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Data Analysis of the Songwriters, Songs, and Artists Celebrated at the 2024 BMI Christian Awards

Data Analysis of the Songwriters, Songs, and Artists Celebrated at the 2024 BMI Christian Awards

Joshua Swanson

Faith in God, Trust in God, Guidance from God, and Hope in God’s Presence – What Christian Music Listeners Want To Hear In Their Music

On June 18, 2024, BMI hosted the 2024 BMI Christian Awards in Nashville, celebrating the remarkable achievements of Christian songwriters and publishers. The event recognized the Song, Songwriter, and Publisher of the Year, along with the 25 most-performed Christian songs of the past year, underscoring the profound impact of faith-filled music. These songs have received the most performances on terrestrial radio, satellite radio, and digital streaming services over the past year.

The award for Song of the Year went to “Gratitude,” penned by Dante Bowe and Ben Hastings, and featured on Brandon Lake’s album “House of Miracles.” Phil Wickham was named Songwriter of the Year, contributing to four award-winning songs, including “Holy Forever” and “Hymn of Heaven.” Essential Music Publishing was honored as Publisher of the Year, responsible for 12 of the top 25 songs, such as “Cornerstone” and “Same God.”

The ceremony also spotlighted 21 first-time winners and featured performances by Anne Wilson, Charly Beathard, and Phil Wickham, making the night a heartfelt celebration of talent and devotion in Christian music.

What Can We Learn From The Data

It’s wonderful to acknowledge the music that resonates with audiences and showcases God’s creativity through these songwriters and artists. However, this list also offers a chance to delve deeper into the data and uncover valuable insights. Here are a few data points that I find interesting. 

Recurring Themes in the Lyrics

Analyzing the lyrics of the BMI Top 25 Most Performed Christian Songs of 2024 reveals several recurring themes that resonate deeply with listeners. Here’s a breakdown of the most common themes found in these popular songs.

Faith and Trust in God

Many of the songs emphasize unwavering faith and trust in God’s strength and reliability:

  • Cornerstone: “I’m still standing on the only rock I know / You’re my cornerstone”
  • Firm Foundation (He Won’t): “Christ is my firm foundation / The rock on which I stand”
  • God, Turn It Around: “All of my hope / Is in the name / The name of Jesus”

God’s Presence and Guidance

These songs highlight the comforting and guiding presence of God in the lives of believers:

  • For God Is With Us: “For God is with us / (Oh, can we sing, oh, can we sing)”
  • Heart of the Father: “And Your spirit guides me / To the heart of the Father”
  • Fear Is Not My Future: “Fear is not my future, You are / Sickness is not my story, You are”

Hope and Overcoming Challenges

A message of hope and overcoming life’s challenges through faith is prevalent:

  • God Is In This Story: “God is in this story / Even in the broken parts / He holds my heart, He never fails”
  • Gratitude: “And I know it’s not much / But I’ve nothing else fit for a king”
  • God Is Real: “I was praying to a God that I didn’t know, I didn’t know / Ooh-ooh, You met me in a desperate place”

Worship and Praise

Worship and praise are central to many of the songs, reflecting a communal celebration of God’s glory:

  • Hymn Of Heaven: “We shout the hymn of Heaven / With angels and the Saints”
  • Holy Forever: “And the angels cry, Holy / All creation cries, Holy”
  • Heart of God: “There’s only love in the heart of God / No room for shame in His open arms”

Transformation and Renewal

Songs about personal transformation and renewal through God’s intervention are also prominent:

  • I Thank God: “You picked me up, turned me around / Placed my feet on solid ground”
  • I’m So Blessed: “I’m so blessed (I’m so blessed) / Hallelujah, I’m blessed”
  • Liar, Liar: “I’ve heard them tell me I’m not enough / And no matter how hard you try, you’ll never measure up”

The predominant themes in these songs focus on faith, trust, and hope in God’s presence and guidance, celebrating His steadfastness and support through life’s challenges. Worship and praise of God, along with personal transformation and renewal, are also central themes, highlighting the personal and communal aspects of Christian faith and experience. These songs have received the most performances on terrestrial radio, satellite radio, and digital streaming services over the past year, illustrating their widespread impact and resonance.

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Worship Leader Hats

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11 Songwriters Appeared More Than Once

Songwriter Count
Phil Wickham 4
Ethan Hulse 3
Jason Ingram 3
Jonathan Jay 2
Jeff Pardo 2
Jacob Mills 2
Barry Weeks 2
Jonathan Smith 2
Dante Bowe 2
Luke Smallbone 2
Steven Furtick 2

The Correlation Between Popular Artists and Popular Songs

To analyze the correlation between the artists, their influence, and the songs that made the BMI Top 25 Most Performed Christian Songs of 2024, several key factors must be considered: artists’ popularity, contributions to the genre, collaborations, and thematic resonance of their songs.

Key Factors

Popularity and Reach

Artists like Phil Wickham, Brandon Lake, Maverick City Music, Zach Williams, and for KING & COUNTRY have a significant following in the Christian music scene, boosting their songs’ performance. Their tracks often receive substantial airplay on Christian radio stations and are frequently included in church worship services, enhancing their visibility and influence.


Collaborations between popular artists can enhance a song’s reach and appeal. Examples include:

  • TobyMac featuring Zach Williams on “Cornerstone”
  • Maverick City Music collaborating with Brandon Lake and Chandler Moore on multiple tracks
  • for KING & COUNTRY featuring Jordin Sparks on “Love Me Like I Am” These collaborations bring together diverse fan bases, creating a wider audience for the songs.

Thematic Resonance

The themes of faith, trust in God, overcoming challenges, and worship resonate deeply with listeners. Artists who consistently produce music with these themes tend to have songs that perform well. For instance, Phil Wickham and Brandon Lake are known for their worship anthems, widely used in church services.

Consistency and Quality

Artists who consistently release high-quality music maintain a strong presence on the charts. Phil Wickham and Maverick City Music, for example, have a track record of producing well-received albums and singles. Their ability to consistently deliver impactful and spiritually uplifting music contributes to their ongoing success.

Specific Examples

Phil Wickham

Known for his worship songs, Phil Wickham has multiple entries on the list, including “Hymn Of Heaven,” “Then Christ Came,” and “This Is Our God.” His consistent focus on worship themes and powerful vocal delivery make his music widely appreciated in both personal and congregational settings.

Brandon Lake

As a member of both Maverick City Music and Elevation Worship, Brandon Lake’s influence is significant. His songs “Gratitude,” “Fear Is Not My Future,” and “Rest on Us” showcase his ability to collaborate effectively and produce music that resonates with worshippers.

Maverick City Music

Known for their collaborative approach and diverse musical style, Maverick City Music has multiple songs on the list, highlighting their role in shaping contemporary worship music. Their collaborative spirit and innovative approach have garnered them a broad and loyal following.

Zach Williams

Zach Williams’ collaborations with other artists, such as TobyMac on “Cornerstone,” demonstrate his versatility and ability to create impactful music that blends well with various artists’ styles. His song “Heart of God” also showcases his strong lyrical focus on God’s love and grace.


Their ability to create uplifting and hopeful music, as seen in “For God Is With Us” and “Love Me Like I Am,” resonates with listeners. Their collaboration with Jordin Sparks expands their reach beyond the traditional Christian music audience.


The correlation between the artists, their influence, and the songs that made the list reflects a combination of popularity, collaboration, thematic resonance, and consistent quality. Artists who effectively connect with their audience through meaningful lyrics, powerful performances, and strategic collaborations tend to have a significant impact on the Christian music charts.

Artists That Appeared More Than Once

Here are the artists from the BMI Top 25 Most Performed Christian Songs of 2024 who appear more than once:

  1. Phil Wickham
    • Hymn Of Heaven
    • Then Christ Came (feat. Phil Wickham)
    • This Is Our God
  2. Brandon Lake
    • Fear Is Not My Future (feat. Brandon Lake)
    • Gratitude
    • Rest on Us (feat. Brandon Lake & Eniola Abioye)
  3. Maverick City Music
    • Fear Is Not My Future (feat. Brandon Lake)
    • Firm Foundation (He Won’t)
    • I Thank God (feat. Dante Bowe, Maryanne Joshua George & Aaron Moses)
  4. Zach Williams
    • Cornerstone (feat. Zach Williams)
    • Heart of God
  5. for KING & COUNTRY
    • For God Is With Us
    • Love Me Like I Am (with Jordin Sparks)

The Bible and BMI’s Top 25

The Bible serves as the cornerstone for many of the lyrics in the top 25 Christian songs, with Psalms being the most frequently referenced book. Notably, Hebrews 13 and Psalm 34 stand out, each inspiring two different songs in this year’s list.

Songs Based on the Same Bible Verse

  1. Hebrews 13:8
    • Never Not God
    • Same God (feat. Jonsal Barrientes)
  2. Psalm 34
    • God Is Real (Psalm 34:8)
    • I’m So Blessed (Psalm 34:1)

Top Books of the Bible

  1. Psalms: 7 references
    • God Is Real – Psalm 34:8
    • Gratitude – Psalm 30:11-12
    • Heart of God – Psalm 103:8
    • I Thank God (feat. Dante Bowe, Maryanne Joshua George & Aaron Moses) – Psalm 30:11-12
    • I’m So Blessed – Psalm 34:1
    • Thank God I Do – Psalm 107:1
    • This Is Our God – Psalm 68:19
  2. Matthew: 2 references
    • Firm Foundation (He Won’t) – Matthew 7:24-25
    • For God Is With Us – Matthew 1:23
  3. Romans: 2 references
    • God Is In This Story – Romans 8:28
    • Love Me Like I Am (with Jordin Sparks) – Romans 5:8
  4. Galatians: 2 references
    • Heart of the Father – Galatians 4:6
    • Who I Am – Galatians 2:20
  5. Revelation: 2 references
    • Holy Forever – Revelation 4:8
    • Hymn Of Heaven – Revelation 7:9-10
  6. John: 2 references
    • Liar, Liar – John 8:44
    • Then Christ Came (feat. Phil Wickham) – John 10:10
  7. Hebrews: 2 references
    • Never Not God – Hebrews 13:8
    • Same God (feat. Jonsal Barrientes) – Hebrews 13:8
  8. Ephesians: 1 reference
    • Cornerstone (feat. Zach Williams) – Ephesians 2:20
  9. 2 Timothy: 1 reference
    • Fear Is Not My Future (feat. Brandon Lake) – 2 Timothy 1:7
  10. 2 Chronicles: 1 reference
    • God, Turn It Around – 2 Chronicles 7:14
  11. 1 John: 1 reference
    • Perfectly Loved – 1 John 4:18
  12. Acts: 1 reference
    • Rest on Us (feat. Brandon Lake & Eniola Abioye) – Acts 2:3-4

Song Correlations with Bible Verses

  1. Cornerstone (feat. Zach Williams)
    • Verse: Ephesians 2:20 – “built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone.”
    • Theme: Jesus as the cornerstone.
  2. Fear Is Not My Future (feat. Brandon Lake)
    • Verse: 2 Timothy 1:7 – “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”
    • Theme: Overcoming fear and future uncertainty with faith.
  3. Firm Foundation (He Won’t)
    • Verse: Matthew 7:24-25 – “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.”
    • Theme: Christ as the firm foundation.
  4. For God Is With Us
    • Verse: Matthew 1:23 – “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel (which means ‘God with us’).”
    • Theme: God’s presence.
  5. God Is In This Story
    • Verse: Romans 8:28 – “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
    • Theme: God’s involvement in our lives and stories.
  6. God Is Real
    • Verse: Psalm 34:8 – “Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.”
    • Theme: Experiencing the reality of God.
  7. God, Turn It Around
    • Verse: 2 Chronicles 7:14 – “if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
    • Theme: Seeking God’s intervention.
  8. Gratitude
    • Verse: 1 Thessalonians 5:18 – “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
    • Theme: Gratitude and praise.
  9. Heart of God
    • Verse: Psalm 103:8 – “The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.”
    • Theme: God’s love and compassion.
  10. Heart of the Father
    • Verse: Galatians 4:6 – “Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, ‘Abba, Father.'”
    • Theme: Intimacy with God the Father.
  11. Holy Forever
    • Verse: Revelation 4:8 – “Each of the four living creatures had six wings and was covered with eyes all around, even under its wings. Day and night they never stop saying: ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty,’ who was, and is, and is to come.”
    • Theme: God’s holiness.
  12. Hymn Of Heaven
    • Verse: Revelation 7:9-10 – “After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice: ‘Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.'”
    • Theme: Worship in heaven.
  13. I Thank God (feat. Dante Bowe, Maryanne Joshua George & Aaron Moses)
    • Verse: Psalm 30:11-12 – “You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent. Lord my God, I will praise you forever.”
    • Theme: Gratitude and transformation.
  14. I’m So Blessed
    • Verse: Psalm 34:1 – “I will extol the Lord at all times; his praise will always be on my lips.”
    • Theme: Acknowledging blessings and praising God.
  15. Liar, Liar
    • Verse: John 8:44 – “You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”
    • Theme: Rejecting lies and embracing God’s truth.
  16. Love Me Like I Am (with Jordin Sparks)
    • Verse: Romans 5:8 – “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
    • Theme: God’s unconditional love.
  17. Me on Your Mind
    • Verse: Psalm 8:4 – “What is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them?”
    • Theme: God’s attention and care for us.
  18. Never Not God
    • Verse: Hebrews 13:8 – “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”
    • Theme: God’s unchanging nature.
  19. Perfectly Loved
    • Verse: 1 John 4:18 – “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.”
    • Theme: God’s perfect love.
  20. Rest on Us (feat. Brandon Lake & Eniola Abioye)
    • Verse: Acts 2:3-4 – “They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.”
    • Theme: The Holy Spirit’s presence.
  21. Same God (feat. Jonsal Barrientes)
    • Verse: Hebrews 13:8 – “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”
    • Theme: God’s consistency and faithfulness.
  22. Thank God I Do
    • Verse: Psalm 107:1 – “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.”
    • Theme: Gratitude for God’s goodness.
  23. Then Christ Came (feat. Phil Wickham)
    • Verse: John 10:10 – “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”
    • Theme: The transformative power of Christ’s coming.
  24. This Is Our God
    • Verse: Psalm 68:19 – “Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens.”
    • Theme: Praising God for who He is and His actions.
  25. Who I Am
    • Verse: Galatians 2:20 – “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
    • Theme: Identity in Christ.


The 2024 BMI Most Performed Christian Songs List

Now for the moment you’ve all been waiting for…the actual list.

Song Name Songwriters Artist Name(s) Album Name
Cornerstone (feat. Zach Williams) Bryan Fowler, TobyMac TobyMac, Zach Williams Life After Death
Fear Is Not My Future (feat. Brandon Lake) Kirk Franklin, Nicole Hannel, Jonathan Jay, Hannah Shackelford Maverick City Music, Kirk Franklin, Chandler Moore, Brandon Lake Kingdom Book One
Firm Foundation (He Won’t) Cody Carnes, Austin Dvis, Chandler Moore Maverick City Music, Chandler Moore, Cody Carnes Firm Foundation (He Won’t)
For God Is With Us Josh Kerr, Luke Smallbone for KING & COUNTRY For God Is With Us
God Is In This Story Ethan Hulse, Katy Nichole, Jeff Pardo Katy Nichole, Big Daddy Weave Jesus Changed My Life
God Is Real Jacob Mills, Levi Mills, Sue Smith, Barry Weeks The Sound God Is Real
God, Turn It Around Jon Reddick, Anthony Skinner Jon Reddick God, Turn It Around
Gratitude Dante Bowe, Ben Hastings Brandon Lake House Of Miracles
Heart of God Ethan Hulse, Jonathan Smith, Zach Williams Zach Williams Heart of God
Heart of the Father Mitch Wong Ryan Ellis Heart of the Father
Holy Forever Jason Ingram, Chris Tomlin, Phil Wickham Chris Tomlin Holy Forever
Hymn Of Heaven Chris Davenport, Phil Wickham Phil Wickham Hymn Of Heaven
I Thank God (feat. Dante Bowe, Maryanne Joshua George & Aaron Moses) Dante Bowe, Chuck Butler, Jesse Cline, Maryanne J. George, Enrique Holmes, Aaron Moses Maverick City Music, UPPERROOM, Dante Bowe, Maryanne J. George, Aaron Moses Move Your Heart
I’m So Blessed Jonathan Smith CAIN Rise Up
Liar, Liar Jason Cox, Joseph Habedank, Joshua Alan Tomlin Brian Free & Assurance Liar, Liar
Love Me Like I Am (with Jordin Sparks) Josh Kerr, Michael Pollac, Luke Smallbone for KING & COUNTRY, Jordin Sparks Love Me Like I Am (with Jordin Sparks)
Me on Your Mind Jeff Pardo, Anne Wilson Matthew West My Story Your Glory
Never Not God Jacob Mills, Levi Mills, Barry Weeks The Sound God Is Real
Perfectly Loved Ethan Hulse, Andrew Rip Rachael Lampa, TobyMac Perfectly Loved
Rest on Us (feat. Brandon Lake & Eniola Abioye) Tony Brown, Jonathan Jay, Elyssa Smith Maverick City Music, UPPERROOM, Brandon Lake, Eniola Abioye Move Your Heart
Same God (feat. Jonsal Barrientes) Chris Brown, Steven Furtick Elevation Worship, Jonsal Barrientes LION
Thank God I Do Jeff Bhaskr, Lauren Daigle, Jason Ingram, P!nk Lauren Daigle Lauren Daigle
Then Christ Came (feat. Phil Wickham) Jason Ingram, David Leonard, Phil Wickham MercyMe, Phil Wickham Then Christ Came (feat. Phil Wickham)
This Is Our God Steven Furtick, Phil Wickham Phil Wickham This Is Our God
Who I Am Ben Fuller Ben Fuller Who I Am

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