Chart Beat

Melvin Crispell III Tops Gospel Airplay Chart With Song Written by His Dad Nearly 30 Years Ago

Melvin Crispell III
Courtesy of Jamal Clark

Melvin Crispell III

Plus: Tamela Mann enters Top Gospel Albums at No. 3.

Melvin Crispell III scores his first No. 1 on Billboard's Gospel Airplay chart (dated Aug. 21) as his debut single, "Wonderful Is Your Name," ascends to No. 1 in its 28th week on the list.

In the tracking week ending Aug. 15, the song gained by 17% in plays, according to MRC Data.

"Wonderful" was authored by Crispell III's father, the late Melvin Crispell Jr., who was also a gospel musician and songwriter.

"Of course it is incredible to top the charts, an absolutely surreal experience. But to do so with a song that my father wrote nearly 30 years ago is something truly remarkable," Crispell III tells Billboard. "I am just 24, which means it was written before I was born.

"To have the opportunity to share it with the world, and it be a hit, speaks to how timeless his writing is," he muses. "I am honored to carry on the legacy. I pray that I make him, and everyone who has supported me, proud."

Based in Charlotte, N.C., Crispell III won BET's talent show Sunday Best in 2019.

"Wonderful" is the first single from Crispell III's debut LP I've Got a Testimony, which bowed and peaked at No. 5 on Top Gospel Albums in September 2020.

Crispell III claims the second rookie single to top Gospel Airplay within a month, after Monica Lisa Stevenson's "I'm Not Ashamed" (featuring Paul Porter) led the July 24-dated survey.

Mann's 6th top 10: Meanwhile, Tamela Mann's Overcomer enters Top Gospel Albums at No. 3. In its first week, ending Aug. 12, it earned 2,000 equivalent album units.

Overcomer marks Mann's sixth top 10 on the survey. She boasts two leaders: Best Days in 2012 and One Way in 2016.

In November 2018, she teamed with her husband, David Mann, for the release of Us Against the World: The Love Project, which started at its No. 3 high. It became David Mann's second entry and first top 10, after his 2007 solo album Mr. Brown's Good Ol' Time Church started at its No. 28 peak.