Chart Beat

Kelontae Gavin Scores First Gospel Airplay No. 1 With 'Hold Me Close'

Kelontae Gavin
Courtesy of MBE

Kelontae Gavin

'I'm eternally grateful to God for giving me the ability to sing lyrics that touch the heart of people,' he tells Billboard.

Kelontae Gavin earns his first No. 1 on Billboard's Gospel Airplay chart as "Hold Me Close" ascends 2-1 on the ranking dated Feb. 20. The single increased by 7% in plays in the week ending Feb. 14, according to MRC Data.

"Close" is the second Gospel Airplay entry for the 21-year-old Gavin, who hails from Charleston, South Carolina. "No Ordinary Worship" rose to No. 5 in February 2019.

"I'm eternally grateful to God for giving me the ability to sing lyrics that touch the heart of people," Gavin tells Billboard. "Wow, to God be the glory."

Gavin co-penned "Close" with Marquis Boone and TedyP. It's the lead single from his sophomore set, The N.O.W. Experience, due March 5. Gavin's first album, The Higher Experience, arrived and peaked at No. 2 on Top Gospel Albums in May 2018.

POPIN HITS TOP 10 Also on Gospel Airplay, Bryan Popin's "Beautiful Savior," featuring Tasha Page-Lockhart, rises 12-10. Popin adds his second top 10, after "I Got Out" reached No. 4 in April 2017. Page-Lockhart likewise lands her second top 10, after "Different" climbed to No. 5 in November 2014.

WINANS DEBUTS On the Hot Gospel Songs chart, which blends airplay, sales and streaming data, CeCe Winans' new track "Believe for It" enters at No. 9, marking her fourth top 10 and first arrival in the region. The song sold 1,000 downloads in its first week and opens at No. 2 on Gospel Digital Song Sales, where it's her sixth top 10.

Winans boasts two titles in the Hot Gospel Songs top 10, as "Never Lost" climbs 6-4 for a new high. On Gospel Airplay, it ranks at No. 11 after reaching No. 10, becoming her third top 10.

"SPARROWS" GLIDES On the multi-metric Hot Christian Songs chart, Cory Asbury achieves his third top 10 as a soloist as "Sparrows" flies 11-10.The song pushes 8-7 on Christian Airplay, up 10% to 7.2 million airplay audience impressions. It also attracted 926,000 U.S. streams and sold 1,000 downloads in the week ending Feb. 11.

Asbury, who is a member of the Bethel Music collective, adds his third Hot Christian Songs top 10 on his own, following "The Father's House," which reached No. 3 last June. His solo debut, "Reckless Love," ruled for 18 weeks starting in March 2018.

WE ARE MESSENGERS DELIVER Plus, Irish worship band We Are Messengers earns its seventh Christian Airplay top 10 as "Image of God" lifts 11-8 (6.5 million in audience, up 5%). The song follows the act's last top 10, "Love (Won't Let Go)," which reached No. 9 last July.