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Kanye West’s ‘Jesus Is King’ Crowns Top Christian Albums, Top Gospel Albums Charts

The hip-hop superstar makes his first appearance on Billboard's faith-based surveys.

Jesus Is King, the first spiritual album from hip-hop superstar Kanye West, sparks his first appearance on Billboard‘s religious charts, as it opens at No. 1 on both the Top Christian Albums and Top Gospel Albums tallies dated Nov. 9.

As previously reported, the set launches atop the all-genre Billboard 200 chart with 264,000 equivalent album units earned in its first week (ending Oct. 31), according to Nielsen Music.  

The set marks the biggest unit week on Top Christian Albums and Top Gospel Albums since both charts adopted a multi-metric methodology in February 2017.

Plus, as Jesus Is King also opens atop the Top R&B/Hip-Hip Albums and Top Rap Albums charts, the set is the first to lead a quintet of those two tallies, the Billboard 200, Top Christian Albums and Top Gospel Albums. (Previously, Lecrae’s Anomaly came closest to the feat, as it ruled all but Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums for a week in 2014.)


All charts noted above rank titles based on multi-metric U.S. consumption as measured in equivalent album units. Units are comprised of traditional album sales, track equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA).

Of Jesus Is King‘s total unit start of 264,000, album sales comprise 109,000, TEA units equal 3,000 and SEA units total 151,000. The lattermost sum translates to 196.9 million on-demand audio streams for the album’s 11 tracks.

West is the latest artist to cross to No. 1 on the faith-based tallies after first establishing stardom at other genres. Among others, the King of Rock & Roll, Elvis Presley, and country icons Alan Jackson and Reba McEntire all boast Top Christian Albums No. 1s since the start of 2017.

Meanwhile, Tori Kelly, who broke through as a pop artist, led Top Gospel Albums last year, as did, similar to West’s trajectory, hip-hop legend Snoop Dogg with Snoop Dogg Presents: Bible of Love.

Additional reporting by Gary Trust & Keith Caulfield