Plus, Francesca Battistelli’s “The Breakup Song” debuts.
MercyMe rules Billboard's Top Christian Albums chart (dated June 30) for a 14th week with I Can Only Imagine: The Very Best MercyMe, which increases by 40 percent, earning 11,000 equivalent album units in the week ending June 21, according to Nielsen Music.
The set, which contains two versions “I Can Only Imagine,” the 1999 original and 2018's “I Can Only Imagine (The Movie Session),” first topped the March 17-dated chart, becoming the group's 11th leader.
The album's latest gains were ignited in part by the June 12 DVD release the movie I Can Only Imagine, which stars J. Michael Finley as MercyMe frontman Bart Millard, with Dennis Quaid as his father. The film opened in theaters nationwide March 16.
Concurrently, MercyMe's latest studio LP Lifer climbs 3-2 on Top Christian Albums (4,000 units, up 24 percent); the set opened at No. 1 on April 22, 2017, and has spent nine weeks at the summit. MercyMe is the first act to rank at Nos. 1 and 2 simultaneously on Top Christian Albums since Feb. 14, 2009, when Gaither Vocal Band debuted in the top two spots with Reunion Volume One and Reunion Volume Two, respectively.
Plus, Francesca Battistelli's “The Breakup Song” bows at No. 19 on Hot Christian Songs, the second-highest debut among her 28 appearances. The track arrives with 307,000 U.S. streams and 4,000 downloads sold. In 2014, her “Hope Can Change Everything,” with Jeremy Camp, Jamie Grace, Matt Maher, Millard and Sidewalk Prophets, launched (and peaked) at No. 14.