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A Year In Review: Billboard Reveals Top Gospel Artists of 2016

We are weeks away from the New Year, which means, the most important 2016 year-end lists are being revealed.

In the world of gospel music, Billboard’s No. 1 overall and male artist of the year is Kirk Franklin. The year’s leading female is Tasha Cobbs.

Anthony Brown & group therAPY rank No. 1 in the duo/group category and Todd Dulaney is the top new artist.

Franklin’s “Wanna Be Happy?” is No. 1 for the year on Hot Gospel Songs. It bowed at No. 1 on the chart dated Sept. 19, 2015, and held at the summit for 45 weeks, the second-longest reign in the chart’s 11-year history, after Marvin Sapp’s “Never Would Have Made It” (46 weeks, 2007-08).

Franklin’s “Happy” is also the year’s No. 2 song on Gospel Digital Song Sales, after logging 19 weeks at No. 1. The chart’s top title of 2016 is Anthony Brown & group therAPY’s “Worth,” which tallied 33 weeks at No. 1 (beginning June 20, 2015).

Meanwhile, Franklin’s Losing My Religion is the year-end No. 1 on Top Gospel Albums, having rolled up 14 weeks at No. 1 (starting Dec. 12, 2015).

The No. 1 hit on Gospel Streaming Songs for 2016 is Tamela Mann’s “Take Me to the King.” Mann is the year’s No. 2 female gospel artist and No. 8 overall.

Female gospel artist of the year (and No. 5 overall) Tasha Cobbs owns the Nos. 2 and 3 positions on the year-end Gospel Streaming Songs chart, “Break Every Chain” and “For Your Glory,” respectively.

: The No. 1 Gospel Airplay song of 2016 is Hezekiah Walker’s “Better,” followed by Jekalyn Carr’s “You’re Bigger” (No. 2), Tasha Cobbs’ “Put a Praise on It” (No. 3), Casey J’s “I’m Yours” (No. 4) and Todd Dulaney’s “The Anthem” (No. 5).

Dulaney is the year’s top new gospel artist (and No. 10 overall). He previously sought hits of a different kind, having played professional baseball for five years in the New York Mets’ minor league system before deciding to take a swing at making music full-time.

“While playing in the Mets organization, I shared with some teammates that I occasionally sing,” Dulaney told Billboard earlier this year. “The guys thought it would be funny if they told the coaching staff.

“So, one morning during spring training they asked me to sing the national anthem. Afterwards, everyone stopped and asked, ‘What are you doing here?’ That was the very beginning of my transition towards music as a career.”



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