Kim Walker-Smith Earns First Top Christian Albums Leader
'On My Side' launches at the summit. Plus, Preashea Hilliard & VaShawn Mitchell add new Gospel chart No. 1s.
On My Side, the new solo album from Kim Walker-Smith, bows as her first No. 1 on Billboard's Top Christian Albums chart (dated May 13), earning 9,000 equivalent album units (7,000 in traditional sales) in its first week, according to Nielsen Music.
Walker-Smith is likely best known for her role as the worship leader of Jesus Culture, created as the youth outreach ministry for Redding, California-based Bethel Church.
On My Side follows three prior Top Christian Albums top 10s for Walker-Smith. Still Believe reached No. 2 in 2013, as did Home, with husband Skyler Smith (No. 2, 2013), while When Christmas Comes jingled to No. 7 in 2014. Jesus Culture has collected seven top 10s, beginning in 2010, including the No. 1 Unstoppable Love, in 2014.
On Top Gospel Albums, Preashea Hilliard claims her first No. 1, as The Glory Experience opens with 2,000 units. The daughter of Texas pastors Bishop I.V. Hilliard and Dr. Bridget Hilliard follows her first charted album, Live Out Loud, which debuted and peaked at No. 4 on Top Gospel Albums in 2011.
Finally, veteran singer-songwriter VaShawn Mitchell notches his second Gospel Airplay No. 1 as "Joy" ascends 3-1. Reaching the top in its 37th week, the song ties for the fourth-longest rise to No. 1; Donnie McClurkin's "I Need You" completed the lengthiest climb -- 46 weeks -- on April 1. Mitchell first topped Gospel Airplay with "Nobody Greater" for nine weeks in 2010-11.