With an assist from R&B singer and 2004 American Idol winner Fantasia, Dennis Reed & The Gap’s “Necessary” flies 10-1 on Billboard‘s Gospel Digital Songs chart (dated July 2), up by 546 percent to 3,000 downloads sold, according to Nielsen Music.
Reed, also a vocal coach, wrote “Necessary” and self-released it more than a decade ago on the act’s album Water Walker (finally released digitally in 2014). While coaching background singers for Fantasia, she learned of the song, took Reed on her current tour, and has been performing it in concert with Reed at the piano. On June 13, she posted a Facebook Live video of their performance of the song in Houston, sparking its sales gain; concurrently, Water Walker enters Gospel Catalog Albums at No. 1.
“It’s an incredible story,” Reed tells Billboard. “I have been selling copies out of the trunk of my car for years.” He is hoping that the song’s sudden success will help him secure a recording contract. He also plans to re-record it with Fantasia.
“Necessary” is a “song for the hopeless,” Reed adds. “I think it’s for everyone that’s made mistakes.”
Meanwhile, gospel choir Myron Butler & Levi earns its first No. 1 on Top Gospel Albums, as On Purposearrives with 2,000 copies sold. The 13-track set, which features Tamela Mann and Jonathan Butler, among others, bests Butler & Levi’s prior peak, set when Stronger reached No. 2 in 2007.
In his lone visit as a soloist, Butler debuted and peaked at No. 4 with 2012’s Worship (3,000 sold, representing his biggest sales week under any billing).