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Katy Nichole, Kanye West & for King & Country Dominate: The Year in Christian Charts 2022

'I'm blown away and so incredibly honored," says Nichole, the top female Christian artist of 2022.

Christian music in 2022 showed off its welcoming aspect to diversity with multiple women leading the charts and offering many collaborations between Christian and gospel artists.

The Top Christian Artist of 2022 is Kanye West, who concurrently reigns as the top male artist of the year. It marks two years straight that West leads both categories. His Donda album is No. 1 on the year-end Top Christian Albums tally for a second year in a row.

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The hip-hop superstar is also the Top Gospel Artist of 2022. West wins the day on the strength and longevity of his second faith-based album, Donda, which is No. 1 on the Top Gospel Albums recap for a second year running.

Billboard’s year-end music recaps represent aggregated metrics for each artist, title, label and music contributor on the weekly charts dated Nov. 20, 2021 through Nov. 12, 2022. The rankings for Luminate-based recaps reflect equivalent album units, airplay, sales or streaming during the weeks that the titles appeared on a respective chart during the tracking year. Any activity registered before or after a title’s chart run isn’t considered in these rankings. That methodology details, and the November-November time period, account for some of the difference between these lists and the calendar-year recaps that are independently compiled by Luminate.

Explore All of Billboard’s 2022 Year-End Charts

Let Us Recap: On the Billboard charts in September 2021 Donda debuted atop the all-genre Billboard 200 with 309,000 equivalent album units earned in the U.S. according to Luminate. It marked West’s 10th Billboard 200 leader. It simultaneously hit No. 1 on the Top Christian Albums and Top Gospel Albums charts.

Donda followed West’s first spiritual LP, 2019’s Jesus Is King, which was his ninth No. 1 on the Billboard 200.

Donda has spent all of 2022 at Nos. 1 or 2 on Top Christian Albums.

Plus, the year’s rundown of the top tracks on the streaming-, airplay and sales based Hot Christian Songs ranking includes two songs by West inside the top 5.

“Praise God,” which dominated the survey for seven weeks starting last December is at No. 2 and “Hurricane,” which ruled for 12 weeks beginning in September 2021 is the No. 4 title on the year-end list.

West was not absent from the weekly Christian charts in 2022. His featured role on DJ Khaled’s “Use This Gospel (Remix),” which also featured Eminem, arrived at the Hot Christian Songs apex in September, awarding West with his fifth leader and the first for Khaled and Eminem.

The top female Christian artist for 2022 is Katy Nichole, who records for the Franklin, Tenn.-based Centricity Music. Nichole is also Billboard’s Top New Christian artist.

The 22-year-old singer-songwriter from Mesa, Ariz. owns the No. 1 Hot Christian Songs title of the year with her launch single “In Jesus Name (God of Possible).” The song concurrently leads the Christian Airplay Songs year-end ranking. Nichole co-wrote “Name,” with Ethan Hulse, David Spencer and Jeff Pardo, the latter of whom also produced it solo.

“I’m blown away and so incredibly honored,” Nichole tells Billboard. “It is such a gift to be able to use music to bring the love of Jesus to so many. I’m beyond grateful for everything that God has done in this past year and for the impact of the songs and stories I’ve shared.”

Plus, Nichole is one of the first successful Christian artists to come from social media. She currently boasts over 450,000 TikTok followers and before she was signed to Centricity she first gained traction by posting videos on TikTok as well as Instagram.

“Name” led the weekly Hot Christian Songs chart for 20 weeks and Christian Airplay for nine frames. Her sophomore hit “God is In This Story” reigned the lists for three and two weeks respectively.

A full studio album from Nichole is expected in early 2023.

Meanwhile, for King & Country is crowned as Billboard’s top Christian duo/group of 2022. The sibling duo comprised of Luke and Joel Smallbone ranks second among all Christian acts.

“For God Is With Us,” which became the pair’s second of two No. 1s on Hot Christian Songs, is the No. 5 top song of the year. It led for one week on the Aug. 6 dated chart and for three frames on Christian Airplay beginning in July.

The pair’s first Hot Country Songs leader, “Relate” which dominated Hot Christian Songs for three weeks in February finishes as No. 11 on the year-end tally.

“Relate” also led Christian Airplay for three frames starting February 12.

In July “For God Is With Us” topped the survey for its first of three frames and gave the duo its 11th No. 1.

The act also extended its record streak to eight consecutive Christian Airplay leaders (encompassing songs in lead roles promoted as proper, non-holiday radio singles, unless seasonal songs contribute to that run).

The duo began its run of eight straight No. 1s on the Aug. 18 dated tally when “joy.” commenced a four-week domination.