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It has been a big year for gospel royalty, Mary Mary, whose critically acclaimed album, The Sound, has just been named Top Gospel Album by Billboard magazine.

The gospel-duo was also named Top R&B/Hip-Hop Artist, Duo/Group and Top Gospel Artist by the industry guide. Earlier this month, Mary Mary, received a 2009 Grammy® Award nomination for the record-breaking single, “God In Me,” in the Best Gospel Song category.

The duo took home a 2009 Grammy® Award earlier this year (its second overall) for the hit single, “Get Up,” in the Best Gospel Performance category and a 2009 American Music Award last month for Favorite Artist, Contemporary Inspirational.

This has truly been banner year for the duo who in 2009 has already won a Dove Award, an NAACP Image Award and a BET Award for its album, The Sound.

According to Billboard magazine, Mary Mary’s “God In Me” has earned the highest rank for a song that has spent 52 weeks on a chart in the Nielson SoundScan era (since 1992).

The former record holder, R. Kelly’s “Step In The Name Of Love,” was No 11 after a year on the list. Mary Mary is now the only gospel act to have at least two top tens this decade on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop chart, “Shackles (Praise You)” peaked at No 9 in 2000.

The Sound occupied the No 1 slot on the Billboard Gospel Album chart for more than six months since its release in October 2008 and was No 1 for nineteen consecutive weeks. The Sound has also spent four weeks at No 1 on the Billboard Top Christian Albums chart.

Heralded as “Praiseworthy” by People magazine, The Sound peaked at No 1 on a variety of Billboard Christian and Gospel albums charts shortly after its release in October 2008. The Sound entered the Billboard Top 200 at No 7, giving Mary Mary their highest chart position – and second Top 10 – album on that chart (2005’s Mary Mary peaked at No 8 on the Top 200). Mary Mary and The Sound achieved one of the highest chart debuts on the Top 200 of any gospel album released in 2008. A bona-fide crossover smash, The Sound made a “Hot Shot” debut on the Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart at No 2.