Chart Beat

CeCe Winans' 'Believe For It' Debuts at No. 1 on Top Gospel Albums: 'People Are Hearing the Message'

CeCe Winans
Kevin Mazur/ACMA2020/Getty Images for ACM

CeCe Winans presents the Female Artist of the Year award onstage during the 55th Academy of Country Music Awards at the Grand Ole Opry on Sept. 16, 2020 in Nashville, Tenn.

The new set also starts at No. 3 on Top Christian Albums.

CeCe Winans' Believe For It: A Live Worship Experience blasts in at No. 1 on Billboard's Top Gospel Albums chart and No. 3 on Top Christian Albums (both dated March 27).

In its first tracking week, ending March 18, the set earned 4,000 equivalent album units, with 3,000 from sales, according to MRC Data.

The 12-song album was recorded Oct. 13, 2020, at TBN Studio in Nashville in front of a live audience.

"It's exciting because, to me, it means people are hearing the message," Winans tells Billboard. "Music opens so many doors to convey a powerful message. So, when going up the charts, I visualize the thousands and thousands of people that might be impacted by the music and message of a song.

Believe marks Winans' ninth total trip to No. 1 on Top Gospel Albums. She had last visited the penthouse with Let Them Fall in Love for a week in February 2017. Prior to her latest entry, she and older brother BeBe Winans released First Christmas, which peaked at No. 5 in January 2020. Winans achieves her seventh leader as a solo act, while the sibling combo has shared two toppers.

On Top Christian Albums, Believe awards Winans her 13th top 10, a sum that includes five with her brother. She boasts one leader, her 2003 solo set Throne Room, which also hit No. 1 on Top Gospel Albums.

Meanwhile, the new album's lead single, "Never Lost," climbs 9-6 on Gospel Airplay, up 9% in plays in the week ending March 21. Over on Christian Airplay, the set's title song ranks at No. 28 with a new weekly best of 506,000 audience impressions, up 13%. Red Alliance is promoting the former to gospel stations, while Fair Trade is working the latter to Christian radio.