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Ke$ha sets a new chart record in advance of her debut

December 30, 2009 |  3:26 pm

Dance artist Ke$ha benefited from post-holiday online shoppers, setting a new record on the Billboard charts for the most ever digital single sales for a female artist. Her "TiK ToK" sold 610,000 digital tracks, according to Nielsen SoundScan data released by Billboard, besting Lady Gaga's "Just Dance," a cut that set the record exactly one year ago when it sold 419,000 copies, reports Billboard

Ke$ha, one of The Times' 2010 "faces to watch," will release her RCA debut, "Animal," on Jan. 5. The 610,000 copies sold of "TiK ToK" fall shy of setting a new overall record for single-week download sales, but Ke$ha had a hand in the title holder as well.

Rapper Flo Rida sold 636,000 copies of his "Right Round" last February, Billboard reminds us, a song that feature's Ke$ha's non-credited vocals. Ke$ha spoke to the New York Times about declining to appear in the Flo Rida video for "Right Round," and Jon Caramanica's story notes that Ke$ha received "no payment for her work" on the track.

“You have to be patient, you have to do things right,” Ke$ha explained to the New York Times. “If you want to be a legitimate artist, it’s more important what you say no to. I knew he would want me to be some sexpot, shake my booty and whatever.”

Flo Rida owns three of the top-5 single-week download champions, but his two albums weren't met with the same sort of runaway success. Both his 2008 effort "Mail on Sunday" and his more recent "R.O.O.T.S." failed top the 100,000 sales mark in the debut weeks, and he remains known as a single's artist. Of course, there's little shame in that when one is selling single downloads into the multiple millions.

But while Ke$ha is dominating in the single's realm, Susan Boyle's "I Dreamed a Dream" coasted through Christmas week. The U.K. sensation sold another 510,000 copies this week, bringing her five-week total to just shy of 3 million copies sold at more than 2.9 million.

For those keeping track of the bestselling album of 2009 derby, Billboard's chart guru Keith Caulfied writes that "Dream," if it doesn't suffer a post-Christmas sales drop, could overtake Taylor Swift's 2008 effort "Fearless" to win the title. It's an impressive feat, as Boyle would have had less than two months on retail shelves to accomplish it.

Swift's "Fearless" has sold more than 3.1 million copies in 2009 alone, and more than 5.2 million overall. It moved another 224,000 copies this week, and the two, writes Caulfield, are currently separated by just 175,000 copies sold.

With Boyle firmly in charge of the chart, Mary J. Blige's latest, "Stronger With Each Tear," lands at No. 2, bowing with 330,000 copies sold. Blige's 2007 effort, "Growing Pains," opened opened at No. 1 with 629,000 copies sold.

As we head into the final sales week of 2009, overall album sales trail those of 2008 by 13%, according to Billboard.

-- Todd Martens


Faces to watch 2010: Ke$ha

Susan Boyle hitting holiday high note

Album review: Mary J. Blige's 'Stronger With Each Tear'


The New York Times: Changing the Face (and Sound) of Rap