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James Fortune Ties Kirk Franklin for Most Gospel Airplay No. 1s

James Fortune notches his record-tying seventh No. 1 on Billboard's Gospel Airplay chart, as "Nobody Like Jesus," featuring Lisa Knowles Smith, rises 2-1 on the list dated Nov…

James Fortune notches his record-tying seventh No. 1 on Billboard‘s Gospel Airplay chart, as “Nobody Like Jesus,” featuring Lisa Knowles Smith, rises 2-1 on the list dated Nov. 7.

In the week ending Nov. 1, the song, which Fortune and Ayron Lewis co-wrote, increased by 13% in plays, according to Nielsen Music/MRC Data.

“I am in awe of God and humbled that He continues to choose me,” Fortune tells Billboard. “I am thankful for God’s favor on my life and I don’t take any of it for granted. It’s simple for me: I am on an assignment to tell the world about a man who knows all your flaws, but still loves you, will use you and has plans for you, in spite of it all. That’s reason enough to dream again.”

Fortune matches Kirk Franklin for the most Gospel Airplay leaders, dating to the chart’s 2005 inception. Fortune earns his first since “I Am,” featuring Deborah Carolina, dominated for 10 frames starting in October 2019.

Knowles Smith scores her first No. 1 among four chart appearances. She previously hit a No. 14 high with “Great Big God” last year.


Fortune, who boasts 14 Gospel Airplay top 10s, first reached the chart with “You Survived,” with his longtime backing group FIYA. It reached No. 4 in June 2005. He first reigned with “I Trust You,” featuring FIYA, the chart’s third-longest-leading No. 1: 29 weeks starting in August 2008.

Fortune concurrently ties for the most weeks spent at No. 1 on Gospel Airplay: 77. He matches Marvin Sapp, whose fifth No. 1, “Thank You for It All,” cedes the summit to Fortune’s “Nobody Like Jesus” after a week on top.

Of his 77 weeks atop Gospel Airplay, Sapp tallied 46 via “Never Would Have Made It,” the chart’s longest-leading No. 1, in 2007-08.