2015! What A Memorable Year For Gospel Music.
Some new faces broke on to the scene and left us amazed with their talent and singing prowess.
Others pushed the envelope quite a bit, caused a bit of a stir, and that led to over 2 million views. Maybe it was a gimmick or simply smart marketing, but it sure worked.
Others simply sang, and boy oh boy, did they sing.
Judging by the reviews, their stay on the Charts and the countless views on youtube, gospel music definitely had its time in the spotlight.
At the end of the day, after all the videos and singles, there are certain artists who dramatically stood out from the pack and dominated the Charts.
They proved unstoppable and their infectious brand of relevant lyrics, modern music interpretation and worship left everyone exhilarated.
What you have here, then, are the 12 hottest gospel songs of 2015.
Top 12 Gospel Songs 2015
12.Worth – Anthony Brown & Group Therapy
When it comes to albums, Anthony Brown & Group Therapy blew the competition away.
It was the No. 2 title on the year-end Top Gospel Albums tally, second to only Tasha Cobbs, and inching out the Wow Gospel 2015 compilation, to the No. 3 spot.
The first single off the album, ‘Worth’ was a purely magnificent single, that dominated Radio Airplay for over 7 months.
11.#War – Charles Jenkins & Fellowship Chicago
The Windy City’s beloved gospel group, Pastor Charles Jenkins & Fellowship Chicago, made Billboard Magazine chart history with its radio smash “#WAR” (from the No. 1 best-selling album “Any Given Day”) that sat at No. 1 on the periodical’s Gospel Airplay Chart.
The song reached the top spot in its 45th chart week in August 2015.
William McDowell’s “I Won’t Go Back” and Isaac Carree’s “In The Middle” jointly held the previous record for longest climb to No.1.
Each song reached its chart summit in its 34th week of airplay on the chart.
The rousing New Orleans Brass Band-flavored anthem was written by Pastor Jenkins and combines elements of foot-stomping traditional gospel with a contemporary flavor that has cross-cultural and multi-generational appeal.
“We could not be more grateful,” says Jenkins who performed it to a standing ovation on the “Bobby Jones Gospel” TV program earlier this year.
The song has been incorporated into worship services across the globe and even adopted by some sports teams.
“Nothing brings us more joy than hearing people sing #WAR as their personal fight song.”
10. Wanna Be Happy – Kirk Franklin
After a 3 year hiatus from music recording, the legend of gospel music did it again with the blowout release of ‘Wanna Be Happy”
What a way to announce your arrival back on the music scene, right?
The Single, from the album, ‘Losing My Religion’ lived up to the hype. It moved 11,887 digital units in 7 days, breaking the the record for the most Gospel singles sold in a week.
Going into Christmas, Urban gospel radio has the Single on high rotation and going strong into the New Year.
‘Wanna Be Happy’ is currently No. 1 on the Gospel Digital Songs and Hot Gospel Songs charts.
Although his last chart topping single “I Smile” had first week sales of 11,008 units, Franklin managed to beat his own record with “Wanna Be Happy.”
The host and executive producer of “Sunday Best” spoke about the inspiration for his new single being the human desire for happiness.
“Every human being was wired with the desire for happiness. And we will try different things all in the pursuit of that feeling. With this song, I’m saying, if you really want to be happy, you have to start with the originator. My goal is to try to lead people to the manufacturer of their souls.”
Kirk’s already been nominated for a Soul Train Music Award for Best Gospel/ Inspirational Performance for his effort.
Not bad for taking 3 years off the music scene, right?
9. This Is Living – Hillsong Young And Free (Featuring Lecrae)
Hillsong Young & Free released its exclusive “This Is Living” music video featuring Lecrae becoming one of the biggest stand-out tracks of 2015.
Hillsong Young is the the youth ministry extension of Hillsong.
“This Is Living” is an electric EDM track that keeps you dancing all the way.
Keep an eye out for this versatile group.
They are going to rule the airwaves for the foreseeable future.
The exclusive premiere was a follow-up to their debut album “We Are Young & Free” which featured five tracks, three of which are brand new songs with the upbeat energy that Hillsong Young & Free has become known for.
The music video started with scenes and short snippets of young people.
The statement, “Anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person” flashes on the screen, together with Bible verses from 2 Corinthians 5:17 and John 10:10.
Having Lecrae on the track just served to give it a shot in the arm and make it one of the biggest highlight tracks of 2015.
8. ‘I’m a Praiser -Bishop Noel Jones presents Trent Von Lee
Trent Von Lee will undoubtedly become one of the leading praisers in gospel music if “I’m A Praiser” is anything to go by.
It’s energetic, happy proclamation is what endeared it to many Christians in 2015.
It worked its magic on the Billboard Gospel Charts as well.
The epic single featuring Trent Von Lee slowly climbed up the Charts in 2015, spending four weeks on the Billboard Chart, resting briefly at #5 before finally making it to the coveted #1 slot.
One of gospel music’s foremost worship leaders, psalmists, choreographers and more, Trent Von Lee is earning a place in the hearts of America.
Six weeks since his debut, he’s enjoying chart-topping success at number five on Billboard’s Gospel Charts.
Executive Producer Bishop Noel Jones definitely saw something in Trent. He stars as the producer of the album, distributed by New Day Distribution.
Trent explains that the album expresses his heart for praise & worship and the passion of his earth’s purpose.
Standout songs on the album include, “We’re In Your House,” “We Offer Worship” and “Psalm 147,”
In addition to the new album, Trent Von Lee & Great Praise have launched a movement to instigate intense praise with a goal of worship.
7. I Luh God – Erica Campbell
‘I Luh God’ attracted lots of heated debate and gossip for its controversial trap beat.
The conviction, for many, is that trap music is a worldly style of music.
Whether that was intentional or not, it certainly made “I Luh God” the talk of both music worlds.
The jury was divided on this one, but not the numbers.
The Single garnered over 2 million views on youtube, becoming one of the biggest songs of the year.
Things have certainly not slowed down for Erica since her and her sister Tina decided to put Mary Mary on pause.
Erica’s modern take on Gospel music with ‘I Luh God’ shows just how visionary she’s prepared to take her craft.
Everybody got in on the debate on the song, though it didn’t seem to ruffle Erica’s feathers.
“Everyone doesn’t speak properly. Everyone doesn’t live in a well-maintained manicured neighborhood. People live in rough neighborhoods and they speak how they speak. Everybody don’t like it. Some people are upset about it, but they’ll be all right. God don’t live in a box. Why should I?”
6. This Place – Tamela Mann
One half of the incredibly multi-talented husband-wife duo, Tamela Mann shines in gospel music just as David Mann shines in comedy.
In the world of Gospel radio, Tamela Mann continues to lead the way with her song “This Place.”
When she sang ‘Take Me To The King’, it blew everyone away. It set the stage for This Place, which is one of the best worship songs you will find this year.
Tamela Mann, the 49-year-old gospel singer and actress from BET’s “It’s a Mann’s World,” made history as the first artist on the Billboard Gospel Radio charts to have three consecutive songs from one album earn the No. 1 spot.
Mann’s song, “This Place” is the third song from her album Best Days! that has topped the Billboard Gospel Radio chart, following in the footsteps of her previous singles “Take Me to the King,” which spent 24 weeks at the top and “I Can Only Imagine” which spent 13 weeks atop the chart.
5.You Shall Live – Marvin Sapp
It’s safe to say that Marvin Sapp was one of the top five male gospel artists 2015.
His ‘You Shall Live’ album spent five weeks at No. 1 on the weekly Top Gospel Albums chart, marking the third chart-topper for Sapp.
He previously led the list with Thirsty and Here I Am.
It’s the artist’s fourth consecutive No. 1 album.
“You Shall Live” was released on June 2 and is available now in music stores and online.
The song continues Pastor Marvin Sapp’s impressive penchant for rousing praise & worship that encourages and stirs up worshippers in devoted adoration of Christ.
Indeed, it’s a special talent that Pastor Marvin has in ushering people into the presence of God using music, a signature style that evolved during his fantastic days with the gospel group Commissioned.
And despite his phenomenal success in gospel music, Pastor Marvin remains humble and focused on his ministry, over and above his music.
4. Fill Me Up – Casey J
With first week sales of 4,726 units, Casey J’s album ‘The Truth’ blitzed its way to the top of 2015 Gospel Music Charts with astonishing speed.
Fill Me Up is the smash hit from that album that has cemented Casey J as one of the top female gospel artists on the scene.
She’s Gospel music’s new sweet sensation.
Casey J — who notched an eight-week run at No. 1 on Hot Gospel Songs with “Fill Me Up” — is 2015’s top new gospel artist.
The No. 1 success of the track paved the way for her debut album, The Truth, which also hit No. 1 on Top Gospel Albums.
“Fill Me Up” spent its 9th week at#1* on Billboard’s Gospel Airplay chart, coming in at #5* on the combined Billboard Top Christian/Gospel Albums chart while also surfacing at #62* on Billboard’s Top Albums chart and #130* on Billboard’s Top 200 Albums chart.
3. For Your Glory -Tasha Cobbs
Tasha Cobbs ended 2015 as one of gospel music’s top female performers.
Blessed with an amazing voice and stirring lyrics, her hit song, “For Your Glory” dominated praise & worship in many a church.
“For Your Glory” also led the Hot Gospel Songs tally.
The Georgia native’s smash single arrived on the weekly list back in 2013, and spent 14 weeks at No. 1.
It followed her debut chart hit, “Break Every Chain,” which reigned for 12 weeks on the list.
Her One Place Live album spent six weeks at No. 1 on the weekly Top Gospel Albums chart, and closes out the year at No. 5 on the Top Gospel Albums recap (one step above her Grace EP).
2. Gotta Have You – Jonathan McReynolds
2015 will definitely go down in history as the year of Jonathan McReynolds.
No artist has dominated the Charts consistently throughout the year quite like him.
R & B had Lauryn Hill, Pop had Adele, and Gospel now has Jonathan McReynolds. Hailing from Chicago, Jonathan is already being touted as a beacon of light; a breath of fresh air.
With intentionally simplistic production and equally intentional lyricism devoid of the stereotypical clichés and rhetoric, his debut offering is resonating with audiences young and old; tried and true.
After amassing a devoted underground following with his independent releases, Jonathan landed a recording contract with Tehillah Music Group, the label imprint of noted recording artist and renowned preacher, Bishop Paul S. Morton.
Jonathan is that rare find who instantly commands attention. And his Singles in 2015 have been doing just that. In October, his sophomore album, ‘Life Music: Stage 2’ shot to the top of the Charts.
The highly anticipated new project has received critical acclaim garnering a #1 debut on Billboards’ Top Gospel Albums Chart, Christian & Gospel Album’s Charts at #2 and across genres on Billboard’ s Top independent Albums Charts at #9.
His album also made impactful debuts digitally with the album hitting #1 on iTunes Christian/Gospel Albums Chart, and made a #1 debut on Amazon’s Hot New Releases in the Christian Music Chart.
1. Intentional – Travis Greene
Travis Greene has been simply unstoppable in 2015.
Blessed with a simply outstanding tenor, Travis has been intentionally making his way up the Charts with the lead single from his album, ‘The Hill.”
In 2015, “Intentional” became the top selling gospel track in the country according to both SoundScan and Billboard.com.
The song also held the No. 1 spot on Billboard’s Hot Gospel Songs chart.
An inspiring and melodic track, the talented singer-songwriter helps his audience believe that everything that happens is part of a bigger plan.
In reference to the single’s latest status, Travis says,
“When I heard the news about Intentional reaching Number 1, I was stunned and ecstatic. My prayer for this song was that it would simply encourage people around the world to trust God more and know that He does everything intentionally for our good!”