Lauren Daigle Reigns as Billboard’s Top Christian Artist of the Year

lauren-daigle-reigns-as-billboard’s-top-christian-artist-of-the year

Singer-songwriter Lauren Daigle is Billboard’s Top Christian Artist of 2023, plus the top female Christian Artist of the year.

“It’s been an incredible year,” Daigle tells Billboard after hearing that she earned the top honor.  “New creative collaborators, a new producer, new writers and most of all new friends. Our fans on the road have been so incredible and we can feel their love and their energy every single night, and for me that connection (to our music) is inspiring.  I am so unbelievably grateful to them, to be able to do what I love and look forward to so much more in ’24.”

Explore All of Billboard’s 2023 Year-End Charts

In 2023, we saw new music from Lauren Daigle for the first time since 2018. On May 12, Daigle released a 10-song self-titled album with the promise that the deluxe version with 10 more tracks would come later. The LP paired the 32-year-old Daigle with new producer Mike Elizondo and was also her first through Atlantic Records, which her longtime label, Centricity, formed a partnership with in January.

The new set was her first new music since Look Up Child, which opened at the Top Christian Albums summit in September 2018 and proceeded to ring up a record 102 frames at No. 1. It was bolstered by the crossover smash “You Say,” which dominated Hot Christian Songs for an also unprecedented 132 weeks starting in July 2018.

On Christian Airplay, “You Say” reigned for 18 weeks. It also crossed over, crowning Adult Contemporary for two weeks.

Plus, “You Say” is the No. 1 track of 2023 on Christian Streaming Songs.

Look Up Child remains strong, placing as the No. 2 LP of 2023 on Top Christian Albums, second only to Kanye West’s Donda, which is the lead LP of the year on the Top Christian Albums and Top Gospel Albums tallies.

Daigle’s self-titled set launched at No. 1 on Top Christian Albums list dated May 27 with 25,000 equivalent album units, including 20,000 in album sales, in the May 12-18 tracking frame, according to Luminate. It marked Daigle’s fourth leader on the list.

Daigle returned to the Top Christian Albums penthouse on the May 16-dated survey. Her self-titled set, made available as a deluxe version, added 13 tunes to the original 10-song album.

After the deluxe edition was released Sept. 8, the set (with both versions combined into one chart listing) rebounded 5-1. It earned 13,000 equivalent album units (up 388%), with 8,000 in album sales. On the all-genre Billboard 200, it re-entered at No. 79, after it opened at its No. 21 high in May.

Daigle’s 2023 self-titled album finishes in the top 10. It’s No. 7 on the Top Christian Albums year-end ranking.

Meanwhile, lead single from Lauren Daigle, “Thank God I Do,” is No. 2 on the Hot Christian Songs year-end chart.

“Thank God I Do” became her fifth chart-topper on Christian Airplay, where it dominated for a week in July. On Hot Christian Songs, it awarded Daigle with her sixth No. 1, dominating for its first time in May.

Daigle is the only artist to date who has banked two Hot Christian Songs No. 1s that dominated for 20-weeks or more: “You Say” and “Thank God I Do.”

“Thank God I Do” is also tops on the year-end Christian Digital Song Sales tally.

Brandon Lake Leads: Singer-songwriter Brandon Lake wins a major category for the first time, crowning Billboard’s Top Christian Artists – Male roundup.

To say that Lake had a big year is quite the understatement, as he leads as the top Christian Airplay and Hot Christian Songs artist this year.

Lake’s hit “Gratitude” is the top song of 2023 on Hot Christian Songs. It gave Lake his second No. 1 in February and his first where he’s unaccompanied. Lake co-authored “Gratitude” with Dante Bowe and Benjamin Hastings, while Jacob Sooter produced it.

The artist added his third leader (among five top 10s) when “Praise You Anywhere” hit the Hot Christian Songs pinnacle in November.

On Christian Airplay, Lake added his second No. 1 and fourth top 10 this year. “Gratitude” led the list in March and “Praise You Anywhere” hit No. 3 on Oct. 7.

Elevation Worship Gets High Praise: 2023 marks the first time that Elevation Worship, the music collective based in Charlotte, N.C., leads Billboard’s Top Christian Artists – Duo/Group recap. The act places second in the overall Top Christian Artists category.

On the charts dated Jan. 21, the act earned its second leader on Hot Christian Songs and its third on Christian Airplay as “Same God” topped both surveys.

“Same God” is the No. 12 song of the year on Hot Christian Songs and No. 14 on Christian Airplay.

In June, Can You Imagine?, which includes eight songs, was co-produced by the collective’s frontman Chris Brown along with Steven Furtick. The LP was recorded in front of a live audience at Elevation Church in Charlotte Jan. 13.

Can You Imagine? awarded Elevation Worship with its seventh No. 1 among 13 top 10s on Top Christian Albums.

 ‘This Is’ Phil Wickham: No. 1 on the year-end Top Christian Airplay Songs tally is is Phil Wickham’s “This is Our God,” which led for two frames staring on the June 3-dated chart. It gave Wickham his fourth chart-topper among 10 top 10s.

The 39-year-old singer-songwriter from San Diego co-penned the song with Pat Barrett, Steven Furtick and Brandon Lake. It was produced by Jonathan Smith.

Wickham places as the No. 5 Top Christian Artists overall and No. 2 in the male category.

Billboard’s year-end music recaps represent aggregated metrics for each artist, title, label and music contributor on the weekly charts from Nov. 19, 2022, through Oct. 21, 2023. Rankings for Luminate-based recaps reflect equivalent album units, airplay, sales or streaming during the weeks that the titles appeared on a respective chart during the tracking year. Any activity registered before or after a title’s chart run isn’t considered in these rankings. That methodology detail, and the November-October time period, account for some of the difference between these lists and the calendar-year recaps that are independently compiled by Luminate.

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