Highest Billboard debut for Hillsong United

Hillsong United are celebrating after their latest album, Zion, hit No 5 in the Billboard 200, its highest ever debut in the chart.  

The album sold more than 34,100 units in its first week and has become a hit worldwide after peaking at No 1 on the overall iTunes album chart in the US, South Africa, Sweden, the Dominican Republic, Brazil, Singapore, Ghana and Columbia.

It also reached the Top 5 in the iTunes charts in Canada, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Australia, Norway, Switzerland, Uganda and Ecuador. 

The first single release from the album is "Scandal of Grace", penned by United's Joel Houston and Matt Crocker.

Houston explains his passion for constantly pushing the boundaries of worship.

"We have always set out to write songs and create a musical expression that is almost uncomfortable in its uniqueness. Not for the sake of progression, or to keep pace with whatever the trend-monitor says, but simply because we feel like it's an essential aspect of what we believe worship is," he says.

"It's supposed to be costly, it should always cause us to step into a place where our strength is made invisible in the complete pervasiveness of His power in all that we do, and that involves taking risks."

Hillsong United generated quite a social media buzz with a special viral  campaign in which the music video for "Heartbeats" was "unlocked" after it received 100,000 shares.

The next video, "Relentless", will be unlocked after it amasses 300,000 social media shares.  

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