Matthew West 'Wins' Atop Christian Airplay Chart
"I think of this song as a victory anthem," West says of his new leader.
Penned by West, the track tells of a fan named Jordan's struggle with, then recovery from, drug addiction. "Grace" is West's sixth Christian Airplay leader and first since 2013's "Hello, My Name Is," which inspired letters from fans, like Jordan, battling addiction.
"I'm blown away," West told Billboard upon learning of his rise to No. 1. "I have to thank my friends at radio across the country for once again carrying a song from my heart straight to the ears and hearts of listeners.
"I think of this song as a victory anthem and I hope its message has reminded people that we don't have to live life weighed down by the defeat of mistakes we've made. Nobody's perfect. But we are proof. Living proof that grace wins every time."
SIX MONTHS OF 'HAPPY'-NESS: On Hot Gospel Songs, Kirk Franklin's "Wanna Be Happy?" holds the summit for a 26th week (encompassing its entire run). The song is now tied for the third-most weeks at No. 1 with Hezekiah Walker's "Every Praise" (2013-14). Marvin Sapp's "Never Would Have Made It" (2007-08) reigns with 46 weeks on top, followed by James Fortune & FIYA's "I Trust You" (29 weeks, 2008-09).
JOEY & RORY No. 1: On Top Christian Albums, Joey & Rory's Hymns rules for a second week (37,000 sold, down 46 percent), concurrently dipping 1-2 on Top Country Albums and holding in the top 10 on the Billboard 200 (4-8). The husband-and-wife duo of Joey and Rory Feek recorded the inspirational set in the summer of 2015 when Joey, now in hospice care, was undergoing treatments for cervical cancer.
The album's opening sales week (68,000, March 5) was the largest since Lecrae's Anomaly (88,000, Sept. 27, 2014).