Week Ending Jan. 13, 2013. Albums: The Worship Leader At #1
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.