The Year in Christian & Gospel 2015: Hillsong United & Tasha Cobbs Triumph
The landscape for contemporary Christian and Gospel music in 2015 had many highlights, with plenty of familiar names such as Chris Tomlin, Hillsong United, Tasha Cobbs, who made nice career strides and new artists such as Lauren Daigle and Casey J breaking through in a very big way.
Australian worship music collective Hillsong United finishes 2015 as the top Christian artist, repeating from 2014. The ensemble also scores the year’s Nos. 2 and 6 titles on the Hot Christian Songs tally, with “Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)” and “Touch the Sky,” respectively. “Oceans” -- which has been on the weekly Hot Christian Songs chart since 2013 -- tallied a record 58 weeks at No. 1 (so far).
"Oceans" first landed at No. 1 on Dec. 7, 2013 and reigned for 45 straight weeks (through Oct. 11, 2014). It returned to No. 1 for five more weeks (April 18-May 16), and then another eight frames at the summit (Oct. 10-Nov. 28).
Not surprisingly, Hillsong United was the No. 1 Hot Christian Songs artist for 2015, although the No. 1 song on the tally was from a country star: “Something in the Water,” from Carrie Underwood. “Water” earned 28 weeks at No. 1 on the weekly Hot Christian Songs chart.
Tomlin’s Love Ran Red album -- which was released in 2014 and opened at No. 1 on Top Christian Albums -- closes 2015 as the No. 3 top Christian album.
Lauren Daigle closes out 2015 as the top female Christian artist, owed to the success of her How Can It Be album and many hits on the Hot Christian Songs chart. How Can it Be topped the weekly Top Latin Albums chart, while she claimed five charting hits on the Hot Christian Songs chart during the chart year.
Top new Christian artist for 2015 is rapper NF, who nabbed a No. 1 on Top Christian Albums with Mansion (it is No. 25 on the year-end Top Christian Albums tally).
Tasha Cobbs crowns the year-end top gospel artists recap -- ahead of Anthony Brown & Group Therapy at No. 2, and Charles Jenkins & Fellowship Chicago at No. 3. Cobbs also leads the Hot Gospel Songs tally with “For Your Glory.” The Georgia native’s smash single arrived on the weekly list back in 2013, and spent 14 weeks at No. 1. It followed her debut chart hit, “Break Every Chain,” which reigned for 12 weeks on the list.
Her One Place Live album spent six weeks at No. 1 on the weekly Top Gospel Albums chart, and closes out the year at No. 5 on the Top Gospel Albums recap (one step above her Grace EP).
The No. 1 title on the year-end Top Gospel Albums tally is the Wow Gospel 2015 compilation, while Everyday Jesus from Anthony Brown & Group Therapy is in second place. Fred Hammond’s I Will Trust is No. 3, while Marvin Sapp’s You Shall Live is No. 4.
Sapp is also the year’s top male gospel artist (and the No. 5 act overall). His You Shall Live spent five weeks at No. 1 on the weekly Top Gospel Albums chart, marking the third chart-topper for Sapp. He previously led the list with Thirsty and Here I Am.
Casey J -- who notched an eight-week run at No. 1 on Hot Gospel Songs with “Fill Me Up” -- is 2015’s top new gospel artist. The No. 1 success of the track paved the way for her debut album, The Truth, which also hit No. 1 on Top Gospel Albums.