Kesha

Kesha
Kesha. Photo by Noam Galai / Getty Images

Kesha's Early Life and Career

Kesha Rose Sebert was born March 1, 1987 in Los Angeles, California. Kesha's mother Pebe Sebert was a singer and songwriter, as well as a single parent. She moved the family to Nashville, Tennessee when she secured a song publishing deal. The Sebert family was featured in a TV episode of The Simple Life in 2005. Although she was a star pupil, Kesha dropped out of school at age 17 to pursue a music career on the advice of Max Martin and Dr. Luke.

Background Vocal Experience

Kesha returned to Los Angeles in pursuit of music opportunities. She allegedly broke into Prince's house to try and get him to listen to her demo. Kesha sang backup on Paris Hilton's single "Nothing In This World" as well as Britney Spears' "Lace and Leather." She co-wrote the Veronicas single "This Love." Kesha's first big exposure came through Dr. Luke including her as backup vocalist on Flo Rida's huge #1 hit "Right Round."

RCA Records Contract

Ke$ha, now with the dollar sign in her name, signed with RCA in 2009 and headed to the studio to record a debut album. Her first single "Tik Tok" appeared in August. Ke$ha co-wrote the song. She continued her work for other artists. Ke$ha co-wrote Miley Cyrus' "The Time Of Our Lives" as well as appearing on albums by Pitbull and Taio Cruz.

The Sound of Kesha

Kesha lists Beck and Queen as primary influences on her sound. Her key hits have been dance-pop with a trashy, edgy aesthetic.

Kesha's songs are based on her life experiences, and she has said she is impacted by the storytelling in country music. She has even expressed an interest in performing country music in the future. Kesha says that she likes performing pop music because it brings people joy.

Kesha Reviews

  • "Blah Blah Blah" featuring 3OH!3

Pop Superstar

By the first week of 2010, Kesha's debut single as a solo artist "Tik Tok" was at #1 on the pop chart in the US. It set a record for the most downloads in one week by a song recorded by a female artist with 610,000. "Tik Tok" spent nine weeks at the top, second only to Debby Boone's 10 for the most weeks at #1 for a debut single. Keha's first album Animal hit stores the first week of 2010 and debuted at the top of the chart. A second single "Blah Blah Blah" appeared and it was an instant top 10 hit.

Kesha continued on to release five more consecutive top 10 hit singles including the #1 smash "We R Who We R" and "Blow." Her second album Warrior appeared in late 2012, but it only reached #6 on the album chart and sales were disappointing. It was only able to generate the one top 10 pop hit single "Die Young."

Commercial Decline and Controversy

The lyrics "we're gonna die young" from the single "Die Young" raised controversy in the aftermath of the December 15, 2012 shootings at a Newtown, Connecticut school. The single was withdrawn from airplay on some radio stations. Kesha claimed that her producer Dr. Luke forced her to sing the disputed lyrics in the chorus.

Following the commercial failure of the singles "C'mon" and "Crazy Kids," a fan petition was circulated in the fall of 2013 to free Kesha from Dr. Luke's management. In January 2014 Kesha checked into a rehab facility citing suffering from an eating disorder. In October 2014 Kesha sued Dr. Luke for a wide range of abuses including assault, sexual harassment and emotional abuse.