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Matthew West’s ‘What If’ Tops Christian Airplay Chart: ‘Hope Can Be Found Even When Hope Is Hard to See’

Matthew West rolls up his 11th No. 1, and fourth in succession, on Billboard's Christian Airplay chart as "What If" ascends to the top of the Nov. 6-dated list.

Matthew West rolls up his 11th No. 1, and fourth in succession, on Billboard‘s Christian Airplay chart as “What If” ascends to the top of the Nov. 6-dated list.

With the coronation, West also ties Jeremy Camp for the most No. 1s among soloists in the chart’s history. In the tracking week ending Oct. 31, “What If” increased by 12% to 10 million audience impressions, according to MRC Data.

West, who hails from Downers Grove, Ill., co-authored the single with Ran Jackson and AJ Pruis.

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How did West find about his new leader?

“I was at my doctor’s office when my team called about ‘What If’ hitting No. 1,” he tells Billboard. “And, like most celebrations in the past 20 months or so, it was virtual … with my doctor awkwardly waiting to resume my eye exam.

“I’m so thankful to all of the radio stations around the country and their listeners who continue to let my music be part of their lives. To have my fourth No. 1 in a row during such a hard season in our world means so much to me, because my hope in all of this has always been to write songs that remind people where hope can be found even when hope is hard to see.”

“What If” marks West’s fourth consecutive proper single to top Christian Airplay, following “Truth Be Told,” which reigned for five weeks beginning in January; “The God Who Stays” (two weeks, February-March 2020); and as featured on Casting Crowns’ “Nobody” (15 weeks, starting in October 2019).

Amid his current run, West released “Quarantine Life” (No. 40 peak, May 2020), as well as the holiday tracks “Gobble Gobble” (No. 32, November 2020) and “The Hope of Christmas” (No. 9, this January).

West first dominated Christian Airplay with his freshman single “More” for six weeks beginning in March 2004.

As West matches Jeremy Camp for the most Christian Airplay leaders among soloists, the pair is also tied with Casting Crowns for the second most No. 1s overall in the chart’s history, which dates to 2003. Among all artists, MercyMe leads with 17 No. 1s.