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Kanye West nabs “Top Gospel Artist” gong at 2021 Billboard Music Awards

Continuing his “Gospel” winning streak, rapper Kanye West beat the likes of Kirk Franklin and Tasha Cobbs to win “Top Gospel Artist” at last night’s Billboard Music Awards (BBMA).

His debut gospel album “Jesus is King,” soared to the top of the all-genre Billboard 200 chart, earning almost 200 million streams in its first week. For 65 consecutive weeks the project held the No 1 gospel album spot, only recently toppled by Israel and New Breed’s “Feels like Home Vol 1,” followed by Cece Winans “Believe for it.” Album single “Follow God” spent 57 weeks as the most streamed gospel song following the album release. 

West’s second win of the night was “Top Gospel Song” for his June 2020 single “Wash us in the blood,” which is the lead single off his yet to be released album “Donda”  - formerly titled “God’s Country.” The billionaire businessman and rapper was a no-show at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, where the awards ceremony was held. The notoriously outspoken rapper has been conspicuously absent from the public eye since news of his divorce from Kim Kardashian broke.

With two albums nominated in the Top Gospel Album category, new kids on the block; Maverick City Music, were destined to win the award. The group are gearing up for the release of their newly recorded Juneteenth project which features Jonathan McReynolds, Bri Babineaux, Todd Dulaney and Jekalyn Carr.

Unlike other award shows which have membership organisations and voting committees, according to producer Dick Clark: “the BBMA finalists and winners are determined by performance on the Billboard charts ... BBMA finalists and winners are based on key fan interactions with music (including album and digital song sales, streaming, radio airplay, social engagement), tracked by Billboard and its data partners, including MRC Data.”

Written by Akosua DF, Premier Gospel Presenter

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