By Aaron Earls
An unlikely album debuted at no. 3 on the Billboard 200 chart last week. Mingled with the top musical acts of the day was Christian singer Lauren Daigle.
Look Up Child is the biggest Christian music album of 2018, biggest traditional sales frame for any Christian album in nine years, and biggest sales week for a Christian female artist in over 20 years, according to Rolling Stone.
Billboard reported that Daigle is the first artist to reach the top of all five Christian charts simultaneously.
Her album topped the Christian album charts, while the lead single “You Say” was no. 1 on Hot Christian Songs, Christian Airplay, Christian Streaming Songs, and Christian Digital Song Sales.
Daigle told Billboard she’s pinching herself over the news.
“I told my manager, ‘You know, we could have been celebrating the fact that I fell in love with music all over again. I got to write a record that I’ve been waiting to write’ … just the joy and thrill of all that,” she said.
“But not only are we getting to celebrate all those things, now we’re partnering with the rest of the country being excited, as well. To have that type of reception and that sort of welcome back, it feels so good.”
Daigle’s first album How Can It Be went platinum after its 2015 release. She co-authored the popular worship song “Come Alive (Dry Bones)” sung in churches around the country.
Rolling Stone noted Daigle’s success is part of a larger story of the “deep persistence of Christian music in the U.S. audience.”
As of January 2018, Contemporary Christian music radio stations were the fourth most prevalent radio station genre in America, behind country, news/talk, and religious teaching.
A 2015 Lifeway Research study found 27 percent of Americans listen to Christian radio frequently or sometimes.
Among self-identified evangelicals, 67 percent were Christian radio fans. More than half of weekly church attenders (57 percent) also listen on a regular basis.
AARON EARLS (@WardrobeDoor) is online editor for Facts & Trends.