Billboard announced today that Lecrae was the #1 Gospel artist of the year, leading nearly every Gospel chart due to the success of his latest album Anomaly. Read an excerpt from Wade Jessen’s Billboard article below:
Lecrae Leads as Top Gospel Artist: Due to a string of eight top 10 entries on Hot Gospel Songs (including three No. 1s) and a well-received album in Anomaly, Christian rap/hip-hop artist Lecrae is the No. 1 Gospel Artist for the year, the top Hot Gospel Songs Artist, the No. 1 Gospel Albums Artist, and the No. 1 Gospel Digital Songs Artist. Anomaly similarly leads the Gospel Albums list for the year.
Lecrae beats out Hezekiah Walker, Mann, Grace and Cobbs, who round out the top five on the year-end Top Gospel Artists tally, respectively.
Additionally, Billboard recently announced changes to their charting policy for Christian Hip-Hop songs and albums. Read below for a detailed description of the new policy:
Ch-ch-changes: 2014 is the final year that most Christian rap/hip-hop songs and albums, like Lecrae’s releases, will be broadly eligible for Billboard’s Gospel charts. After soliciting feedback from the industry throughout the year, Billboardhas discontinued categorizing most Christian rap and hip-hop titles for our Gospel Albums, Gospel Digital Songs, Hot Gospel Songs and Gospel Streaming charts (effective with charts dated Dec. 6 and coinciding with the start of the 2015 Billboard chart year). Since Nielsen Music, the Christian Music Trade Assn. (CMTA) and Billboard converted our Christian retail charts to point-of-sale data in 1995, most Christian Rap/Hip-Hop titles have been eligible for both Christian and Gospel album charts — and eventually, both digital genre charts, streaming lists and hybrid sales/airplay/streaming charts. In an ongoing quest to make all of our charts a more meaningful and accurate reflection of the respective markets and consumers they represent, the industry urged us to reconsider eligibility for those titles on our Gospel charts, and we agree that our Christian charts are the most appropriate place for these songs and albums to compete. All Christian rap/hip-hop titles will continue to be categorized for Christian Albums, Christian Digital Songs, Christian Streaming Songs and the multi-metric Hot Christian Songs charts. Billboard remains open to considering certain albums and songs by Christian rap/hip-hop artists for our Gospel lists when genre-specific drivers (style, radio airplay, touring, collaborative works or other connective factors) are involved.
What do you think about the new Christian Hip-Hop chart policy?