LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Kesha scored top billing on the Billboard 200 chart with her comeback album “Rainbow,” her first studio album in five years amid a bitter legal battle over her record contract.
The 30-year-old singer sold some 116,000 units of “Rainbow,” according to data on Monday from Nielsen SoundScan, to give her the second-largest U.S. sales week of 2017 by a female singer after Katy Perry’s “Witness.”
The Billboard 200 chart tallies units from album sales, song sales (10 songs equal one album) and streaming activity (1,500 streams equal one album).
“I am so grateful and so lucky and ... at a loss for words. thank you. thank you. Thank you. there were many days that my music was simply a coping tool, for my emotions,” Kesha said in a message on her Facebook page on Monday.
“Rainbow” mixes Kesha’s signature pop sounds of seven years ago with raw, powerful songs in which she channels the frustration, hurt and anger she has felt during a lengthy court battle with her former producer, Dr. Luke, whom she accused of emotional and sexual abuse.
Dr. Luke denied the allegations and counter-sued for defamation. That case, and Kesha’s battle to be released from a multi-album contract with Sony Music, is still making its way through the U.S. legal system, even as Kesha decided to release “Rainbow” through the Sony Music group.
“Rainbow” knocked rapper Kendrick Lamar’s “Damn”, which was released in April, back to second place on the Billboard 200, with another 43,000 units sold for the week.
On the digital songs chart, which measures online single sales, Puerto Rican singer Luis Fonsi’s global sensation “Despacito,” featuring Justin Bieber, showed no signs off moving from No. 1, with another 83,000 copies sold.
Reporting by Jill Serjeant; Editing by Matthew Lewis