Chart Watch: Kesha debuts at No. 1

Paul Grein

Kesha lands her second No. 1 album as Rainbow enters the Billboard 200 in the top spot. The singer opened at No. 1 with her 2010 debut album, Animal. Her second full-length album, Warrior, debuted and peaked at a disappointing No. 6 in December 2012. Dr. Luke executive produced the first two albums. The producer and Kesha are now locked in a bitter legal battle. Kesha filed a civil suit against Dr. Luke in October 2014 for infliction of emotional distress, gender-based hate crimes and employment discrimination.

Many female artists have expressed support for Kesha in the ongoing legal battle. While accepting an award at the Brit Awards, Adele stated, “I’d also like to take this moment to publicly support Kesha.”

Ryan Lewis and Ricky Reed are among the producers of the new album.

The album’s lead single, the power ballad “Praying,” is likely to make the top 10 on the Hot 100. Animal spawned four top 10 hits, including the No. 1 “TiK ToK.” A subsequent EP, Cannibal, yielded two top 10 hits, including the No. 1 “We R Who We R.”  Warrior produced one top 10 hit, the No. 2 smash “Die Young.”

Kesha is the fifth female solo artist to land a No. 1 album in 2017. She follows Halsey, Katy Perry, Lorde and Lana Del Rey. This is the first time that five albums by female solo artists have hit No. 1 by the first week of September (this week corresponds to Billboard‘s Sept. 2 issue) since 2011, when seven albums by female artists (Taylor Swift, Nicki Minaj, Adele, Britney Spears, Lady Gaga, Jill Scott and Beyoncé) had topped the chart by this point in the year.

Top Songs

Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee’s “Despacito” (featuring Justin Bieber) tops the Hot 100 for the 15th week. Only one other single has spent as much or more time at No. 1 since the Hot 100 was introduced in 1958. That’s “One Sweet Day” by Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men, which had 16 weeks on top in 1995-96.

“Despacito” surpasses Los Del Rio’s “Macarena (Bayside Boys Mix)” to become the longest-running No. 1 hit sung primarily in another language (Spanish). “Despacito” also becomes the longest-running No. 1 hit so far in the 21st Century.

“Despacito” sold 83K digital copies in the U.S. this week, which puts it on top of Top Digital Songs for the 16th week. That’s the longest run at No. 1 in the history of that chart (which dates to October 2004).

“Despacito” is in its 31st week on the Top Digital Songs chart. It’s the first song to rank No. 1 that deep into its run since Adele’s “Set Fire to the Rain” hit No. 1 in its 47th week on the chart in January 2012.

You may remember that DJ Khaled’s “I’m the One,” which also features Bieber, interrupted “Despacito’s” reign at No. 1 on Top Digital Songs for one week. Thus, this is the 17th consecutive week that Bieber has been featured on the week’s top-selling digital hit—an unprecedented occurrence.

“Despacito” logs its 15th week at No. 1 on Top Streaming Songs, which sets a new record for the most weeks at No. 1 on that chart. The old record was held by Desiigner’s “Panda,” which stayed on top for 14 weeks in 2016.

DJ Khaled’s “Wild Thoughts” (featuring Rihanna & Bryson Tiller) logs its sixth week at No. 2 on the Hot 100. The song includes a prominent sample from Santana’s “Maria, Maria” (featuring The Product G&B), which logged 10 weeks at No. 1 in 2000. Will “Wild Thoughts” also reach No. 1? Probably—but will it hold off long enough to let “Despacito” tie “One Sweet Day”? Stay tuned. “Wild Thoughts” is No. 1 on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs for the sixth week.

Cardi B ‘s  “Bodak Yellow (Money Moves)” jumps from No. 8 to No. 3 in its seventh week. This is the highest ranking for a single by a female solo artist unaccompanied by another artist since Meghan Trainor’s “No” hit No. 3 in April 2016.

Cardi B is vying to become the first female artist to hit No. 1 unaccompanied by another artist since Adele was out front for 10 weeks in 2015-16 with “Hello.” Cardi B got her big break in 2015, when she became a regular cast member of the VH1 reality series Love & Hip Hop: New York.

French Montana’s “Unforgettable” (featuring Swae Lee) dips from its No. 3 peak to No. 4 in its 19th week.

Imagine Dragons’ “Believer” dips from its No. 4 peak to No. 5 in its 28th week.

Charlie Puth’s “Attention” dips from its No. 5 peak to No. 6 in its 17th week.

Shawn Mendes’s “There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back” dips from its No. 6 peak to No. 7 in its 17th week.

Bruno Mars’s “That’s What I Like” dips from No. 7 to No. 8 in its 31st week. The song hit No. 1.

Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You” holds at No. 9 in its 32nd week. The song logged 12 weeks at No. 1. “Shape of You” is one of only three singles in Hot 100 history to spend 32 weeks in the top 10. It follows LeAnn Rimes’ “How Do I Live” and The Chainsmokers’ “Closer” (featuring Halsey). Thus, “Shape of You” has had a longer run in the top 10 than any other hit by a male solo artist. The old record was held by Mark Ronson’s “Uptown Funk!” (featuring Bruno Mars), which logged 31 weeks in the top 10.

Sam Hunt’s “Body Like A Back Road” rebounds from No. 11 to No. 10 in its 29th week. The smash tops Billboard‘s Hot Country Songs chart for a record-extending 28th week.

DJ Khaled’s “I’m the One” (which features Bieber, Quavo, Chance the Rapper and Lil Wayne) drops out of the top 10 this week.

Coming Attractions: Look for Justin Bieber & Bloodpop’s “Friends” and, perhaps, a new Taylor Swift single to blast onto next week’s chart.

Top Albums

Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN. dips to No. 2 its 18th week. The album has logged four weeks at No. 1.

DJ Khaled’s Grateful holds at No. 3 in its eighth week. The album spent its first two weeks at No. 1.

Khalid’s American Teen jumps from No. 10 to No. 4 in its 24th week. This is the album’s highest ranking to date.

Moneybagg Yo lands his first top 10 album as Federal 3x debuts at No. 5.

Ed Sheeran’s ÷ inches up from No. 7 to No. 6 in its 24th week. The album spent its first two weeks at No. 1. The album is No. 1 on The Official U.K. Albums Chart for the 16th week. That’s the longest run by any album since Adele’s 21 had 23 weeks on top in 2011-12. It’s the longest run by a male solo artist since Elvis Presley’s Blue Hawaii soundtrack had 18 weeks on top in 1962.

SZA’s Ctrl jumps from No. 9 to No. 7 in its 10th week. The album debuted and peaked at No. 3.

21 Savage’s Issa Album drops from No. 6 to No. 8 in its sixth week. The album debuted and peaked at No. 2.

Imagine Dragons’ Evolve dips from No. 8 to No. 9 in its eighth week. The album debuted and peaked at No. 2.

Bruno Mars’s 24K Magic rebounds from No. 12 to No. 10 in its 39th week. The album debuted and peaked at No. 2.  You may remember that it lost a close first-week sales battle with Metallica’s Hardwired…to Self-Destruct. These two albums are still very close in traditional sales to date. How close? Hardwired has sold 1,046,000. 24K Magic has sold 1,045,000.

Three albums drop out of the top 10 this week. Brett Eldredge’s Brett Eldredge dives from No. 2 to No. 39. Meek Mill’s Wins & Losses drops from No. 4 to No. 12. Now 63 drops from No. 5 to No. 24.

The Moana soundtrack moves up from No. 15 to No. 14 in its 39th week. The album peaked at No. 2. Moana is No. 1 on Top Soundtracks for the 17th week.

Luke Combs’s This One’s For You rebounds from No. 40 to No. 36 in its 11th week. The album debuted and peaked at No. 5. The album returns to No. 1 on Top Country Albums, displacing Brett Eldredge’s Brett Eldredge. This is its second week on top.

Sam Hunt’s Montevallo rebounds from No. 51 to No. 41 in its 147th week. The album debuted and peaked at No. 3 in November 2014. The album returns to No. 1 on Top Catalog Albums, displacing Eminem’s Curtain Call: The Hits. This is the second week on top for Hunt’s album.

Coming Attractions: Look for Brand New’s Science Fiction to debut at No. 1 next week. Also vying for a slot in the top 10: Neck Deep’s The Peace and the Panic.

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