Chart Beat

Zach Williams' 'Choir' Ties Record Atop Christian Airplay Chart

Zach Williams
Eric Brown

Zach Williams

Williams' second leader reigns for a 19th week, matching the mark among solo males.

Zach Williams' "Old Church Choir" ties the mark for the most weeks at No. 1 on Billboard's Christian Airplay chart for a song by a solo artist, as it rebounds 6-1 (on the list dated Jan. 6) for its 19th week atop the tally.

The track, which Williams co-wrote, soars by 184 percent to 8.3 million audience impressions in the tracking week ending Dec. 31, according to Nielsen Music (as Christian radio stations reverted from holiday-heavy playlists back to regular programming after Christmas).

"Choir" matches the 19-week reign of Brandon Heath's "Give Me Your Eyes" in 2008 and 2009 for the record among soloists. Overall, only MercyMe's "Word of God Speak" has led longer: 23 weeks beginning in August 2003. (Casting Crowns' "East to West" also ruled the chart for 19 weeks, in 2007 and 2008.)

"I honestly can't believe it," Williams told Billboard upon hearing of the feat. "I am so grateful for the opportunity that God has given me, and truly I am humbled by the response that 'Old Church Choir' has received."

Matt Maher also benefits from the format's return to non-seasonal songs, as "Your Love Defends Me" re-enters Christian Airplay at No. 9 (4.7 million, up 393 percent), surpassing its prior No. 12 high to become his eighth top 10. He first reached the region nearly 10 years ago, with the No. 4-peaking "Your Grace Is Enough."