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God In Me: Top 12 Gospel Songs Gone Mainstream

Like Mary Mary sings on the 2009 hit “It’s the God In Me,” the message of Gospel music has catapulted past the traditional Gospel charts in recent years. In some cases Gospel has gone straight to the top of the R&B charts !

Sister tag team Mary Mary is proof of this continuing phenomenon. In less than a year, Mary Mary has earned two top 40 R&B/Hip Hop songs charting hits (“Get Up” and “God In Me”).

kirk franklin, gospel gone mainstream, r&b, charts, crossover

kirk franklin, gospel gone mainstream, r&b, charts, crossover

Like Mary Mary sings on the 2009 hit “It’s the God In Me,” the message of Gospel music has catapulted past the traditional Gospel charts in recent years. In some cases Gospel has gone straight to the top of the R&B charts !

Sister tag team Mary Mary is proof of this continuing phenomenon. In less than a year, Mary Mary has earned two top 40 R&B/Hip Hop songs charting hits (“Get Up” and “God In Me”).

kirk franklin, gospel gone mainstream, r&b, charts, crossover

kirk franklin, gospel gone mainstream, r&b, charts, crossover

Before there was a “God In Me” from Mary Mary, multi-award winning Gospel artist/reality host Kirk Franklin broke ground with “Stomp”.

Controversially featuring Salt N’ Pepa’s “Salt” aka Cheryl on a hip and youthful song about praising God, Franklin’s (with God’s Property) “Stomp” eventually made its way to Billboard’s R&B/Hip Hop Songs tally.

donnie mcclurkin, gospel gone mainstream, r&b, charts, crossover

donnie mcclurkin, gospel gone mainstream, r&b, charts, crossover

When your song is featured on a show like ‘Girlfriends’, it is clear that the message has transcended across the secular and Gospel line. — This was the case for Donnie McClurkin and the massive record “We Fall Down”.

In 2001 “We Fall Down” peaked at no.40 on Billboard’s Hot R&B/Hip Hop Songs tally and reached urban radio playlists where it was played alongside R&B, Soul and even Hip Hop music.

mary mary, gospel gone mainstream, r&b, charts, crossover

mary mary, gospel gone mainstream, r&b, charts, crossover

While both Kirk Franklin and Donnie McClurkin were taken aback by the success of “Stomp” and “We Fall Down” it was Mary Mary’s 2000 debut “Shackles (Praise You)” that made the top 10 in R&B and Top 30 on Billboard’s coveted Hot 100 chart !

“Shackles (Praise You)” remains Mary Mary’s most successful single to date and was the first Gospel single to make the top 10 on multiple charts both stateside and overseas.

marvin sapp, gospel gone mainstream, r&b, charts, crossover

marvin sapp, gospel gone mainstream, r&b, charts, crossover

In 2008 Marvin Sapp picked up where Mary Mary left off with the record “Never Would Have Made It”. Much like Donnie McClurkin’s “We Fall Down,” “Never Would Have Made It” became a phenomenon, playing at Urban and Pop radio next to songs from secular artists.

“Never Would Have Made It” earned Sapp a BET Award along with nominations for Stellar and Dove Awards in 2009. It peaked at no.14 on Billboard’s Hot R&B/Hip Hop Songs tally and in the top 90 (no.82) on Billboard’s Hot 100.

kirk franklin, gospel gone mainstream, r&b, charts, crossover

kirk franklin, gospel gone mainstream, r&b, charts, crossover

Kirk Franklin released the inspirational single “Declaration (This Is It)” in 2008 and it, like “Looking For You,” reached mainstream audiences.

Eventually “Declaration (This Is It)” helped Franklin with a 2009 Grammy Award win for Best Gospel Album (‘The Fight of My Life’).

cece winans, bebe, gospel gone mainstream, r&b, charts, crossove

cece winans, bebe, gospel gone mainstream, r&b, charts, crossove

If you were around in the early 90s it would have been extremely difficult to ignore the sounds of BeBe and CeCe Winans.

The duo, hailing from the legendary Winans family, reached nearly every household with the massive record “I’ll Take You There”.

smokie norful, bebe, gospel gone mainstream, r&b, charts, crosso

smokie norful, bebe, gospel gone mainstream, r&b, charts, crosso

In terms of Gospel gone mainstream in 2003, that year belonged to Smokie Norful and the inspirational record “I Need You Now”.

Playing across various sectors of radio, “I Need You Now” peaked at no.45 on the Hot R&B/Hip Hop Songs chart and no.96 on the Hot 100.

trin i tee 57, bebe, gospel gone mainstream, r&b, charts, crosso

trin i tee 57, bebe, gospel gone mainstream, r&b, charts, crosso

Trin-I-Tee 5:7 experienced crossover momentum with their debut single “God’s Grace” in 1998 but it was the single “Holla” that caught fire.

While not matching the success of “God’s Grace” and “Put Your Hands,” “Holla” became a crossover single that placed T57 in clubs and dance venues. Since then Trin-i-tee 5:7 has reached the Hot 100 with the 2007 cut “Listen”.

yolanda adams, gospel gone mainstream, r&b, charts, crossover

yolanda adams, gospel gone mainstream, r&b, charts, crossover

When Yolanda Adams belted out “Open My Heart” in 2000, mainstream R&B/Urban outlets could not resist adding the record to their daily playlist. As a result, Adams’ debut reached the top 10 on the Hot R&B/Hip Hop singles chart within weeks.

deitrick haddon, gospel gone mainstream, r&b, charts, crossover

deitrick haddon, gospel gone mainstream, r&b, charts, crossover

Teaming up with Ruben Studdard and Mary Mary proved to be powerful for Detroit based singer/minister Deitrick Haddon.

Haddon’s 2008 effort “Love Him Like I Do” crossed over to mainstream airplay and received a fair amount of rotation at BET where a video was played featuring Mary Mary and Studdard.

kirk franklin, gospel gone mainstream, r&b, charts, crossover

kirk franklin, gospel gone mainstream, r&b, charts, crossover

Last but not least, it was Kirk Franklin’s 2005 effort “Looking For You” that reached the top 5 of the R&B chart.

“Looking For You,” coming from Franklin’s “Hero” album also made no.61 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

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