In a very meta achievement, a Billboard-branded album is No. 1 on a Billboard chart for the first time on a current-based ranking, as Billboard #1 Gospel Hits enters at the Top Gospel Albums summit.
Subtitled The Greatest Gospel Songs of All Time!, the compilation (released on the eOne label) starts with 2,000 sold, according to Nielsen Music. Befitting its title, each of the album’s 20 tracks spent time at No. 1 on Billboard’s Gospel Airplay chart, including Ricky Dillard & New G‘s recent 30-week leader “Amazing,” the late Andrae Crouch‘s “Let the Church Say Amen,” with Marvin Winans, and Hezekiah Walker‘s “Every Praise.”
In a design that avid chart-watchers will surely appreciate, the CD’s back-cover art even looks like a Billboard chart, listing all 20 songs in a title/artist grid, with peak positions, peak dates and weeks at No. 1.
The collection marks the first No. 1 for a Billboard-branded title on a list measuring current releases in a long line of albums that sport the Billboard name (spearheaded by Billboard’s licensing department in conjunction with retail partners). Most notably, Billboard-branded Latin titles have infused Latin album charts, with the 2012 Billboard Latin Music Awards Finalists release rising as high as No. 2 on Latin Pop Albums.
On the overall Billboard 200 albums chart, the highest a Billboard-branded title has charted is No. 11: Joel Whitburn Presents: Billboard #1s: The ’70s (March 16, 2013). The set also opened atop the Top Catalog Albums chart (which ranks sales of albums released more than 18 months earlier). It was first released in 2006 and reached the Billboard 200 at last thanks to a $1.99 Amazon MP3 sale-price. Presented by Billboard’s longtime partner Joel Whitburn at Record Research, the compilation features 30 songs, all No. 1 hits on the Billboard Hot 100, from the likes of Blondie, Hall & Oates and Donna Summer.
Additional reporting by Keith Caulfield, Wade Jessen, Amaya Mendizabal and Alex Vitoulis