Kirk Franklin Rewrites Longest Reign Atop Hot Gospel Songs Chart

Kirk Franklin's "Wanna Be Happy?" logs its 24th week at No. 1 on Billboard's Hot Gospel Songs chart (dated Feb. 27), granting the format vet a new career-high for most weeks spent at the summit with a chart leader. (The single has spent its entire run on top, having arrived at No. 1 on Sept. 19, 2015.)

With its latest frame at No. 1, Franklin passes his prior longest rule, set by "I Smile," which logged 23 weeks in charge in 2011. Among all leaders, "Happy," from Franklin's album Losing My Religion, ranks sixth for the most weeks at No. 1; Marvin Sapp's "I Never Would Have Made It" leads with 46 frames atop the chart in 2007-08.

Still, Franklin is closing in on another of Sapp's records: Sapp boasts the most total weeks at No. 1, 74, in the chart's history. Franklin has tallied 72 weeks on top.

On Top Christian Albums, Elevation Worship, the worship group of Charlotte, N.C.-based Elevation Church, debuts with its third No. 1, Here as in Heaven. The live set, recorded in July 2015, starts with 28,000 copies sold, according to Nielsen Music, marking the ensemble's best sales week, passing 2014's Wake Up the Wonder, which bowed with 16,000. On the all-genre Billboard 200, Elevation Worship earns its highest career rank (No. 15) with the new LP.

Meanwhile, Tim Bowman Jr.'s "I'm Good" pushes 2-1 to become his first leader on Gospel Airplay. "How I Got Over" marked the previous high for the 28-year-old Detroit native, peaking at No. 3 in 2009. He first charted with the No. 8 hit "My Praise" in 2005.