LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Each year, gospel music embraces a hit that burns up the charts and bellows from choirs, to congregations in churches throughout the country. 

This year, the song is titled with just one simple word.


The song was penned by Louisville's own Jason Clayborn. He's the director of worship at St. Stephen Church, and often called Jesus' "hype man."

"Sitting in church on Wednesday night listening to a sermon from Dr. Cosby ... and it just clicked in my head," Clayborn said. "I wrote the whole song without a melody."

"Better" was recorded by gospel music legend Hezekiah Walker. It debuted in March, with Clayborn singing background, and has gone on to spend 32 weeks on the Billboard gospel charts. It spent 20 of those weeks in the No. 1 spot. 

Last week, Clayborn won the Dove Award for best traditional gospel song. 

"The Dove Award is the highest level of achievement you can receive as a Christian gospel artist," said Krystal Goodner, midday radio announcer on 104.7 WLOU-FM.

Clayborn said in some ways "Better" was a lyric for himself. He wrote another hit, "You're All I Need," in 2008, but two follow-up CDs that he released as a singer didn't chart as well as he hoped. 

"Better" connected with communities across the country, especially those with a large urban core like west Louisville. 

"I think that's super-important for people to be positive and share the love of God and understand that eventually, it's not going to always be bad," Clayborn said. 

It's not just a song, it's a testimony and a belief in what's to come. 

"Better" also had a local arranger by the name of Gabriel Hatcher. The song is up for a Soul Train Music Award next month and a frontrunner for a Grammy nomination next year.

Listen to "Better" here.

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