10 Most Influential Gospel Songs of 2018

It has been a great year for Gospel music, especially from those who represent gospel music’s new generation.  The choir music that used to dominate the charts has made room a more modern and progressive style which crosses over to other genres like CCM and Hip-Hop.  Here is a list of 10 of 2018’s most influential songs:

Song:    I Agree

Artist:   Jonathan Nelson
Album: Declarations

While Jonathan Nelson has been around for some time, his song ‘I Agree’ featuring Gene Hoskins is a relative newcomer in age in comparison to others on this list.  Nelson’s energetic song features a Caribbean style grove at the beginning which transforms into a popular praise break chord structure by the vamp. The song reminds the listener of God’s faithful and persistent quality, which is exhorted by Gene Hoskins full tenor voice. The album version plays for about 8 minutes as the singers and congregants are caught up in a whirlwind of praise, thus finding it difficult to move on. The song itself peaked in March of 2018 at no.17 for Gospel Digital Song Sales, and no. 18 as of December 2018 on the Hot Gospel Songs chart.

Song:    I’ve Got The Victory

Artist:   Ricky Dillard
Album: 10

Ricky Dillard’s I’ve Got The Victory is an upbeat record led by soloist Lillian Loyd that is sure to trigger praise.  Between the rhythmic guitar riffs, danceable drive, the collective precision of New G’s choir and musicians, and Loyd’s perfectly executed alto exhortation, this song has earned its place in Look Up Radio’s list.  What makes this song influential in 2018?  The mere fact that I’ve Got The Victory refused to stay on wax but migrated to social media via video performances of the song. Lillian Loyd’s energetic lead provided the catalyst for the song’s popularity.  So much so, that social media personalities like @notkarltonbanks used the song as a part of his comedic videos about church culture. These various videos have reached viral status on social media and the song peaked at no. 9 on Billboard’s Gospel Digital Song Sales chart.

Song:    Not Lucky, I’m Loved

Artist:   Jonathan McReynolds
Album: Make Room

Jonathan McReynolds’ ‘Not Lucky, I’m Loved’ reminds listeners that God’s blessings aren’t by chance, but that his providential care for us is purposeful.  Coupled his his unique interpretation and approach to gospel music, he moves a strumming guitar to the forefront which simply feels good yet carries an important message.  Peaking at no.4 on Billboard’s Top Gospel Songs, ‘Not Lucky, I’m Loved’ spent 31 weeks on the charts.


Song:    Nobody Like You Lord

Artist:   Maranda Curtis
Album: Open Heaven: The Maranda Curtis Experience

This crossover hit penned by Maranda Curtis and Antony Rachael boasts a simple chord and lyrical structure that any local worship team can sing with effectiveness. Not to mention the song is quite catchy. From inception, this song was bound to be a hit, and invoke worship from its listeners. Spending 35+ weeks on the charts, Maranda ends 2018 at no. 7 on Billboard’s Top Gospel Songs.



Song:    Your Great Name

Artist:   Todd Dulaney
Album: Your Great Name

With a solid year of heavy rotation and streams, Todd Dulaney’s ‘Your Great Name’ is a powerful declaration of God’s majesty. The song, recorded live in English and Spanish, crosses musical boundaries and is sung in churches across the nation. The album, ‘Your Great Name’ enjoyed a no. 1 spot on Billboard’s Top Gospel Albums, and the song, the album’s title track, peaked at no. 2 on Billboard’s Top Gospel Songs.



Song:    You Deserve It

Artist:   J.J. Hairston & Youthful Praise
Album: You Deserve It

At 75 weeks on the charts, it’s no wonder why J.J. Hairston & Youthful Praise’s ‘You Deserve It’ is on Look Up Radio’s list for the most influential song for 2018.  Walk into any church on a Sunday morning, and you are bound to hear this song being sung at some point.  Most praise and worship leaders would tell you that they’d like to retire the song. However, the song has such a profound effect on listeners that it persist.  Though the song hit no.1 early in 2017, it spent 26 weeks there. Even after its stint at Billboard’s top position, the song continues to permeate church culture.


Song:    I’m Getting Ready

Artist:   Tasha Cobbs Leonard Featuring Nicki Minaj
Album: Heart. Passion. Pursuit.

Nothing sell records like controversy.  Whether you’re a Tasha Cobbs Leonard follower or not, it is a fact that her song ‘I’m Getting Ready’ carries weight.  Her song featuring secular rapper Nicki Minaj who declares her faith in in an 8 bar verse of the song.  The collaboration between Leonard and Minaj helps introduce a new generation of listeners to gospel music. The song reached no. 1 on Billboard’s Hot Gospel Charts making it a pivotal hit in gospel music.


Song:    Won’t He Do It

Artist:   Koryn Hawthorne
Album: Greenleaf Soundtrack – Season 2

A pioneer in Gospel’s Urban Praise sub genre, Koryn Hawthorne’s ‘Won’t He Do It’ hit the airways in 2016.  However, with the popularity of OWN’s Greenleaf church drama in 2018, Koryn gained mass appeal when her song was featured on the show. The TV version of the song features Roshan Fegan who is known as Ty Blue on Greenleaf.  The song peaked at no. 1 on Billboard’s Hot Gospel Songs chart where it reigned for 40 weeks as well as winning the GMA Dove award for Contemporary Gospel/Urban Recorded Song of the Year.


Song:    Made A Way

Artist:   Travis Greene
Album: The Hill

Travis Greene’s ‘Made A Way’ is one of this generation’s most successful Gospel songs. Spending 13 weeks at no. 1 on several billboard charts in 2016, the song has become a cult classic in the Gospel community.  Sung by praise teams and choirs alike on Sunday mornings, this song’s powerful message and personal testimony is alive and persists without signs of slowing 2 years after its release.  Many social media influencers reference the song in videos, memes, and posts.  Made A Way has had a transformative effect on today’s Gospel music.


Song:    Cycles

Artist:   Jonathan McReynolds
Album: Make Room

I think it’s fair to note that Jonathan McReynolds’ album ‘Make Room’ peaked at no. 97 on Billboard’s top 200 chart. Fitting since this is the second Jonathan McReynold’s mention on this list. ‘Cycles’ garnered major success peaking at no. 3 on the Gospel Digital Song Sales charts.  Aside from this, the song was a part of a social media vocal challenge in which several Gospel and R&B artists publicly participated in. The song’s opening riff is now one of the most memorable melodies in gospel music of 2018, outside of the song’s refrain itself.

Agree with this list? Maybe we left someone out?  Let us know your thoughts on our Facebook and Instagram pages @lookupradio

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