Hillary Scott & The Scott Family Debut at No. 1 on Top Christian Albums Chart

Joseph Llanes
Scott, best known for fronting hitmaking country group  Lady Antebellum, is releasing her first album as a bandleader.

Scott joins a select group of country stars to cross to the Christian chart summit. Plus, MercyMe ties a record.

Love Remains, the debut album from Hillary Scott & The Scott Family, bows at No. 1 on Billboard's Top Christian Albums chart (dated Aug. 20), selling 28,000 copies in its first week (ending Aug. 4), according to Nielsen Music. The set, produced by Ricky Skaggs, arrives at No. 2 on Top Country Albums and No. 7 on the Billboard 200 (31,000 equivalent albums).

The album's lead single, "Thy Will," co-written by Scott, tops Hot Christian Songs for a third week and Christian Digital Songs for a ninth week, up 45 percent to 13,000 downloads sold. It has sold 113,000 to date. "Thy Will" lifts 7-6 on Christian Streaming Songs (867,000 U.S. streams, up 25 percent) and 9-7 on Christian Airplay (8 million in audience, up 10 percent).

As Scott scores with her first album apart from trio Lady Antebellum, she joins an elite crop of country artists to crown Top Christian Albums with faith-based sets in the last 20 years. The others: Joey & Rory's Hymns, which dominated for 17 weeks beginning March 5; Alan Jackson's Precious Memories (22 weeks, 2006-07) and Precious Memories: Volume ll (eight, 2013); Alabama's Songs of Inspiration (two, 2006) and Songs of Inspiration II (2007, one week);LeAnn Rimes' You Light Up My Life–Inspirational Songs (35, 1997-98); and Kenny Rogers' holiday set The Gift (four, 1996).

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Top Christian Albums welcomes two additional debuts in the top three, including Vertical Church Band's Frontiers (No. 2, 10,000 sold). It's the worship collective's fourth top 10 (of four chart visits). 2015's Church Songs is its lone No. 1, debuting atop the chart dated Feb. 7, 2015, with 15,000 sold, the act's strongest sales week. 2013's That Rock Won't Move arrived at its No. 2 peak (6,000) and 2012 launch set Live Worship From Vertical Church peaked at No. 10.

Entering Top Christian Albums at No. 3 is husband-and-wife team Bryan & Katie Torwalt's third full-length, Champion (7,000 sold). The couple's 2013 LP, Kingdom Come, also started at No. 3, selling 8,000 in its first week, the pair's best sales frame. Here on Earth, the Torwalts' 2011 debut, peaked at No. 24.

Finally, MercyMe rolls up its 22nd Hot Christian Songs top 10, as "Dear Younger Me," the fourth single from the group's album Welcome to the New, bumps 11-9. MercyMe moves into a tie with Casting Crowns for the most top 10s among groups, dating to the chart's June 2003 inception. Among all acts, only Chris Tomlin has earned more (24).