Archive for the ‘Charts’ Category

Interview : Israel Houghton – “Covered: Alive In Asia” (2015)

Wednesday, August 5th, 2015

CD100_outMulti Grammy, Stellar, and Dove award winning artist Israel Houghton returns with his new album “Covered: Alive in Asia” which debuted at #1 on the Billboard Gospel and Christian Charts. This was Houghton’s seventh album in his career to debut at the top of the charts. This live worship experience was recorded across the continent of Asia in stadiums in Jakarta, Indonesia, Kuala Lumpur, Seoul, Korea, Tokyo, and Manila. The album features new songs with Grammy Award Winners Yolanda Adams and Tye Tribett and Gospel rising sensation Jonathan McReynolds. Houghton teams up with longtime producing partner Aaron Lindsay to bring forth the groups legendary sound. Covered: Alive in Asia is the groups 10th album, as they celebrate 15 years of Ministry.

GOSPElflava’s Martin Williams recently caught up with Israel to discuss the new albums all the elements that went into making this project a chart topping success.


Martin: You’ve recorded albums all over the world, why did you decide to go to Asia?

Israel: We’ve been going there for seven or eight years as a team, and we have developed a good re pore in several countries there. When you go certain places and you realize there is a grace for you to be there and you like how you feel with those crowds and churches there, the thought about doing an album there begins to creep in. And it just so happen this particular Asian tour last fall worked out great to carry a film and audio crew to capture the energy of these six great places in Asia.

Martin: I listened to one of the tracks on the album and you said there was such a spirit of expectation and a hunger for GOD’s presence. What was it like being in those venues with all of those worshipers on one accord?

Israel: It was absolutely fantastic! No disrespect to us here in America but we have so many options. You can throw a rock and go have a great worship experience somewhere and go hear some of the greatest singers and musicians. In Asia that’s rare for them. It only happens every once in a while. So they come out in significant numbers to experience this and they don’t just stand around they engage. It’s incredibly refreshing especially when you are trying to teach brand new songs. Versus here in America where they may not get with you until you sing something that they like or something that’s familiar. Over there their attitude is BRING IT ON!

Martin: It’s been almost 15 years since your album “New Season” was released. Fast forward to now do you still feel the same excitement? Are you apprehensive? Are you concerned if the fans will like it? How do you feel?

Israel: I think it’s all of the above. I’m still very much excited about recording, writing, and releasing music. Certainly in 2000 and 2001 when “New Season” was released records were bought and sold differently than now. That album was released in the pre I- Tunes and streaming days. People had to actually have to go and buy the physical CD. Now it’s very different there are so many options and it’s harder to get the ground swell. When we did “Live From Another Level” it was our first album to sell 500,000 units and the album was certified “Gold” within a year. That blew our minds. And to sell that many units now is quite an undertaking. The beauty is that we don’t do what we do for the accolades, awards, or sales. Our rewards are ultimately found in the lives of people. The older I get the less panicked I am about a release. I don’t fret about how it’s going to do on the radio or will it go to the number 1 spot on Billboard. Most of our records end up selling for long periods of time. They are not just a quick release and you forget about them. Because we are out in front of people all the time our albums tend to have a longer life of sales. We’ve had Number 1’s, gold records and awards, so hopefully we are past having to prove ourselves and drive ourselves crazy. Ultimately it’s about people being blessed and connected to this music.


Martin: Does it still surprise you when you go out all over the world and the people know your music?

Israel: It’s such a true blessing and its speaks to the power of mediums like GOSPELflava and Gospel radio because people have the opportunity to connect with our sound and vision. You all get the word out and I’m grateful. It never gets old getting up and starting a song and hearing the crowd take it over, never gets old. I love when I can step back from the microphone and let the audience sing. I become a kid in those moments!


Martin: Out of all of your albums what’s the one song that you can’t go through a concert without singing?

Israel: It’s pretty much a tie between “You Are Good” and “Friend Of God”. If we ever leave the stage and don’t do “Friend of God” it’s going to be a problem. It’s like Marvin Sapp leaving the stage without singing “Never Would Have Made It’ or Kirk Franklin not doing “Stomp” or “Why We Sing”. I tell you the one song that’ gained momentum of the years and that’s “Moving Forward”. I’ve noticed we can’t get through a set without at least hitting the bridge of that song. I’m honored that I’ve been apart of writing some staples and putting those out. It never gets old to me.

Martin: With all the recent tragedies in the world, how important is it that believers continue to cultivate a life of worship?

Israel: It’s never been more important than the days we are living in now. Here we are in the most connective generations of all time through the way of social networking but we’ve also become extremely disconnected by the same reasons. I think the Gospel and the unity that comes from knowing who Jesus is best served and experienced together. What is tragic for me is that these horrible atrocities happen and that causes us to get off our phones for a second and come together as a community. I wish we didn’t need tragedy to do that. That’s one of the things I Love about church there is an hour and half in the week where we come together to say we are connected under one name and one faith. In this day and age we need that because we don’t have a lot of good news on Television. The definition of the Gospel is the good news.

Martin: On the album you collaborate with Tye Tribbett, Yolanda Adams, and Jonathan McReynolds, how was it working with those artists?

Israel: Well after so many years I think people have realized that I love doing collaborations. On “New Season” we had Keith Staten from Commissioned. The second album “Real”, I used a lot of Andrae Crouch’s crew, I didn’t do a lot of collaborations on “Live From Another Level”, but Michael Gunger worked with me on that. Of course the son of South Africa himself Jonathan Butler worked with me on “Alive In South Africa”. “ A Deeper Level” featured Chris Tomlin, YPJ. My Christmas album, “ A Timeless Christmas” has to be my favorite in terms of collaborations because it featured Marvin Winans, CeCe Winans, Lalah Hathaway and many others it was a dream come true. I’ve worked with Fred Hammond, Kirk Franklin, Take 6, so for me it’s about how the song its best served with another voice and artist. I’ve never been super particular either about collaborations. An artist doesn’t’ have to be of a certain stature for them to be featured on one of my songs. It’s all about what’s going to enhance the song. In some cases I’ve been very fortunate that’ the collaboration does help boost the cache of the album as well as the song.

Martin: You take a classic contemporary Christian song, “Mighty to Save” and you give an upbeat island flair, what made you remix the song?

Israel: For us its something we’ve been doing for years, and just never recorded it. Initially we were going to put it on “Jesus At The Center”. The group and myself found ourselves doing a lot of festivals. And sometimes at these festivals people don’t know us very well so its important to have songs that people know in reserve so they can join in on the experience. It’s always good to have songs you can always add a New Breed twist to it.

Martin: At the end of the day what do you want the listeners to take away from “Covered: Alive In Asia”?

Israel: I want them to take away that hope is not relegated to just one community, skin tone, or preference. Gospel is good news and it needs to be global. There are people in Asia who love Gospel music and this message and you may never see them. We have brothers and sisters who don’t look or talk like us but they serve the same God. It’s a beautiful thing to know. I want people to know Israel and new breed  as ambassadors.


Israel’s Latest Release, “Covered: Alive In Asia” is available in stores and online.  The project features a 16 track digital deluxe version and limited edition CD/DVD combo pack that includes 13 tracks plus a documentary offering an intimate behind-the-scenes look at the recording process and footage of some of the most beautiful and exotic cities in Asia.  Additionally, later this year, Houghton will release a special 90 minute concert film with exclusive performances and interviews. 

Bri Babineaux Makes Top Ten on iTunes

Friday, June 12th, 2015

BrianaGospel music fans can’t get enough of Marquis Boone Enterprises latest signee Briana Babineaux.  The internet sensation’s debut single I’ll Be The One was released on June 9th and made its way to  #5 on the iTunes Christian/Gospel Top Songs.

“All of this is very exciting and unexpected,” said the 20 year old University of Louisiana college student. “None of this was planned. A friend of mine put a tape of me singing a song on You Tube and then all of these incredible things began to happen and I’m humbled by all of them.”

Be sure to catch Briana on the upcoming season of Bobby Jones Gospel airing this fall.

Top 25 Gospel Albums

Wednesday, January 14th, 2015

Fred Hammond’s I Will Trust holds on to the top spot as Brian Courtney Wilson makes his debut at number 2 on the the Soundscan Top 25 Gospel Albums Chart for this week.  Fred Hammond I Will Trust

  1.  Fred Hammond                          I Will Trust
  2. Brian Courtney Wilson             Worth Fighting For
  3. Tasha Cobbs                                  Grace
  4. Various Artists                            WOW Gospel 2014
  5. J Moss                                              Grown Folks Gospel
  6. Youthful Praise/JJ Hairston  I See Victory
  7. VaShawn Mitchell                       Unstoppable
  8. Smokie Norful                               Forever Yours
  9. Erica Campbell                             Help
  10. Michelle Williams                       Journey To Freedom
  11. The Walls Group                          Fast Forward
  12. 3 Winans Brothers                      Foreign Land
  13. Icon Gospel                                   Icon Gospel
  14. Jessica Reedy                               Transparent
  15. The Rance Allen Group            Celebrate
  16. Wess Morgan                                Livin
  17. Lynda Randle                              Ageless Hymns
  18. Ricky Dillard & New G              Amazing
  19. Jimmy Greene                             Beautiful Life
  20. Tasha Page-Lockhart                Here Right Now
  21. William McDowell                      Withholding Nothing
  22. Various Artists                            Motown Christmas
  23. James Fortune & FIYA            Live Through It
  24. Donnie McClurkin                      Duets
  25. Deitrick Haddon                         Best of Deitrick Haddon


Tamela Mann Earns Gold Certification

Tuesday, August 5th, 2014

Tamela Mann can now add a RIAA plaque to her already full trophy case.  The “Take Me To The King” digital single penned and produced by Kirk63891-Tamela-Mann-original Franklin and recorded and performed by Tamela, has been RIAA Certified Gold, having sold more than 500,000 digital copies. Tillymann Music Group label head and Tamela’s manager and husband, David Mann, presented Tamela with her RIAA Certified Gold plaque during their Comedy and Concert event on Friday, August 1 at the Victoria Fine Arts Center in Victoria, Texas.

“Take Me To The King” was also recently named one of the most performed songs on Gospel radio in 2013 during BMI’s 2014 Christian Music Awards held at BMI in Nashville, Tenn.  The song featured on Tamela’s No. 1 selling 2012 album ‘Best Days’ was released to Gospel radio. The track quickly climbed to No. 1 on the Gospel radio chart where it remained for more than 25 weeks.

Hezekiah Walker’s Every Praise Spends 26 Weeks On Top of Billboard Chart

Wednesday, March 5th, 2014

Congratulations to Bishop Hezekiah Walker! His Every Praise has been atop the Billboard Charts for 26 non-consecutive weeks at #1.  Every Praise now tops his former chaHez Coverrt topper, “Souled Out,” with the Love Fellowship Choir, which topped the chart for 14 weeks in 2009.

On the Go With Lisa Page Brooks

Wednesday, July 17th, 2013

Ready, the new release from Habakkuk Music recording artist Lisa Page Brooks is making the rounds and receiving a warm reception at raFirstLadiesTeadio and from her fans.  God Thing, the radio single  debuted in the Top 30 on the BDS Gospel indicator chart and Lisa was favored to share special moments with Cathy Hughes and Habbakuk Music CEO April Washington at Radio One’s Praise 104.1FM First Ladies Tea and Luncheon.  Hughes attended the event with her mother and sister (pictured on the right).

Brooks returns to the motor city  this weekend to host the Restored Women Sharing Conference alongside her husband, noted songwriter and producer Bishop Michael Brooks and their Restoration Fellowship Church International family where she shares pastoral duties.  The conference welcomes Sharon Willingham and Tonya Baker as guests psalmists.

Kandi Burruss and Pastor Marvin Sapp Hit #1

Monday, February 18th, 2013

69254_10151433187299380_1446519879_nReal Housewife of Atlanta star, Kandi Burruss new single “Prayed Up” featuring Pastor Marvin Sapp has hit #1 on the iTunes Gospel Chart. Despite the backlash Kandi has received being a secular artist and business woman, the message in the song has “flown above” the “drama” and its message has reached the hearts of the Gospel community. Pastor Marvin Sapp took to his facebook page and thanked Kandi for allowing him to be apart of the process and for sharing her heart through song. Kandi told her audience on social media she has no plans to do a gospel album, she simply wanted to release a song that’s her testimony and share her heart through song. Viewers were able to see Pastor Marvin Sapp in the studio on the recent episode of The Real Housewives of Atlanta. “Stay Prayed Up” is available on all digital outlets.

See Who Tops The Billboard Charts In Gospel Music This Week!!

Tuesday, February 5th, 2013

BILLBOARD.COM chronicles the top selling albums in music each week. So we’re bringing this info about the Gospel music genre to your fingertips each week, right here. We will highlight the Top 5 Gospel Albums & The Top 5 Gospel Songs!

For the week of February 9th, 2013



Bishop Richard Mr. Clean White In Top Ten On Billboard Chart

Wednesday, November 21st, 2012

Well, it is a good week to be a “Sanging Bishop” as Bishop Richard “Mr. Clean” White delivers with I’m Glad coming in at #7 on the Billboard Gospel Chart.

Larry Callahan and SOG Bow at #12

Wednesday, November 21st, 2012

The city of Detroit can hold on to its title as “Hitmakers” as Larry Callahan and Selected of God make an impressive first week debut just under the top ten on the Billboard Gospel Chart.