What a Beautiful Name

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"What a Beautiful Name"
What A Beautiful Name (Official Single Cover) by Hillsong Worship.png
Single by Hillsong Worship
from the album Let There Be Light
Released6 January 2017 (2017-01-06)
FormatDigital download
Length3:58
Label
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)
Hillsong Worship singles chronology
"O Praise the Name (Anástasis)"
(2016)
"What a Beautiful Name"
(2017)
"Seasons"
(2017)
"O Praise the Name (Anástasis)"
(2016)
"What a Beautiful Name"
(2017)
"Seasons"
(2017)
Music video
"What a Beautiful Name" on YouTube

"What a Beautiful Name" is a song by Australian praise and worship group Hillsong Worship. The song, written and led by Brooke Ligertwood and co-written with Ben Fielding,[1][2] refers to the promise of salvation through Jesus Christ as represented by His Holy Name. The "genre-smashing single" contributed to Hillsong being named Billboard's Top Christian Artist of 2017.[3] "What a Beautiful Name" won two Dove Awards for Song of the Year and Worship Song of the Year in 2017.[4] It won the 2018 Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song.[5] "What a Beautiful Name" was released on 6 January 2017, as the lead single from their 25th live album, Let There Be Light (2016).[6]

Background[edit]

"What a Beautiful Name" was composed in December 2015 in Sydney, Australia, for the upcoming Hillsong Conference, the annual church gathering. The scriptural foundation of the song can be found in Hebrews 1:1–1:4, Colossians 1:15–1:20 and Colossians 1:26–1:27.[7]

Composition[edit]

According to sheet music published at Sheetmusicdirect.com by Hillsong Publishing, "What a Beautiful Name" is a slow tempo of 68 beats per minute. Written in common time, the song is in the key of D major. Brooke Ligertwood's vocal range spans from A3 to B4 during the song.[8]

Music video[edit]

A video for the song was recorded at the Hillsong Conference in Sydney and was released on 30 September 2016.[9]

Reception[edit]

Music critic Matt Collar praised Hillsong Worship for their "passionate, faith-based sound" and wrote that fans of the group "will surely appreciate this emotive, uplifting Christian pop."[10]

Jake Gosselin attributes the popularity of the song in the Christian community to a number of factors. He writes that "What a Beautiful Name" is "singable." In practice this refers to the "small vocal range" of the song which is "one note over an octave." This translates to a song that is easy to sing and which does not strain the voice with notes that are too high or too low. He also comments that the song is written in the key of D which is "the optimal key for both men and women."[11]

Chart performance[edit]

"What a Beautiful Name" had its worldwide digital release on 6 January 2017, and topped Billboard's Hot Christian Songs chart on 25 February. The single has held the top position for 38 weeks making it the second-longest-leading No. 1 in the 14-year history of the Hot Christian chart. The song which claims the distinction as the longest-leading No. 1 is "Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)" and was released by another Hillsong unit, Hillsong United. "Oceans" led the Hot Christian chart for 61 weeks.[3] The song has stayed on the chart for 77 weeks, making it the third longest running song on the chart.

"What a Beautiful Name" is ranked as the No. 1 song of the year for 2017 on the Christian Digital Sales chart, No. 3 on Christian Streaming Songs, and is also the No. 3 song on Christian Airplay. The song spent nine weeks as No. 1 on Christian Airplay and was Hillsong Worship's first No. 1 on the chart. What a Beautiful Name also leads the CCLI, the international licensing service for 250,000 churches. The YouTube video has more than 220 million views as of 23 April 2018.[3][12]

"What a Beautiful Name" is a track from Hillsong Worship's 25th live album, Let There Be Light. The album was released on 14 October 2016, and debuted as No. 1 on the Top Christian Albums chart. For 2017, Let There be Light was ranked the No. 9 of the year.[3]

Awards and accolades[edit]

Hillsong Worship was named Billboard's Top Christian Artist of 2017, as well as Top Christian Duo/Group. "What a Beautiful Name" earned two Dove awards, Song of the Year and Worship Song of the Year. "What a Beautiful Name" won the award for Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song at the 60th Grammy Awards, the first for Hillsong Worship.[3][12]

Live performances[edit]

The song was recorded at a live performance at the annual Hillsong Conference in 2016.[1] Hillsong performed the song at the 48th Annual Dove Awards held at Allen Arena in Nashville. The performance was well received and "had audience members on their feet with their hands in the air."[13]

When asked about performing the song in an interview with Billboard's Jim Asker, Ligertwood said about the audience:

"Because the audience is part of the church and we sing these songs in church regularly, most of the people in attendance were already familiar with the tracks. As an audience, they are just super gracious and welcoming. Our mission is that the music will resonate with them. We're not really performing—we're simply vessels.[1]

Finally, she said about performing the song:

"I guess that when I am leading the song, my voice is me, but it's also my prayer first, that I am there to serve people and link with them in the presence of God. When you connect with people, you can feel their spirits being lifted. It's really the beauty of singing something about the wonder and power of Jesus. When people connect, it's freeing for them and breaks chains and creates faith."[1]

Other versions[edit]

In July 2017, the Voices of Lee, the "elite"[14] a cappella singing group, posted a video of the song to their Facebook page. The cover was an instant hit and reached the so-called viral threshold of 5 million views in two days. As of October 2017, it had amassed 33 million views. The group represents Lee University in Tennessee; the video was filmed in the school's chapel.[14][15]

Track listing[edit]

Digital download[6]
No.TitleLength
1."What a Beautiful Name"3:58
Digital download – EP[16]
No.TitleLength
1."What a Beautiful Name"4:00
2."What a Beautiful Name" (Live)5:43
3."What a Beautiful Name" (Alternate Acoustic)3:45
4."What a Beautiful Name" (Orchestral Selah)3:30
5."What a Beautiful Name" (Gospel Version)4:44
6."What a Beautiful Name" (Y&F Remix)3:58

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
United States (RIAA)[20] Gold 500,000double-dagger

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone
double-daggersales+streaming figures based on certification alone

Release history[edit]

Region Date Format Label Ref.
Worldwide 6 January 2017 Digital download [6]
31 March 2017 Digital download
(EP)
  • Hillsong Australia
  • Sparrow
[16]

Further reading[edit]

  • Fielding, Ben (16 May 2017). "Scriptural Inspiration Behind the Lyrics of 'What a Beautiful Name'". Hillsong.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Jim Asker (14 April 2017). "Hillsong Worship Songwriter Brooke Ligertwood Talks What Sets Christian Music Apart". Billboard. Retrieved 19 April 2017.
  2. ^ "What a Beautiful Name – Hillsong, Hillsong Worship – Song Info – AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 19 April 2017.
  3. ^ a b c d e Asker, Jim (11 December 2017). "The Year in Christian & Gospel Charts: Hillsong Worship & Tamela Mann Lead Lists". Billboard. Retrieved 11 January 2018.
  4. ^ "Hillsong "What a Beautiful Name" awarded Song of the Year and Worship Song of the Year at the Dove Awards". Heartsong Live. Retrieved 3 November 2017.
  5. ^ Lynch, Joe (28 November 2017). "Grammys 2018: See the Complete List of Nominees". Billboard. Retrieved 1 December 2017.
  6. ^ a b c Worldwide digital release of "What a Beautiful Name":
  7. ^ "What A Beautiful Name Song Story". Hillsong. 13 October 2016. Retrieved 11 January 2018.
  8. ^ "What a Beautiful Name sheet music by Hillsong Worship (Piano, Vocal & Guitar (Right-Hand Melody) – 179475)". www.sheetmusicdirect.com. Retrieved September 18, 2018.
  9. ^ "What A Beautiful Name – Hillsong Worship". YouTube. 30 September 2016. Retrieved 19 April 2017.
  10. ^ Collar, Matt. "What a Beautiful Name". AllMusic. Retrieved 11 January 2018.
  11. ^ Gosselin, Jake (22 February 2017). "Why the song "What a Beautiful Name" by Hillsong Worship is so popular right now". Churchfront. Retrieved 11 January 2018.
  12. ^ a b Payne, Kaley (9 January 2018). "The name you lift up reaches new heights". Eternity News. Retrieved 11 January 2018.
  13. ^ "48th annual Dove Awards held in Nashville at Allen Arena". WKRN. 17 October 2017. Retrieved 11 January 2018.
  14. ^ a b "Voices of Lee's video goes viral with more than 16M views". Cleveland Daily Banner. 12 July 2017. Retrieved 11 January 2018.
  15. ^ "Lee Univ. singers launch album after viral video". WBIR. 4 October 2017. Retrieved 11 January 2018.
  16. ^ a b Worldwide digital release of "What a Beautiful Name" (EP):
  17. ^ "Hillsong Worship Chart History (Bubbling Under Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved 19 April 2017.
  18. ^ "Hillsong Worship – Chart history (Hot Christian Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved 19 April 2017.
  19. ^ "Hot Christian Songs – Year-End 2017". Billboard. Retrieved 19 December 2017.
  20. ^ "American single certifications – Hillsong Worship – What a Beautiful Name". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 18 April 2018. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH. 

External links[edit]