Sing unto the Lord a new pop song: First UK official Christian music chart launches - News - Music - The Independent

Sing unto the Lord a new pop song: First UK official Christian music chart launches

Franciscan Friar Alessandro sold the most albums in the Christian and gospel genre last year

The UK is to get its first official weekly Christian music chart following a surge in popularity for faith-based recordings.

Compiled by the Official Charts Company, the first Official Christian And Gospel Albums Chart Top 20 will be unveiled next Monday.

Sponsored by Compassion, a Christian childrens’ charity, the new chart is expected to feature breakthrough stars such as Friar Allesandro, a Franciscan monk who was first member of the order to sign a major record deal.

The Chart Company said that 600 new “Christian” albums were released last year, including popular recordings by the Choir of King’s College, Cambridge and Matt Redman, a Grammy award winning Christian worship leader and songwriter based in Brighton.

The compilers hope that the exposure will help boost sales of the Christian and Gospel sector to similar levels that the music enjoys in the United States. Music described as Christian and Gospel accounts for 7 per cent of all US recorded music sales, with 26 million albums sold in 2012, a bigger chunk of music market than classical, blues and jazz combined.

Omar Maskatiya, the Official Charts Company’s Director Of Charts, said: “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 And Gospel Albums 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.”

The Charts company cited figures showing that 7.6 million adults attend church each month, an increase of 3 per cent last year, as testament to the music’s potential.

“This is a defining moment and changes the landscape for Christian and Gospel music in the UK,” predicted Jonathan Brown, Managing Director of Integrity Music, the UK’s biggest Christian and Gospel record label. “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.”

Voice From Assisi, the debut album by Allesandro, was last year’s biggest UK Christian seller. The singing friar, 34, was flown to Abbey Road and worked with Mike Hedges, producer of the Manic Street Preachers, on the record which mixed traditional and contemporary “sacred” songs. The album reached no 28 in the charts.

Last month Redman, the UK’s second biggest Christian-seller, won Grammy awards for Best Gospel/Contemporary Christian Music Performance and Best Contemporary Christian Music Song for “10,000 Reasons (Bless The Lord).”

The Official Christian And Gospel Albums Chart will be broadcast every week on the Christian digital radio stations Premier Radio and UCB, and published alongside the pop singles chart on the Official Charts website.

The former Pope Benedict XVI added his voice to the Christian boom when he signed to Geffen, Guns N’Roses’ label, and released Music From The Vatican, a double CD of prayers and litanies accompanied by the Royal Philarmonic Orchestra.

Popular music in its formative years developed from gospel, and a creative clash between the sacred and the profane. Christian-themed pop chart-toppers have included Sir Cliff Richard’s The Millennium Prayer and the German “new age” group Enigma, which incorporated Gregorian chants into their soundtrack.

The Official Top 10 Biggest Selling Christian and Gospel Albums of 2012

1. Voice From Assisi - Friar Alessandro

2. 10,000 Reasons - Matt Redman

3. Essential Carols - King's College Choir/ Willcocks

4. Homemade Worship by Handmade People - Rend Collective Experiment

5. Cornerstone - Hillsong Live

6. Carols from King's College, Cambridge - King's College Choir/ Willcocks

7. The Loft Sessions - Bethel Music

8. For the Sake of the World - Bethel Live

9. Carols from King's - King's College Choir

10. Classic Christmas Carols - King's College Choir

 

Arts and Entertainment
Robin Thicke's video for 'Blurred Lines' has been criticised for condoning rape

Robin Thicke admits he didn't write 'Blurred Lines'

music
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'

film
Arts and Entertainment
Matt Damon as Jason Bourne in The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)

film
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black

Review: Cilla, ITV TV
Arts and Entertainment

TV
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch star in the Alan Turing biopic The Imitation Game

film
Arts and Entertainment
Kanye West is on his 'Yeezus' tour at the moment

Music
Arts and Entertainment
Rob James-Collier, who plays under-butler Thomas Barrow, admitted to suffering sleepless nights over the Series 5 script

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence star in new film 'Serena'

film
Arts and Entertainment
Some might argue that a fleeting moment in the actor’s scintillating, silver-tongued company is worth every penny.

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Colin Firth stars as master magician Stanley Crawford in Woody Allen's 'Magic in the Moonlight'

film
Arts and Entertainment
U2 have released Songs of Innocence in partnership with Apple

musicBand have offered new record for free on iTunes
Arts and Entertainment
Brad Pitt stars in David Ayer's World War II drama Fury

film
Arts and Entertainment
Top hat: Pharrell Williams

music
Arts and Entertainment
Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum star as undercover cops in 22 Jump Street

film
Arts and Entertainment
David Bowie is back with fresh music after last year's hit album The Next Day

music
Arts and Entertainment
Keith Richards is publishing 'Gus and Me: The Story of My Granddad and My First Guitar', a children's book about his introduction to music

music
Arts and Entertainment
Calvin Harris has generated £4m in royalties from the music platform

music
Arts and Entertainment
Jenna Coleman stars as the Time Lord's companion Clara in Doctor Who

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Time and time again: the popular daytime quiz has been a fixture on Channel 4 since 1982

TV
Arts and Entertainment

To mark Tolstoy's 186th birthday

books
Arts and Entertainment
Rachel McAdams is reportedly competing with Mad Men's Elisabeth Moss for a major role in True Detective

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Sam Smith returned to the top spot with his album 'In The Lonely Hour'

music
Arts and Entertainment
Steve Backshall is set to dance with Ola Jordan on Strictly Come Dancing. 'I have a friend who's a dancer and she said to me 'You want Ola because she's a fantastic dancer and she can make anyone look good' meaning 'even you'!' he said.

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Sting and Paul Simon on stage together at Carnegie Hall in New York

music
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

    A shot in the dark

    Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
    His life, the universe and everything

    His life, the universe and everything

    New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
    Reach for the skies

    Reach for the skies

    From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
    These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

    12 best hotel spas in the UK

    Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
    These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

    Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

    Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
    Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

    Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

    His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    The Imitation Game, film review
    England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

    England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

    Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week