By Piya Sinha-Roy
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Pop singer and Nickelodeon TV star Ariana Grande stormed to the top of the Billboard 200 album chart on Wednesday with her debut "Yours Truly," staving off new entries from Tamar Braxton, Nine Inch Nails and John Legend.
"Yours Truly" sold 138,000 copies in its first week, according to figures from Nielsen SoundScan. It was helped by Grande's catchy lead single, "Love the Way," with rapper Mac Miller, which has been a staple on the radio this summer.
The strong chart debut for Grande, 20, tops a busy summer for the singer-actress, who has burst out of her Nickelodeon spotlight to capture audience attention with her vast vocal range, earning comparisons to singers such as Mariah Carey.
Billboard said Grande is the first female artist to top the chart with a debut album since Ke$ha's "Animal" in 2010.
R&B singer and reality TV star Braxton's "Love and War," her first album since 2000's "Tamar," landed at No. 2 this week with sales of 115,000 copies.
Rockers Nine Inch Nails entered the chart at No. 3 with their eighth studio album, "Hesitation Marks," while R&B crooner John Legend's "Love in the Future" notched No. 4 this week.
Fellow R&B singer Jaheim rounded out the new debuts in the top 10 of the Billboard 200 this week with his latest set, "Appreciation Day," at No. 6.
On Billboard's digital songs chart, which measures downloads of singles, Katy Perry's "Roar" continued its reign at No. 1 for the fourth week with 373,000 downloads.
New Zealand singer Lorde jumped from No. 6 to No. 2 with "Royals," while Swedish electronic dance music DJ Avicii's "Wake Me Up!" rounded out the top three digital songs.
Overall album sales for the week ending September 8 clocked in at 5.1 million units, a 6 percent increase from the comparative week in 2012, according to Billboard.
(Reporting by Piya Sinha-Roy; Editing by Eric Kelsey and Stacey Joyce)