The music of Hillsong Church continues to dominate Billboard’s Christian charts.
Welcome to the Billboard Chart Beat Podcast, where each week co-hosts Gary Trust and Trevor Anderson, from the Billboard charts department, discuss why what's on the charts … is on the charts, while also looking at current chart action in a historical context for even greater insights.
This week, Gary and Billboard intern Meg Stahl, filling in for Trevor, recap a busy top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100, where Drake's “God's Plan” reigns for a ninth week, Florida Georgia Line lands the highest-charting hit for a country duo or group in eight years and Lil Dicky launches in the top 10 with his Chris Brown-body-switching hit, “Freaky Friday.”
Plus, cornerstone Christian music act Hillsong Worship's Brooke Ligertwood, Dave Ware and Jad Gillies chat with Billboard's Nashville-based senior chart manager Jim Asker. The act recently wrapped a 37-week reign on Hot Christian Songs with the Grammy Award-winning “What a Beautiful Name,” a rule second only to related act Hillsong United's “Oceans (Where Feet May Fail),” which dominated for 61 weeks in 2013-16.
Hillsong Worship, Hillsong United and Hillsong Young & Free are the musical extensions of Sydney, Australia-based Pentecostal megachurch Hillsong Church, which boasts additional locations worldwide, including in New York and Los Angeles.
HIllsong Worship releases its new album, There Is More, April 6.
“I've heard it said, 'Worship music] is like the national anthem of the soul,' ” Ware says. “You go to a different country and you hear your national anthem … something in you just kind of lights up. If people come to one of our worship nights, and they can resonate with it just a little bit, even if they're not a believer, the purpose is being fulfilled.”
Says Gillies, “I pray that what happens at a Hillsong concert] wouldn't just be songs, that it would be transformational, so that when people] leave that arena, they'd be a little different because of it. Because, to be honest, if we're just out there singing songs and selling tickets, I'd rather just be with my kids.”
“I hope that people glimpse what they are a part of,” through Hillsong's music, Ligertwood muses. “I think when you are walking on your own personal journey, if that's not taking place in community for whatever reason, your problems can seem really big. In community, you get this perspective that, 'I'm part of something so much greater than myself.' That's the reason you can get out of bed in the morning and keep going.
“That's a powerful thing, and that's why we do it.”
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