Chris Tomlin’s Burning Lights enters The Billboard 200 at #1. Tomlin, 40, is a worship leader at Passion City Church in Atlanta. Tomlin isn’t the first artist who has a leadership role in a church to climb high on the chart. Marvin Sapp, the founder and senior pastor of Lighthouse Full Life Center Church, located in Grand Rapids, Mich., debuted and peaked at #2 in March 2010 with Here I Am.
Burning Lights is Tomlin’s 12th album; his second to make the top 10. Hello Love hit #9 in September 2008. Tomlin won a Grammy for Best Contemporary Christian Music Album for his 2010 album And If Our God Is For Us… He has won 17 Dove Awards (the top honor in the Christian music field).
Burning Lights is the second album by a Contemporary Christian star to reach #1 on The Billboard 200 in a little more than four months. TobyMac’s Eye On It debuted at #1 in September. The surprising part is that before that, you had to go all the way back to 1997 to find the last Contemporary Christian artist at #1. That was Bob Carlisle, who topped the chart in June 1997 with Butterfly Kisses (Shades Of Grace).
The Fine Print: Two inspirational albums by superstar artists reached #1 in 1997, but they were more secular than religious in content (and the artists are far better known for their secular releases). They are LeAnn Rimes’ You Light Up My Life: Inspirational Songs and Barbra Streisand’s Higher Ground.
Loopy Item of the Week: Lily Tomlin was riding the chart with her comedy album And That’s The Truth on May 4, 1972, when Chris Tomlin (no relation) was born in Grand Saline, Tex.
Hollywood Undead’s Notes From The Underground debuts at #2. It’s the band’s second top five album. American Tragedy hit #4 in April 2011.
For the first time in nearly three years, two soundtracks to theatrically-released movies appear in the top five this week. Les Miserables drops from #1 to #3. Pitch Perfect jumps from #7 to #5. This is the first time that two soundtracks to theatrically-released movies have ranked in the top five at the same time since the week ending April 19, 2009, when Hannah Montana: The Movie was #1 and Twilight was #4.
Les Miz is #1 on Top Soundtracks for the fourth week. The movie was nominated for eight Oscars last week, including Best Picture, Best Actor (Hugh Jackman) and Best Supporting Actress (Anne Hathaway). In a related note, Les Miserables: 25th Anniversary Concert returns to #1 on Top Music Videos. Alfie Boe, Nick Jonas and Norm Lewis were among the stars of the October 2010 concert presentation. The DVD spent four weeks at #1 in the spring of 2011.
Pitch Perfect is #1 on Top Digital Albums. It’s the first soundtrack to a theatrically-released movie to top this chart since The Hunger Games: Songs From District 12 And Beyond scored in March.
Taylor Swift’s Red dips from #3 to #4 in its 12th week. It has ranked in the top five the entire time. The album is #1 on Top Country Albums for the 12th week. It’s the first album to spend its first 12 weeks at #1 on the country chart since Lady Antebellum’s Need You Now stayed on top for its first 24 weeks on top in 2010.
Dropkick Murphys’ Signed & Sealed In Blood debuts at #9. It’s the band’s second top 10 album in a row, following Going Out In Style (#6 in 2011).
“Thrift Shop” by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring Wanz jumps to #1 on Hot Digital Songs in its 20th week. The sleeper hit took longer to reach #1 than any other song since Adele’s “Set Fire To The Rain,” which finally topped the chart in its 47th chart week in January 2012. How high will “Thrift Shop” climb on this week’s Hot 100? And will Bruno Mars’ “Locked Out Of Heaven” hold tight at #1 for the sixth straight week? You’ll find out later today when we post Chart Watch: Songs.
Here’s the low-down on this week’s top 10 albums.
The Top Five: Chris Tomlin’s Burning Lights debuts at #1 (73K). It’s his second top 10 album…Hollywood Undead’s Notes From The Underground debuts at #2 (53K). It’s the band’s second top five album…The Les Miserables soundtrack drops from #1 to #3 in its fourth week (52K). This is its third week in the top 10… Taylor Swift’s Red dips from #3 to #4 in its 12th week (49K). It has ranked in the top five the entire time… The Pitch Perfect soundtrack jumps from #7 to #5 in its 12th chart week (45K). This is its third week in the top 10.
The Second Five: Bruno Mars’ Unorthodox Jukebox dips from #5 to #6 in its fifth week (42K). It has ranked in the top 10 the entire time…Black Veil Brides’ Wretched And Divine: The Story Of The Wild Ones debuts at #7 (42K). It’s the band’s first top 10 album…The Lumineers’ The Lumineers dips from #7 to #8 in its 41st week (37K). This is its third week in the top 10…Dropkick Murphys’ Signed & Sealed In Blood debuts at #9 (33K). It’s the band’s second top 10 album…One Direction’s Take Me Home drops from #5 to #10 in its ninth week (29K).
Four albums drop out of the top 10 this week. Mumford & Sons’ Babel drops from #2 to #11… Phillip Phillips’ The World From The Side Of The Moon drops from #4 to #14… Alicia Keys’ Girl On Fire drops from #9 to #22… Pink’s The Truth About Love drops from #10 to #12.
Bruno Mars’ Doo-Wops & Hooligans jumps from #69 to #65 in its 117th week. The album logs its second week at #1 on Top Catalog Albums.
The soundtrack to HBO’s Girls debuts at #66, a few days after star and creator Lena Dunham won two Golden Globes. The album features tracks by such artists as Robyn, fun., Santigold and Fleet Foxes.
Emile Sande’s Our Version Of Events returns to #1 on The Official U.K. chart. This is its eighth week on top.
Zero Dark Thirty rose to #1 at the box-office in its fourth weekend.
Coming Attractions: A$AP Rocky’s Long Live A$AP is a sure thing to debut at #1 next week, with sales in the 130K range. Kidz Bop Kids’ Kidz Bop 23 is expected to bow with sales of about 65K. Also due: The Civil Wars’ VH1 Unplugged, Teena Marie’s Beautiful, Sean Kingston’s Back 2 Life and The Tenors’ Lead With Your Heart.