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Stryper & Casting Crowns Add Top 10s on Christian Charts

Billboard logo Billboard 5/3/2018 Jim Asker
a man standing on a stage: Michael Sweet of Stryper © Larry Marano/Getty Images Michael Sweet of Stryper

Veteran Christian metal band Stryper arrives at No. 2 on Billboard's Top Christian Albums chart (dated May 5) with God Damn Evil, earning 8,000 equivalent album units in its first week, ending April 26, according to Nielsen Music. With nearly all its sum via traditional album sales, the set starts at No. 1 on Christian Album Sales.

Stryper, formed in 1983, earns its 10th Top Christian Albums top 10. The group first reached the region with The Yellow and Black Attack, which hit No. 10 in June 1985.

A bit of drama has surrounded the new set, which, notably, Walmart refused to carry due to its title. "It's confusing to see all the music on Walmart shelves with explicit labels, yet they won't carry Evil, which is a prayer asking God to condemn evil," the band's Michael Sweet tells Billboard. "We couldn't be happier with the positive response that Evil has received. We never take anything for granted, and it's always a true blessing to be able to continue making music and see it reach so many people."

On Hot Christian Songs, Casting Crowns notches its 25th top 10, as "God of All My Days" darts 11-8. It gains by 7 percent to 7.9 million in radio audience and holds at its No. 6 Christian Airplay peak. The band passes MercyMe for the most Hot Christian Songs top 10s among groups and trails only Chris Tomlin, the overall leader with 27.

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