Chart Beat

VaShawn Mitchell Leads Top Gospel Albums & Amy Grant Extends Top Christian Albums Record

Vashawn Mitchell in 2015
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Vashawn Mitchell attends the Prayer Breakfast for the 45th Annual Legislative Black Caucus Foundation Conference at Walter E. Washington Convention Center on Sept. 19, 2015 in Washington, DC. 

VaShawn Mitchell earns his first No. 1 on Top Gospel Albums, while Amy Grant passes Michael W. Smith for the Most Top Christian Albums No. 1s.

VaShawn Mitchell earns his first No. 1 on Top Gospel Albums (dated Nov. 26), as Secret Place: Live in South Africa, recorded live in Johannesburg, bows with 2,000 copies sold, according to Nielsen Music. The set is a "deeply personal offering that I believe displays expressive, passionate music that is timely and persuasive," Mitchell tells Billboard. "The project features an incorporation of South African and American singers and musicians that embodies the universal sound of worship. I'm thrilled to release this labor of love to the world."

Mitchell logged three prior Top Gospel Albums top 10s: Unstoppable (No. 3, 2014), Created4This (No. 3, 2012) and Triumphant (No. 2, 2010). He first reached the chart with the No. 26-peaking Believe in Your Dreams in 2005.

"Joy," the first single from the new release, becomes Mitchell's fifth top 10 on Hot Gospel Songs, surging 16-9. It re-enters Gospel Digital Song Sales at a new No. 8 peak (up 106 percent) and lifts 16-15 on Gospel Airplay.

Meanwhile, Amy Grant's Tennessee Christmas crowns Top Christian Albums in its third week, rising 2-1 with a 13 percent increase to 7,000 sold. Grant earns her 17th No. 1 on the list, breaking a tie with Michael W. Smith (16) for the most in the history of the chart (which began on March 29, 1980). Grant first reigned with My Father's Eyes in July 1980 and, before her new No. 1, last led with How Mercy Looks From Here in June 2013.