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UK’s first Official Christian & Gospel Albums Chart to launch next week



The UK’s first Official Christian & Gospel Albums Chart will be unveiled next week, Monday March 11, 2013.

In recognition of growing interest in the musical genre, the new weekly sales-based Top 20 chart will officially rank the success of Christian and Gospel recording artists for the first time in the UK. Compiled by the Official Charts Company, guardians of the UK’s Official Singles and Albums Chart, the chart is launched in partnership with Christian charity Compassion.

The UK's 35,000 churches have seen attendance increase by 3% in 2012, which means that 7.6 million adults now attend church each month - 15% of the UK adult population. Teamed with an already thriving live Christian music scene and 2012 seeing 600 new albums released in the genre, the introduction of an official chart will provide support and exposure to this promising genre in 2013 and beyond.

Over in the US, Christian & Gospel music already accounts for 7% of all recorded music sales, with 26 million albums sold in 2012. To put its scale into context, that’s more than the sales of classical, blues and jazz combined!

The Official Christian & Gospel Albums Chart will be broadcast every week on leading Christian digital stations Premier Radio and UCB, as well as being published weekly at www.officialcharts.com <http://www.officialcharts.com> <http://www.officialcharts.com> , the home of the UK’s Official Charts online.
The UK’s Christian & Gospel industry will unveil the first Official Christian & Gospel Album Chart Top 20 on Monday March 11. The event host David Grant and industry leaders will be joined by artists at work in the Christian and Gospel fields today, including Delirious? frontman Martin Smith and the London Community Gospel Choir.

Performances on the night will showcase the breadth and depth of Christian & Gospel talent throughout the UK, with special presentations highlighting the growth of the genre today.

To celebrate its launch, the Official Charts Company is also revealing below the Top 10 Official Biggest Selling Christian and Gospel Albums of 2012. For the full listing visit www.officialcharts.com <http://www.officialcharts.com> <http://www.officialcharts.com> .

The biggest seller of the year, Friar Alessandro, was the first ever friar to sign a major label record deal and chart in the main Official Albums Chart Top 40 last year, peaking at Number 28 with debut album Voice Of Assisi. While singer/songwriter and Christian worship leader Matt Redman (with LZ7) also scooped a Top 20 hit on the Official Singles Chart with Twenty Seven Million, plus collected two gongs at this year’s Grammys for the title track of 2012’s second biggest selling C&G album, 10,000 Reasons.

Official Biggest Selling Christian & Gospel Albums of 2012
POS TITLE ARTIST LABEL
1 VOICE FROM ASSISI FRIAR ALESSANDRO DECCA
2 10000 REASONS MATT REDMAN SIX STEPS
3 ESSENTIAL CAROLS KING’S COLLEGE CHOIR/WILLCOCKS DECCA
4 HOMEMADE WORSHIP BY HANDMADE PEOPLE REND COLLECTIVE EXPERIMENT INTEGRITY MUSIC
5 CORNERSTONE HILLSONG LIVE HILLSONG MUSIC
6 CAROLS FROM KING’S COLLEGE CAMBRIDGE KING’S COLLEGE CHOIR/WILLCOCKS EMI CLASSICS
7 THE LOFT SESSIONS BETHEL MUSIC INTEGRITY MUSIC
8 FOR THE SAKE OF THE WORLD BETHEL LIVE INTEGRITY MUSIC
9 CAROLS FROM KING’S KING’S COLLEGE CHOIR EMI GOLD
10 CLASSIC CHRISTMAS CAROLS KING’S COLLEGE CHOIR EMI CLASSICS
© Official Charts Company 2013


Having celebrated 60 Years of the Official Singles Chart in November 2012, the launch of the Christian & Gospel Albums Chart reflects the continued growth and development of the UK’s Official Charts, as well as the tastes of UK music fans who are accessing Christian & Gospel music via more channels than ever before.

Official Charts Company Charts Director Omar Maskatiya comments: ‘’The Official Charts Company is committed to profiling and celebrating all sectors of the UK musical landscape. The popularity of Christian and Gospel music to date has largely been demonstrated through its vibrant live sector, however with the launch of the Official Christian & Gospel Chart we can now, for the first time, shine the spotlight on those artists who are enjoying significant success through recorded music too. We look forward to working with Christian labels and supporting partner Compassion to bring the new chart and its featured talent to music fans of the UK.”

Jonathan Brown, Managing Director of Integrity Music, the UK’s biggest Christian and Gospel record label who have supported the development of the chart say on behalf of Christian & Gospel music labels: “This is a defining moment and changes the landscape for Christian and Gospel music in the UK. Christian music has always been a part of society in bringing hope and encouragement. With the development of this new chart it will bring significant profile to this growing genre.”

The new chart launches in partnership with Compassion UK, an international Christian child development and child advocacy ministry. CEO Ian Hamilton comments: “Compassion UK are thrilled to be partnering with the launch of the Official Christian & Gospel Album Chart, we are honoured to have many ambassadors for our ministry among Christian Music artists in the UK as we work to bring Worship and Justice together”

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