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Kesha Returns at No. 1 With ‘Rainbow’

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Kesha’s “Rainbow” notched the second-biggest week for a female artist this year after Katy Perry’s “Witness.”

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Steve Marcus/Reuters

After more than four complicated years of public struggle with the music industry, Kesha may have shed her mischievous wild-child persona and electro-pop sound, but she still found her way to a No. 1 album.

“Rainbow,” the first full-length Kesha release since “Warrior” in 2012, debuts atop the Billboard 200 this week with 89,000 albums sold and 29 million streams for a total of 116,000 album-equivalent units, according to Nielsen, which also factors in song downloads.

The album — released by Kemosabe and RCA Records amid Kesha’s continuing legal dispute with her former producer Dr. Luke — benefited in its first week from a so-called bundle deal that included a physical copy of the album with tickets to her forthcoming “Rainbow” tour. The total marked the second-biggest week for a female artist this year after Katy Perry’s “Witness.”

Last week’s No. 1, “DAMN.” (Interscope) by Kendrick Lamar (released in April), fell one spot but maintained a week-leading 45 million streams, reaching 43,000 units. “Grateful” (We the Best/Epic) by DJ Khaled, another consistent streaming favorite since its release in June and currently buoyed by the Rihanna-led single “Wild Thoughts,” is No. 3 with 34,000 units. And another slow-burner, “American Teen” (Right Hand/RCA) by Khalid, from March, reached No. 4 this week with 34 million streams on the strength of the singles “Location” and “Young Dumb & Broke.” The Memphis rapper Moneybagg Yo rounds out the Top 5 with “Federal 3x” (N-Less/Interscope).

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