The album debuted at number 27 on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart in January 2009. It also reached number one on Billboard's Top Gospel Albums and at number six on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. Upon its release, Audience of One received generally positive reviews from most music critics. The Boston Globe writer Ken Capobianco perceived it as an improvement from Headley's previous work and praised her singing, calling her vocal performances "commanding" and her voice "the purest and boldest voice in pop".The Washington Post's Sarah Godfrey wrote favorably of Headley's performance on the album and stated "'Audience of One' lifts its voice to the heavens". However, Metro Spirit writer Frazia Lee viewed it as "redundant with slow-paced songs", but commended Headley for her intent with gospel themes. Giving it 3 out of 4 stars, Elysa Gardner of USA Today commended Headley for her vocals and wrote that the album's pop-oriented songs are "saved by Headley's discipline and grace, which not only pleases the ear but also reinforces the sense of humility so central to these songs".
In 2010, the album was nominated for a Dove Award for Contemporary Gospel Album of the Year at the 41st GMA Dove Awards. The album won a Grammy for Best Contemporary R&B Gospel Album in 2010.