Ector

Koryn Hawthorne

The song is her third No. 1.

Koryn Hawthorne notches her third No. 1 on Billboard's airplay-, sales- and streaming-based Hot Gospel Songs chart, as "Speak to Me" rises 2-1 on the Nov. 28-dated list.

In the tracking week ending Nov. 19, the song increased by 2% to 312,000 U.S. streams, according to Nielsen Music/MRC Data. It also holds at its No. 14 high on Gospel Airplay, up 10% in plays in the week ending Nov. 22.

"Wow, this year has been a tough one but I'm grateful to God to be able to make music that can offer some type of inspiration in a time that has been filled with so much tragedy and loss," Hawthorne tells Billboard. "So, this No. 1 is for the people: Stay inspired."

"Speak" was co-written by Johntá Austin, Troy Taylor and Jeremy Hicks. It samples gospel icon Donnie McClurkin's 1996 single "Speak to My Heart" (which was released prior to the 2005 start of Hot Gospel Songs and Gospel Airplay).

Hawthorne had last led Hot Gospel Songs with "Won't He Do It" for 41 weeks beginning in March 2018, the longest reign by a female artist. The song is tied with Kanye West's "Follow God" (2019-20) for the fourth-longest-leading No. 1 among all acts, after Marvin Sapp's "Never Would Have Made It" (46 weeks, 2007-08) and Kirk Franklin's "Wanna Be Happy?" (45 weeks, 2015-16) and "Love Theory" (44 weeks, 2019-20).

As a finalist on the eighth season of NBC's The Voice, Hawthorne first topped Hot Gospel Songs with "How Great Thou Art," which she performed on the show, for a week in April 2015.