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Christian/Gospel Music Album Sales Rise in 2006

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NASHVILLE, TN (Spinhouse Public Relations) -The Gospel Music Association (GMA) and Nielsen Christian SoundScan have announced 2006 year-end sales data for the 52-week period ending December 31, 2006.

'2006 was a good year for Christian/Gospel music. Album sales were up, albeit slightly; digital sales continue to rise and most importantly, the impact of the Gospel through music reached beyond even what our sales reveal. Everywhere you look, in books, games, TV and movies, music that is inspired by faith seems more prevalent than ever before,' said John W. Styll, president and CEO of the GMA. 'There may be many reasons why this is true, but I think chief among them is that people seem to be drawn to the inspiring and compassionate message of Gospel music amid uncertain times.'

Christian/Gospel music sales in 2006 represent music that is sold at both Christian and mainstream retail and is compiled by the GMA from Nielsen Christian SoundScan, the data information system that tracks point-of-purchase sales of recorded music product.
OVERALL MUSIC SALES
(In Millions - CDs, cassettes, digital albums and digital tracks)

Units sold
2006
2005
%Chg.
44.9
43.5
+3.4
OVERALL ALBUM SALES
(In Millions - all albums and digital track equivalent albums)
Units sold
2006
2005
%Chg.
40.2
39.6
+1.5
2006 TOP-SELLING CHRISTIAN AND GOSPEL MUSIC ALBUMS (
Reflects sales for all titles in the Nielsen Christian SoundScan system sold at Christian and mainstream retail and through digital channels. It excludes Christmas catalog titles.)

Title/Record Company
Artist
Units Sold/2006
1. Precious Memories (Arista/Sony/Provident) - Alan Jackson 1288595
2. Flyleaf (Octone) - Flyleaf 488828
3. Hero (GospoCentric) - Kirk Franklin 424269
4. Lifesong (Reunion) - Casting Crowns 398160
5. WoW Hits 2007 (Sparrow) - Various 363395
6. Define the Great Line (T&N) - Underoath 316128
7. Coming Up to Breathe (INO) - MercyMe 309423
8. WoW Gospel 2006 (Verity) - Various 301534
9. Wherever You Are (Essential) - Third Day 295721
10. Piece of My Passion (Flow) - Juanita Bynum 287028
11. WoW Hits 2006 (Sparrow) - Various 277663
12. Arriving (Sixsteprecords) - Chris Tomlin 253757
13. Mary Mary (Columbia/Integrity) - Mary Mary 252323
14. WoW Worship Aqua (Provident) - Various 234557
15. Testify (Atlantic) - P.O.D. 225850
16. All I Really Want for Christmas (Sparrow) - Steven Curtis Chapman 220836
17. Restored (BEC Recordings) - Jeremy Camp 216175
18. See The Morning (Sixsteprecords) - Chris Tomlin 203095
19. Three Wooden Crosses (Word) - Various 193867
20. Open the Eyes of My Heart (INO) - Various 188483
21. Casting Crowns (Reunion) - Casting Crowns 175240
22. Chronicles of Narnia (Disney/EMICMG) - Various 162352
23. Day by Day (Atlantic) - Yolanda Adams 156224
24. Hearts of the Innocent (BEC Recordings) - Kutless 156052
25. MMHMM (Gotee) - Relient K 155585

'Alan Jackson represents the significant impact that various country artists are having in our culture with faith-inspired recordings,' said Styll, who noted that the Christian/Gospel music industry shares Nashville/Music City as its 'home' with country music. In addition to Jackson's record, Three Wooden Crosses, a compilation CD featuring Rascal Flatts, Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, Amy Grant and others was among the top-selling Christian/Gospel music albums sold in 2006. Also notable, Alabama released Songs of Inspiration, claiming the top spot on Billboard's "Top Country Albums" and 'Top Christian Albums" chart, marking the first time the legendary country group entered any album chart in the top position.

Country was not the only story in 2006, Styll added, noting that the breakout success of artists like Flyleaf, Underoath, Juanita Bynum, Kutless and Mat Kearney and the continued popularity of Kirk Franklin, Chris Tomlin, Casting Crowns and others contribute to a positive outlook for the long-term health of Christian/Gospel music.






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