'The Voice' Finalist Jordan Smith First Artist to Replace Himself at No. 1 on Hot Christian Songs
His cover of "Hallelujah" dethrones his own "Great Is Thy Faithfulness."
Top-five finalist on NBC’s The Voice Jordan Smith adds a second No. 1 on Billboard's Hot Christian Songs chart (dated Dec. 19), as his version of Leonard Cohen’s 1984 classic "Hallelujah" makes a historic opening at the summit. Smith, a 22-year-old student at Lee University (in Cleveland, Tenn.), performed the song on The Voice Monday, Nov. 30, and its recording bows with 68,000 downloads sold, according to Nielsen Music. It also starts at the summit on Christian Digital Songs and No. 6 on the all-genre Digital Songs tally.
"Hallelujah" is Smith's second entry on Hot Christian Songs and his second No. 1, replacing his first leader, "Great Is Thy Faithfulness," which falls 1-8 after two weeks on top. Since Hot Christian Songs launched in June 2003, Smith is the first artist to directly succeed himself at No. 1.
Meanwhile, Smith's take adds another chapter to the reach of Cohen's "Hallelujah," famously covered by Jeff Buckley in 1994.
Smith isn't the only contestant from the current season of The Voice scoring hits on Hot Christian Songs. Shelby.Brown (since eliminated from the competition) starts at No. 2 on Hot Christian Songs and Christian Digital Songs (21,000 sold) with her version of Vince Gill’s "Go Rest High on That Mountain." Brown also sends the song onto Hot Country Songs (No. 33) and Country Digital Songs (No. 5). Gill started writing "Rest" when country artist Keith Whitley died in 1989, but didn’t finish until he lost his older brother Bob in 1993. Gill's original reached No. 14 on Hot Country Songs at No. 14 in 1995 and won the 1996 Country Music Association song of the year award.
TOP 'STORY': On Christian Airplay, Big Daddy Weave notches its fourth chart-topper as "My Story" jumps 5-1. The motivational track is the launch single from the group’s seventh studio set Beautiful Offerings, which debuted at No. 4 on Top Christian Albums in October.