Chris Tomlin is having a very proud day.
The Atlanta-based Christian singer just saw his latest album, “Burning Lights,” debut at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart, only the fourth time in chart history that a Christian music album entered at the top spot.
“Burning Lights,” which in last week’s album review I noted found Tomlin at his peak, moved more than 72,000 copies in its first week; that’s small compared to the couple hundred thousand posted by acts such as Taylor Swift and Bruno Mars last month, but enough to earn top billing in January.
The impressive sales for the album, released on the locally-based sixstepsrecords, mark a 60 percent increase over the first-week sales of Tomlin’s last studio album, “And If Our God is For Us…,” which moved 45,000 units.
“Burning Lights” also captured the No. 1 slot on iTunes’ Christian and Gospel Albums chart the day of its release.
Tomlin is heading out for an arena/amphitheater tour that doesn’t have an Atlanta date, but many fans likely caught him here a few weeks ago when he led the Passion 2013 conference at the Georgia Dome, bringing more than 60,000 18-25 year-olds to the musical worship celebration.
The singer-songwriter is also nominated for his eighth Grammy Award next month in the Best Contemporary Christian Music Song category for “White Flag,” from last year’s live “Passion: White Flag: album (the song also appears on “Burning Lights”). Tomlin won a Grammy last year in the Best Christian or Gospel Album category for, “And If Our God is For Us…”
By Melissa Ruggieri, Atlanta Music Scene