Chart Beat

Tauren Wells Earns First Christian Airplay No. 1 as a Lead Artist With 'Known'

Tauren Wells
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Tauren Wells of the band Royal Tailor performs onstage during the Air 1 Positive Hits tour at Citizens Business Bank Arena on Oct. 22, 2017 in Ontario, Calif.

Plus, We Are Messengers and Fred Jerkins achieve top 10s.

Tauren Wells earns his first No. 1 as a lead artist on Billboard's Christian Airplay chart, as "Known" ascends 2-1. The song drew 5.4 million audience impressions in the week ending Dec. 16, according to Nielsen Music.

"This isn't really possible without the support of my team, along with radio, and, of course, the amazing fans who I write these songs for," Wells tells Billboard. "This message [in 'Known'] is so close to the heart of God and I'm grateful that it being at the top of the charts means that so many people are hearing it." 

"Known," which Wells co-wrote, becomes his second Christian Airplay No. 1 and first in a lead role. Crowder's "All My Hope," featuring Wells, led for two weeks starting on March 17.   

Of Wells' six Christian Airplay appearances, he has two additional top 10s: "Hills and Valleys," which reached No. 8 in July 2017, and "When We Pray," which hit No. 2 in February. Wells first appeared on Christian Airplay in 2016. 

The 32-year-old from Battle Creek, Michigan, grew his following in 2017 as the opening act on Lionel Richie's All the Hits tour and also with guest Mariah Carey.

MORE THAN 'OK': Irish worship band We Are Messengers' "Maybe It's Ok" jingles into the Christian Airplay top 10 (14-9; 2.7 million). The act earns its fifth top 10 on the tally and first since "Point to You" hit No. 5 in January.

Notably, Wells' No. 1 is down 13 percent in weekly audience and We Are Messengers' new top 10 is down 8 percent. 'Tis the season for declines for non-holiday songs on the chart, as this week's entire top 15 is in the minus column. Christian radio, along with some other genres, most notably adult contemporary, puts a major focus on holiday songs starting around Thanksgiving and continuing through Christmas Day.

VICTORIOUS: Fred Jerkins darts into the Gospel Airplay top 10, as "Victory," featuring Last Call, climbs 12-10 (up 11 percent in plays).

Artist/producer Jerkins claims his first top 10 on the chart among his two appearances. He reached No. 27 in October 2017 with "We Won," featuring Jonathan Nelson.

Last Call, the duo of Bermuda natives Adrian Louis and Tricray Astwood, also earns its first Gospel Airplay top 10, in its maiden appearance.