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Chris Blue, Winner of ‘The Voice,’ Debuts at No. 1 on Hot Gospel Songs

Crowned the winner of the 12th season of NBC's The Voice on May 23, Chris Blue, a worship leader at Cokesbury United Methodist Church in Knoxville, Tenn., debuts at No. 1 on Billboard's Hot Gospel…

Crowned the winner of the 12th season of NBC’s The Voice on Tuesday, Chris Blue — a worship leader at Cokesbury United Methodist Church in Knoxville, Tennessee — debuts at No. 1 on Billboard‘s Hot Gospel Songs chart (dated June 3) with his version of Tamela Mann‘s “Take Me to the King.” As Mann’s original led the list for 25 weeks in 2012 and 2013, the song is the first to rule the ranking via more than one version (dating to the chart’s 2005 inception).

“King,” which Blue performed on the show’s May 15 episode, competing for coach Alicia Keys‘ team, launches with 30,000 downloads sold, according to Nielsen Music. It’s only the seventh song to debut at No. 1 and the first since Kirk Franklin‘s “Wanna Be Happy?” on Sept. 19, 2015. Before “Happy,” Koryn Hawthorne, a finalist on the The Voice‘s eighth season, launched at No. 1 with her take on the traditional gospel hymn “How Great Thou Art” (April 25, 2015).

Another season 12 Voice finalist, Aliyah Moulden — who, as a member of Blake Shelton‘s team, finished in third place (behind runner-up Lauren Duski) — starts at No. 4 on Hot Christian Songs with her cover of MercyMe‘s 2003 hit “I Can Only Imagine.” After the 15-year-old Moulden sang the ballad on the show’s May 15 episode, it debuts at No. 1 on Christian Digital Song Sales with 15,000 sold.


Back to Hot Gospel Songs, “You Waited,” the new single from Columbia, South Carolina-based singer-songwriter and worship leader Travis Greene, storms in at No. 4, spurred by first-week sales of 3,000 downloads. The song marks Greene’s highest debut and third top 10, following two No. 1s: “Intentional” led the list dated Aug. 1, 2015, and “Made a Way” reigned for 13 weeks starting Sept. 24, 2016. “You Waited” is the lead single from Greene’s album Crossover, due Aug. 18.

On Top Christian Albums, Requiem, a new set of ancient Gregorian chants from The Fraternity/Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter, starts at No. 4 (3,000 units, all from pure sales). The set yields the first appearance on a Billboard chart for the international community of Catholic priests, known mainly for singing at funeral masses all over the world. The LP is the collective’s first major-label release, issued through Sony Masterworks.

Finally, “Oceans (Where Feet May Fail),” from Australian worship collective Hillsong United, which led Hot Christian Songs for a record 61 weeks, wraps its chart run after a record 192 weeks. Sung by the group’s Taya Smith, “Oceans” embarked on the Hot Christian Songs chart dated Oct. 5, 2013, and ascended to No. 1 for the first time that Dec. 7. The track logged all but 10 of its 192 weeks on the chart in the top five.

Meanwhile, sister act Hillsong Worship, which shares personnel with Hillsong United, leads Hot Christian Songs and Christian Airplay for a 14th and ninth week, respectively, with “What a Beautiful Name.”