While new albums from Paul McCartney and Eminem led last week’s Billboard 200 album chart, the entry at Number Three, besting the week’s chart placement by megastars Drake and Ariana Grande, comes from the somewhat unlikely realm of Christian music. Lauren Daigle, whose Lafayette, Louisiana, upbringing exposed her to country, Cajun and zydeco music, debuted on the chart with her sophomore studio LP, Look Up Child, selling an impressive 115,000 units. That’s the best showing for a female Christian album since LeAnn Rimes topped the Billboard 200 in 1997 with You Light Up My Life.
Country fans might recall having seen Daigle performing alongside country legend Reba McEntire in April 2017 when the pair took the stage at the ACM Awards in Las Vegas for a powerhouse performance of “Back to God,” a track from McEntire’s Sing It Now: Songs of Faith & Hope album. One year before the reigning queen of country returned to host the awards show (and also landed back among the nominees for Female Vocalist of the Year), she shared the spotlight with Daigle to perform the song, which was co-written by Dallas Davidson and Randy Houser and first appeared on Houser’s 2008 debut, Anything Goes.
Trading lines and enhancing each other’s performance with soulful harmony throughout, the two vocalists can be seen in the above clip holding the rapt attention of fellow artists like Carrie Underwood and Martina McBride as they deliver the song’s inspirational message about the restorative powers of faith and prayer. Hot on the heels of this collaboration, the duet version of “Back to God” became McEntire’s first – and Daigle’s second – Number One on Billboard’s Christian Songs chart.