Kesha: Wikis


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Kesha performing live at Echo in 2009
Background information
Birth name Kesha Rose Sebert
Born March 1, 1987 (1987-03-01) (age 23)
Los Angeles, California,
United States
Origin Nashville, Tennessee,
United States[1][2][3]
Genres Electropop, dance pop
Occupations Singer
Instruments Vocals
Years active 2005–present
Labels RCA

Kesha Rose Sebert (born March 1, 1987),[4] better known by her first name Kesha (pronounced /ˈkɛʃə/ KESH, stylized Ke$ha), is an American pop singer and has been an active musician since 2005. Her breakthrough came in early 2009 after an uncredited appearance on Flo Rida's number one single Right Round. Her debut single, Tik Tok, was released in August 2009 to much commercial success. It reached number one in 11 countries and set the weekly records for the most digital of a female artist and of the total Top 40 Mainstream airplay records in the US. The song also became the longest running number-one debut single by a female artist since 1977. Her debut album, Animal, was released in early 2010 and debuted at number one in the US.


Life and career

Childhood and youth

Kesha was born in the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles to Pebe Sebert, a singer and songwriter. Her mother, a single-parent, looked after infant Kesha onstage while performing.[5] Pebe was struggling financially while supporting Kesha and her older brother, Lagan,[2] at the time and they had to rely on welfare payments and supplemental nutrition assistance to get by.[6] Pebe moved the family to Nashville, Tennessee in 1991 after securing a publishing deal. She often brought Kesha and her brothers, Lagan and Louis, along to recording studios[2] and encouraged Kesha to sing.[6] Pebe also taught Kesha how to write songs[2] and they would often write songs together when she returned home from high school.[7]

The Sebert family was featured in an episode of The Simple Life in 2005. Kesha was already working on her music[8] and giving out demos by then.[9] She described herself in an interview as being "very studious" in high school; she would often drive to Belmont University to listen to Cold War history classes after school and achieved near perfect SAT scores.[7] However, she dropped out at the age of seventeen, after being convinced by Dr. Luke and Max Martin to return to Los Angeles and pursue a music career.[6] She independently earned her high-school diploma.[10] Dr. Luke and Martin had come across her demos and were so impressed[11] that they began flying her to New York and Los Angeles to record music[8] and to sign her to Dr. Luke's label and music publishing company.[12]

Career beginnings: 2005-2009

While in Los Angeles, Kesha had the opportunity to sing background vocals for Paris Hilton's single, Nothing in This World, which led to a later incident in which she vomited in Hilton's closet.[8] Dr. Luke and Kesha later became estranged, with Kesha eventually signing with David Sonenberg's management company, DAS. She worked with several top writers and producers while at the company and credits the creation of her beat-driven sound to a co-writing session with Greg Wells.[12] She also co-wrote The Veronicas' single, This Love with Toby Gad.[13] She had wanted Prince to produce her music, so she located and trespassed into his Beverly Hills home. Once discovered, she was thrown out, but not before she left her demo with Prince, who did not contact her afterward.[6] She later remarked that, "I felt it was harmless at the time, but looking back it was pretty psychotic."[14]

Kesha survived on a low income; she moonlighted as a waitress and a telemarketer[9] to make ends meet while furthering her music career in the studio.[2][6] DAS shopped a new label for her and attracted the attention of Kara Dioguardi, who wanted to sign her to Warner. The deal fell through due to Kesha's existing contract with Dr. Luke's label. She soon left DAS and reunited with Dr. Luke.[12] She later sang background vocals for Britney Spears' song "Lace and Leather"[1] and appeared in the video for Katy Perry's single, I Kissed a Girl. Her appearance in the video arose due to her friendship with Perry; they met frequently as aspiring pop singers in Los Angeles and shared many musical collaborators.[15]

Kesha gained exposure in the mainstream media in early 2009 after appearing on Flo Rida's number one single, Right Round.[16] The collaboration was called "an accident" by Kesha;[17] she had walked into a recording session with Flo Rida and Dr. Luke, who was producing the song. Flo Rida had wanted a female voice for the song, Kesha was then suggested for the part by Dr. Luke. Flo Rida liked the end result so much that they did two more songs.[4] Kesha is not credited for her feature on "Right Round"[18][19] and did not collect any money for the part.[16] She also refused to appear in the video because she knew it would not sync with her own image; she explained in an interview that, "[i]f 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."[20] The song soon achieved success worldwide while Kesha continued to live on a meager income, which inspired the dollar sign in her stage name. She states that it was meant to be ironic, in that she "actually [stood] for the opposite of putting a lot of emphasis on money."[8]

Animal: 2009–present

Soon after, it was announced that Kesha had signed with RCA Records[16] through Dr. Luke, after being sought after by many major labels,[3] and was working on her debut album.[6] On March 27, 2009, she appeared onstage alongside 3OH!3 at a concert at Avalon Hollywood to perform their duet, "My First Kiss". She later made her official stage debut at that year's Lollapalooza as part of the BMI Stage, with Time Out Chicago saying that the set was "cheap, extremely short, and left the audience wanting more. Just like crack."[21] Her debut single, "Tik Tok", had been released digitally in the US in early August,[22] and was sent to radio two months later in October.[23] By then, Kesha had co-written the title song for Miley Cyrus' The Time of Our Lives EP, made appearances on Pitbull and Taio Cruz's albums,[15] and appeared on the cover of Women's Wear Daily.[21]

A number one placing in New Zealand for "Tik Tok" gave Kesha her first number one;[13] this was followed by number one positions ten other countries. It also reached the top of the Billboard Hot 100, becoming the first number one of the decade,[18] and reached top five in several countries.[24] For its second week at number one on the Billboard Hot 100, "Tik Tok" set the female download record and became the second best-selling single in a week, after "Right Round", for shifting 610,000 copies.[19] At its fifth week at the top, it broke the record for the highest weekly plays on the radio airplay chart.[25] Spending eight weeks at number one, the song became the longest running number one debut single by a female artist since Debby Boone's 1977 single "You Light Up My Life".[26]

Kesha later supported Calvin Harris on tour in the UK[15] and toured with Mickey Avalon in the US.[21] She also performed at Madison Square Garden on December 11, 2009 for the Z100 Jingle Ball. She has been announced as one of the acts for the 2010 revival of Lilith Fair[27] and presented with singer Justin Bieber at 52nd Grammy Awards.[12] Her debut album, entitled Animal, was released on January 5, 2010 in the US to mixed reviews from music critics. The album sold 152,000 copies in its first week in the US, debuting at number one.[28] Second single, "Blah Blah Blah" managed to debut on the charts in the US, Canada and Ireland before being announced as the next single due to strong digital sales following the release of the album.

Image and artistry

Kesha and her music has been dismissed early on by some as lightweight, calculating and crude; perceiving her as a victim in the "cauldron of celebrity culture". She insisted otherwise in an interview, countering that "I have been working on realising this dream, my path, my mission, for years. I’ve really invested a lot of thought, time and effort into it. The last thing that makes me is a victim. I think it’s a bummer when people don’t represent that properly, when they portray me as purely one-dimensional."[29]


Kesha has listed Beck and Queen as musical influences.[30] Her lyrics are based on her life experiences[9] and are influenced by the storytelling style of country music.[6] She draws from rap music and old-school punk influences as well.[31]

Vocal style

Problems listening to this file? See media help.

Kesha uses a sing-songy rapping style[12] on a number of her songs, most notably on Tik Tok; Jon Caramanica of The New York Times proclaimed that the success of the song represented "the complete and painless assimilation of the white female rapper into pop music."[20] Ann Powers of the Los Angeles Times compared this vocal style to that of L'Trimm and Salt-N-Pepa.[32]

Themes and genre

Kesha has expressed frustration at the double standard for the objectification of women in songs. Thus, in songs such as "Boots and Boys", she makes it a point to sing the same way men traditionally sang about women.[2]


Kesha's styling comprises messed hair, smudged makeup and a wardrobe she describes as "garbage-chic". The look developed from from her being poor and trying to brand herself as best she could on a budget.[33] She has named Keith Richards as her fashion inspiration.[8] Her stage makeup is characterized by dramatic makeup at her right eye, inspired by A Clockwork Orange.[34]


See also


  1. ^ a b Sullivan, Matt (August 13, 2009), "KE$HA and the Not-Quite-72 Virgins in Her Own Personal Heaven", Esquire (Hearst Communications, Inc.),, retrieved October 20, 2009 
  2. ^ a b c d e f Day, Elizabeth (November 29, 2009), She's a walking, talking living dollar, Guardian News and Media Limited,, retrieved November 29, 2009 
  3. ^ a b RCA Music Group. "Superstar Producer Dr. Luke Brings Highly Sought After Pop Singer to RCA Records". Press release. Retrieved December 29, 2009. 
  4. ^ a b Mazzella, Alysia (March 2, 2009), Ke$ha: Crazy, Sexy & Too Fuckin' Cool, 21–7 Magazine,, retrieved November 1, 2009 
  5. ^ Axelrod, Nick (August 26, 2009), "Kesha Sebert: Hard Candy", Women's Wear Daily (Fairchild Fashion Group),, retrieved October 20, 2009 
  6. ^ a b c d e f g Official biography, RCA Records,, retrieved January 10, 2009 
  7. ^ a b $uper$tar Ke$ha Top$ Chart$, NPR, January 16, 2010,, retrieved January 29, 2010 
  8. ^ a b c d e Lynch, Joseph (December 11, 2009), "Ke$ha: A Music Mix Q&A", Entertainment Weekly,, retrieved December 12, 2009 
  9. ^ a b c Malone, Aibhe (January 8, 2010), All that glitter$,,, retrieved January 10, 2010 
  10. ^
  11. ^ Scaggs, Austin (January 26, 2010), "Party Animal: Behind Ke$ha's Big Debut", Rolling Stone,, retrieved January 29, 2010 
  12. ^ a b c d e Werde, Bill (February 19, 2010), "Ke$ha: The Billboard Cover Story", Billboard,, retrieved February 28, 2010 
  13. ^ a b Moses, Hussein (October 26, 2009), Ke$ha Hearts NZ!, MTV Networks,, retrieved December 14, 2009 
  14. ^ Barracato, Joseph (February 6, 2010), Ke$ha tale, NYP Holdings,, retrieved February 12, 2010 
  15. ^ a b c WAPS interviews Ke$ha, We Are Pop Slags, October 28, 2009,, retrieved October 29, 2009 
  16. ^ a b c Gordon, Sandra (November 25, 2009), "Breaking & Entering: Ke$ha", Billboard (Nielsen Business Media, Inc.),, retrieved November 26, 2009 
  17. ^ Levine, Nicke (November 13, 2009), Interview – Ke$ha, Digital Spy Limited,, retrieved November 13, 2009 
  18. ^ a b Trust, Gary (December 24, 2009), "Chart Beat Thursday: Ke$ha", Billboard (Nielsen Business Media, Inc.),, retrieved December 25, 2009 
  19. ^ a b Pietroluongo, Silvio (December 30, 2009), "Ke$ha Sets Female Download Record", Billboard (Nielsen Business Media, Inc.),, retrieved December 31, 2009 
  20. ^ a b Caramanica, Jon (December 23, 2009), "Changing the Face (and Sound) of Rap", The New York Times,, retrieved December 26, 2009 
  21. ^ a b c RCA Music Group (December 3, 2009). "Red-Hot Pop Sensation Ke$ha to Release Debut Album". Press release. Retrieved December 4, 2009. 
  22. ^ "TiK ToK – Single", iTunes (Apple Inc.),, retrieved December 14, 2009 
  23. ^ FMQB CHR Airplay Archive 2009, Friday Morning Quarterback Album Report, Inc.,, retrieved November 16, 2009  10/5 Mainstream
  24. ^ Ke$ha – Music Charts, α,, retrieved December 24, 2009 
  25. ^ Trust, Gary (January 25, 2010), "'TiK' Talk: Ke$ha Breaks Pop Songs Record", Billboard (Nielsen Business Media, Inc.),, retrieved January 29, 2010 
  26. ^ Pietroluongo, Silvio (February 11, 2010), "Ke$ha Holds Atop Hot 100, Pink Glows with 'Glitter'", Billboard (Nielsen Business Media, Inc.),, retrieved February 12, 2010 
  27. ^ Itzkoff, Dave (December 10, 2009), "Lilith Fair Lineup Is Announced", The New York Times,, retrieved December 14, 2009 
  28. ^ Caulfield, Keith (January 23, 2010), "Kesha ends Boyle's 'Dream' with No 1. debut at Billboard 200", Billboard (Nielsen Business Media, Inc.),, retrieved January 23, 2010 
  29. ^ Cairns, Dan (March 7, 2010), Ke$ha demands a pinch of respect and mirth, Times Newspapers Ltd.,, retrieved March 11, 2010 
  30. ^ Ke$ha Pop Excess Interview, Pop Excess, August 23, 2009,$ha-interview.html, retrieved January 11, 2009 
  31. ^ Collins, Hattie (November 24, 2009), "Ke$ha: Ke$h Money", RWD Magazine,, retrieved January 29, 2010 
  32. ^ Powers, Ann (January 5, 2010), "Ke$ha is a wisecracking 'Animal'", Los Angeles Times,,0,4048424.story, retrieved January 6, 2010 
  33. ^ Piazza, Jo (February 7, 2010), "Ke$ha's Look: Garbage Chic or Just Plain Trash?", PopEater (AOL Inc.),$ha-garbage-chic/, retrieved March 12, 2010 
  34. ^ Stevenson, Jane (February 1, 2010), "It's not about the money, Ke$ha says", London Free Press,, retrieved February 2, 2010 

External links

Simple English

File:Kesha Live
Ke$ha in 2010
Background information
Birth name Kesha Rose Sebert
Born March 1, 1987(1987-03-01) in Los Angeles, California, United States
Origin Nashville, Tennessee
Genres Electropop, dance-pop
Occupations Singer, songwriter, Rapper
Years active 2005–present
Labels RCA
Associated acts Flo Rida, 3OH!3

Kesha (written as Ke$ha; real name: Kesha Rose Sebert) (born March 1, 1987 in Los Angeles, California) is a Jewish American singer, songwriter and rapper.


Ke$ha has released one album:

  • Animal (2010)
    • Singles include:
    • Tik Tok
    • Blah Blah Blah
    • Your Love Is My Drug

Other websites

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