Gospel singer-songwriter/producer Kirk Franklin has partnered with pop/R&B artist/producer Pharrell Williams for a fresh version of Franklin's "123 Victory." This week, thanks to Pharrell's featured involvement, the song sits on top of Billboard's Hot Gospel Songs chart (dated Sept. 10).
"Victory" vaults 20-1 on Gospel Digital Songs (where it also reigns for the first time), surging by 1,241 percent to 4,000 downloads sold, its best weekly sum, in the week ending Aug. 25, according to Nielsen Music. Of the song's sales during the week, 90 percent were of the new Pharrell remix.
"Victory" is Franklin's record-breaking fifth Hot Gospel Songs No. 1. (Pharrell, now listed as featured on the song, rules in his first chart visit.) "Victory" follows Franklin's prior No. 1 -- "Wanna Be Happy?" -- which logged the chart's second-longest reign, 45 weeks (Sept. 19, 2015-July 23). First place belongs to Marvin Sapp's "Never Would Have Made It" (46 weeks, 2007-08). Franklin first began appearing on Billboard charts in 1993 and topped Hot Gospel Songs for the first time soon after its launch, for 18 weeks in 2005-06 with "Looking for You."
Meanwhile, Franklin's 9-1 "Victory" lap marks the biggest jump to No. 1 on Hot Gospel Songs since the de facto Destiny's Child reunion track "Say Yes," by Michelle Williams featuring Beyonce and Kelly Rowland, also roared 9-1 on July 5, 2014.
The song was originally released on Franklin's most recent album Losing My Religion which debuted at No. 1 on Billboard's Current Gospel Chart and Billboard's Top Christian/Gospel Albums Chart. The album also entered No.10 on Billboard's Top 200 Albums Chart, according to Nielsen Soundscan. Losing My Religion marks Franklin's eleventh consecutive No.1 debut.
Continuing with a week of No. 1 wins, lead single "Wanna Be Happy?" tops the Mediabase Gospel radio chart, Billboard.com's Hot Gospel Songs and Digital Gospel Songs Charts. "Wanna Be Happy?" debuted in late August and broke the record previously set by Franklin with "I Smile (2011)" to become the best first-week digital single in gospel sales history. With other songs such as "Pray For Me," "When" (feat. Kim Burrell and Lalah Hathaway), "My World Needs You" (feat. Sarah Reeves, Tasha Cobbs and Tamela Mann), "Miracles," and the title track "Losing My Religion," Losing My Religion is Franklin's most comprehensive album yet, garnering accolades from fans, peers and critics, with the Associated Press declaring it "a very well-crafted album from the first song to the 13th."
Franklin has been on the road for the release of Losing My Religion, including a sold-out album release concert at the Greater Allen AME Cathedral of New York on November 13th, and recent television appearances around the country including HLN, NewsOne Now with Roland Martin, PIX11 Morning News, Good Day Atlanta, Good Day DC and more.