Local singer/songwriter Hilary Weeks was at her home Wednesday morning when she got the call from Bob Ahlander, Director of Music and Film at Deseret Book.
He had great news for her: Every Step, the week-old album by Hilary Weeks, had just landed on several Billboard charts, including #6 on the Contemporary Christian Billboard Chart and #1 on the Top New Artist Albums Indie Chart.
This is the first time a solo artist from Shadow Mountain Records has hit the Christian Billboard charts. The genre is competitive, packed with industry leaders like Casting Crowns, who were the overall second best selling album in the country last week (Adele’s 21 was the top album).
Ahlander says that the achievement of Every Step is monumental in several ways. “This is by far the biggest success story we’ve had at our label,” said Ahlander. “Not only did Hilary crack the top 10 on the Christian Charts, but she cracked the Billboard 200 landing at #102. That is just amazing, and totally highlights her strength as an amazing performer and outstanding songwriter. We are lucky to have her on our roster.”
Laurel Christensen, Vice President of Product Development at Deseret Book, hoped all along to get Every Step charted on Billboard, though the goal seemed daunting at first.
“This album with this artist created the perfect storm to chart on the Christian Billboard charts” said Christensen. “This is Hilary’s finest work. And so we knew our team and, more importantly, her fans would be able to get behind this effort in a huge way because the music would deliver.”
The album, which released Tuesday, October 25th, experienced several other impressive feats in its first week.
Just two days after its release, Every Step was the #2 selling album on iTunes in the Christian/Gospel category.
The album already has a standout song, “Beautiful Heartbreak”. The label released a music video for the song and it exploded on YouTube getting 100,000 views in one week. Within three days the video was featured on YouTube’s music page. “That song speaks volumes and people are really connecting with the message of the video,” said Ahlander.
The music video illustrates stories of people overcoming adversity, and features Christian and Stephanie Nielsen, who gained national attention for their inspirational story of surviving a plane crash in 2008.
In total, Every Step landed on five Billboard Charts:
- TOP CURRENT CONTEMPORARY CHRISTIAN: #6
- CURRENT CHRISTIAN OVERALL: #8 (combines the Current Contemporary Christian and Gospel charts)
- TOP ALBUMS – BILLBOARD TOP 200: #102 (top selling albums, includes every genre)
- TOP NEW ARTIST ALBUMS – INDIE CHART: #1 (top selling albums for independent labels)
- NEW ARTIST ALBUMS – MOUNTAIN: #1
The music video for Beautiful Heartbreak can be seen at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xyX-I-um5Kk.
For a biography of Hilary Weeks, please visit hilaryweeks.com.
Shadow Mountain Records is the premier record label of the Deseret Book Company.