Nicki Minaj Tops Hot Gospel Songs Chart as Featured on Tasha Cobbs Leonard's 'I'm Getting Ready'
Minaj isn't the only secular act ruling Billboard's religious charts: on Hot Christian Songs, Tori Kelly joins Lecrae at No. 1.
The hip-hop superstar joins Tasha Cobbs Leonard as a featured artist on the latter's "I'm Getting Ready," which debuts at No. 1 (on the Sept. 16-dated chart). "Ready" is from Cobbs Leonard's new album, Heart. Passion. Pursuit., which concurrently debuts atop Top Gospel Albums (more on that below …)
The stirring gospel anthem features Minaj rapping: "Beach house vibes maneuver the jet ski/ Because I serve a God that parted the Red Sea/ Multi-million dollar commercials for Pepsi/ From food stamps to more ice than Gretzky."
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The track arrives at No. 1 on the Gospel Digital Song Sales chart with 5,000 downloads sold in the week ending Aug. 31, according to Nielsen Music. It also bows at No. 5 on Gospel Streaming Songs (earning 842,000 U.S. on-demand audio streams). Label Motown Gospel says that "Ready" will be promoted to gospel radio, with Minaj's performance intact.
The Cobbs Leonard/Minaj combo marks just the second time in the history of the 12-year-old Hot Gospel Songs chart that women-only have bowed at the summit. On the chart dated April 25, 2015, Koryn Hawthorne's version of the religious hymn "How Great Thou Art" debuted at No. 1. Hawthorne was a finalist on season eight of NBC's The Voice, as a member of Pharrell Williams' team.
"Ready" is Cobbs Leonard's fourth Hot Gospel Songs No. 1, among eight top 10s. Her other leaders: "Put a Praise on It," featuring Kierra Sheard (No. 1 for five weeks in 2016); "For Your Glory" (14 weeks, 2015); and her debut chart entry, "Break Every Chain" (12 weeks, 2013).
Meanwhile, Heart. Passion. Pursuit., Cobbs Leonard's second full-length album and third charted set, flies in as her third Top Gospel Albums No. 1, earning 13,000 equivalent album units in its first week (with 11,000 in traditional album sales).
Before Heart, which in addition to Minaj features such gospel stalwarts as Sheard, Anna Golden and William Murphy, Cobbs Leonard started atop the Top Gospel Albums chart dated Sept. 12, 2015, with One Place: Live (with 13,000 sold). She made her initial appearance with her first No. 1, EP Grace, which reached the summit on Jan. 8, 2014, after starting at No. 2 (9,000) in February 2013.
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Minaj is not the only mainstream artist on Billboard's inspirational charts this week. Over on Hot Christian Songs, Lecrae's "I'll Find You," featuring Tori Kelly, hops 3-1 for its third week on top.
"Find," which originally led the survey dated July 1, returns to No. 1, bolstered by its 14 percent sales gain to 4,000, as it bumps 5-3 on Christian Digital Song Sales. (It debuted at No. 1 on the sales list dated July 1, with 16,000 sold.) On Christian Streaming Songs, "Find" keeps at No. 3 (after peaking at No. 2 in July), down 1 percent to 2.5 million U.S. clicks.
The track became the first No. 1 for both Lecrae (among his record 45 chart entries) and Kelly, who makes her second visit. The pop singer first charted as featured on the 25th anniversary re-boot of Amy Grant's "Baby Baby," which debuted and peaked at No. 8 on Hot Christian Songs chart dated May 21, 2016. Christian music superstar Grant topped the Billboard Hot 100 with the original version for two weeks in spring 1991.