Kesha Rose Sebert (born March 1, 1987), known mononymously as Kesha (formerly stylized as Ke$ha), is a female singer-songwriter. In 2005, at age 18, Kesha was signed to producer Dr. Luke's record label, Kemosabe Entertainment, and publishing company. Although an active musician since then, singing background vocals and writing songs for other artists, her breakthrough came in early 2009 after appearing on rapper Flo Rida's number-one single, "Right Round", although she was uncredited. Her debut album, Animal and her first extended play, Cannibal, were both released in 2010. Kesha's music and image propelled her to immediate commercial success. Warrior, her second studio album, was released in December 2012. Lip$ha, a collaborative album with The Flaming Lips was originally set to be released sometime in 2014 or 2015 due to legal issues with Dr. Luke, however it is unknown whether it will still be released or not. Her third studio album, Rainbow, was released on August 11, 2017.
Life and career Edit
Childhood and youth: 1987–2004 Edit
Kesha was born in Los Angeles, California on March 1, 1987. Her mother, Patricia Rose "Pebe" Sebert, is a singer-songwriter who co-wrote the 1978 single "Old Flames Can't Hold a Candle to You" with Hugh Moffatt for Joe Sun. Pebe, a single mother, struggled financially while supporting herself and her three children, Kesha, Lagan, and Louie. They relied on welfare payments and food stamps to get by. When Kesha was an infant, Pebe would often have to look after her onstage while performing. Kesha says she has no knowledge of her father's identity. However, a man named Bob Chamberlain who called himself her father approached Star Magazine in 2011 with pictures and letters, claiming them as proof that they had been in regular contact as father and daughter before she turned 19. Her mother is of half German and half Hungarian descent (with her Hungarian side from Szentes).
Kesha's family moved to Nashville, Tennessee, in 1991 after securing a new publishing deal for her songwriting. Pebe frequently brought Kesha and her brothers along to recording studios and encouraged Kesha to sing when she noticed Kesha's vocal talent. Kesha claimed that she did not fit in at school in the Brentwood suburb of Nashville, which she has called the "Bible Belt", explaining that her unconventional dress sense including homemade purple velvet pants and purple hair did not endear her to other students. She played the trumpet and later the saxophone in the marching band in school, and described herself in an interview as being "very studious" in high school; she would often drive to Belmont University to listen in on Cold War history classes after school and achieved "near perfect" SAT scores. Kesha attended Franklin High School and Brentwood High School.
In addition to taking songwriting classes, Kesha was also taught how to write songs by Pebe, and they would often write together when she returned home from school. Kesha began recording demos which Pebe would give to people she knew. Kesha was also in a band with Lagan. Kesha and Pebe co-wrote the song "Stephen" together when Kesha was 16. Kesha then tracked down David Gamson, a producer that she admired, from Scritti Politti who agreed to produce the song. She dropped out of school at 17, after being convinced by Dr. Luke and Max Martin to return to Los Angeles to pursue a music career, and earned her GED after. Around this time, Pebe answered an ad by reality series, The Simple Life, looking for an "eccentric" family to host Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie. The episode aired in 2005.
Luke and Martin had received one of Kesha's demos from Samantha Cox, senior director of writer/publisher relations at Broadcast Music Incorporated, and were impressed. Two of the demos were described in a cover story for Billboard, the first "a gorgeously sung, self-penned country ballad" and the second "a gobsmackingly awful trip-hop track" where Kesha raps ad lib for a minute when she runs out of lyrics near the end. Luke stated in an interview for the story that it was the latter track that caught his attention, saying "when you're listening to 100 CDs, that kind of bravado and chutzpah stand out."
Career beginnings: 2005–2009 Edit
In 2005, at the age of 18, Kesha was signed to Dr. Luke's label, Kemosabe Entertainment, and his music publishing company, Prescription Songs. Kesha later sang background vocals for Paris Hilton's single, "Nothing in This World". Dr. Luke became preoccupied with other incoming projects, having enjoyed success writing and producing for pop star Kelly Clarkson's album, Breakaway. Kesha then signed with David Sonenberg's management company, DAS Communications Inc., in 2006, hardly interacting with Dr. Luke after that. DAS was tasked with obtaining a major label record deal for Kesha in a year’s time in exchange for 20 percent of her music income, with her having the option of ending the relationship if they failed. She worked with several writers and producers while at the company and ended up co-writing Australian pop group The Veronicas' single, "This Love" with producer Toby Gad. While furthering her career in studio, Kesha earned her living as a waitress. She adopted the dollar sign in her name while struggling to get by as an ironic gesture.
Kesha appeared in the video for her friend, Katy Perry's single "I Kissed a Girl", and sang background vocals for the Dr. Luke-produced song, "Lace and Leather" by Britney Spears in 2008 DAS soon attracted the attention of songwriter and A&R Kara DioGuardi, who wanted to sign Kesha to Warner Bros. Records. The deal fell through due to her existing contract with Dr. Luke's label. In September, she terminated her contract with DAS, reuniting with Dr. Luke. Kesha gained exposure in the mainstream media in early 2009 after appearing on rapper Flo Rida's number one single, "Right Round".The collaboration happened by accident; she had walked into a recording session for the song with Flo Rida and Dr. Luke. Flo Rida wanted a female voice for the song; Dr. Luke then suggested Kesha for the part. Flo Rida liked the end result so much that they did two more tracks, "Touch Me" being one of them and the other remains unnamed. However, she is not credited for her feature on the United States release of "Right Round" and did not collect any money for the part. She also refused to appear in the video, explaining to men's magazine Esquire that she wanted to make a name for herself on her own terms.
Animal and Cannibal: 2010–2011 Edit
In 2010, Kesha released her debut album, Animal. This album contained the singles "Tik Tok", "Blah Blah Blah", "Your Love Is My Drug", and "Take It Off". The album was soon after followed by Kesha's first extended play, Cannibal, which contained the singles "We R Who We R" and "Blow". In 2011, Kesha went on a tour to promote her album and EP. This tour began on February 15, 2011 and ended on September 29.
Kesha also released a compilation of Animal and Cannibal as well as two remix compilations in late 2010 and 2011.
Warrior, other projects, and personal struggles: 2012–2015 Edit
On December 4, 2012, Kesha released her sophomore album Warrior, following the singles "Die Young", "C'mon", and "Crazy Kids". She embarked on her Warrior Tour starting on July 3, 2013 and ending two years later on September 19, 2015.
In 2013, Kesha joined Pitbull on his North American Tour 2013. They later released a song together on October 7 entitled "Timber". A documentary series, Kesha: My Crazy Beautiful Life, aired in April 2013 on MTV.
In July 2013, The Flaming Lips announced that they hoped to release a full-length collaborative album with Kesha, called Lipsha, although it was eventually cancelled in the winter of the same year. Kesha sent a message to a fan expressing how it was out of her control and that she wanted to release the material, even for free, saying that she did not care about the money. On October 7, 2013, Kesha and Pitbull released a collaboration, "Timber", produced by Luke, which was an international commercial success and became Kesha's third number-one and her eleventh top 10 single on the Hot 100 chart.
In 2014, Kesha had admitted herself into rehab for bulimia nervosa, an eating disorder, and began to work on her third studio album. After checking out of rehab in April, she dropped the "$" from her name, opting to use her birth name instead. While in rehab, Kesha recorded 14 new songs. In June 2014, Kesha became an expert on the short lived singing competition, Rising Star, along with Brad Paisley and Ludacris. In October 2014, Kesha sued producer Dr. Luke for sexual assault and battery, sexual harassment, gender violence, emotional abuse, and violation of California business practices which had occurred over 10 years working together. The lawsuit went on for about a year before Kesha sought a preliminary injunction to release her from Kemosabe Records. On February 19, 2016, New York Supreme Court Justice Shirley Kornreich ruled against this request. On April 6, 2016, Kornreich dismissed the case, saying that even if the allegations of sexual assault are accepted as true, the five-year statute of limitations had run out on the two most specific rape allegations, one occurring in 2005 and the other in 2008.
On November 2, 2014, a new song titled "Lover", was uploaded to Schpilkas' SoundCloud, who produced the track alongside Spookey Ruben. The track was later included on Ruben's album Welsh Rarebits. In December 2015, Kesha revealed that she had formed a country music and classic rock-influenced band called Yeast Infection and performed a live show with the band in Nashville on December 23.
Fuck the World Tour and Rainbow: 2016–present Edit
Kesha appeared during Zedd's slot at the 2016 Coachella Music Festival, performing "True Colors". A studio version was released as a single on April 29, 2016. Kesha was scheduled to perform at the 2016 Billboard Music Awards, but was prevented from doing so due to Dr. Luke. She was later allowed to perform as long as she didn't mention anything about the lawsuit. She sung Bob Dylan's song "It Ain't Me Babe".
In 2016, Kesha started the Fuck the World Tour with her band, the Creepies. The tour was seen as an act of defiance against Dr. Luke, since this took place after the court denied her request to be freed from Kemosabe Records. The band took her old songs and remade them into rock and country versions as well as performing some songs by Kesha's favorite artists. This tour lasted nearly an entire year, from July 23, 2016 to July 22, 2017. During this time, it was revealed that Kesha had recorded 22 songs on her own and had given them to her label. It was later announced that Kesha is in the process of recording a third studio album.
On July 5, 2017 Kesha announced via her Instagram account that she was releasing a single, titled "Praying", the following day, which would later be nominated for a Grammy, along with her album Rainbow, marking this as her first two Grammy nominations. The album on August 11, 2017. She also thanked her fans for their support in getting her through the hardest time in her life.
Other singles from Rainbow include "Learn to Let Go" and "Woman". "Hymn" was released shortly before the album as a promotional single. On September 26, 2017, Kesha began her Rainbow Tour, which is scheduled to end on October 11, 2018.
Macklemore and Kesha released a song entitled "Good Old Days" together on October 9, 2017. From June 6, 2018 to August 5, 2018, the two went on a tour together called The Adventures of Kesha and Macklemore Tour. This tour promoted Kesha's album Rainbow and Macklemore's album Gemini. Several behind the scenes videos were uploaded during the tour.
Kesha is also set to go on a cruise tour called Kesha's Weird & Wonderful Rainbow Ride. This tour starts on February 17, 2019 and ends on February 21, 2019, and Kesha will be accompanied by Betty Who, Superfruit, Jonathan Van Ness, Big Freedia, Wrabel, Bob the Drag Queen, Detox, and Thorgy Thor.
Her documentary film, Rainbow The Film was released on Apple Music on August 10, 2018, following her stint at rehab for her eating disorder, creating Rainbow. In the same month, she would collaborate with rock band The Struts for the remix of the band's "Body Talks" for their album of the same name. A new song titled "Here Comes the Change" was released on September 19, 2018 for the Motion Picture, On the Basis of Sex.
Kesha co-wrote and featured in the song "Safe", the debut single by her younger brother, Louie Sebert, going by the name "Sage". It was released in partnership with the March For Our Lives organization.
The discography of Kesha consists of:
Studio albums Edit
Extended plays Edit
Remix albums Edit
- I Am the Dance Commander + I Command You to Dance: The Remix Album (2011)
- Animal + Cannibal - the Remix Album (2011)
Compliation albums Edit
- Animal + Cannibal (2010)
Non-album singles Edit
Add more facts about Kesha here!
- She is part Hungarian.
- She is vegetarian.
- She is an ordained minister and has performed legal commitment ceremonies for both same-sex and opposite-sex couples.
- She spoke about her sexual orientation with Seventeen magazine in 2013, "I don't love just men. I love people. It's not about gender".
- She made a similar statement to Out magazine in 2010, when she confessed to simply "liking people": "I wouldn't say I'm gay or straight. I don't like labeling things anyway".
- She has been involved with LGBT+ activism as well as animal rights.
- Kesha believes in God, writing for Lenny Letter that she believes that "God is nature and space and energy and the universe. My own interpretation of spirituality isn't important, because we all have our own. What matters is that I have something greater than me as an individual that helps bring me peace".
- She has an IQ of 140.
- Her gold tooth, which she wore from 2010-2015, was installed after she chipped her actual tooth during some bar "rowdiness". Kesha told E! News in 2013, "Someone was being mean to one of my dancers and I couldn't take it, so then part of my tooth came out and then the gold went on".
- This is also her biggest fashion regret.
- She used beer as an adhesive when she first started wearing body glitter, but stopped because it was giving her a skin rash. She later started using baby oil.
- Her favorite author is Tom Robbins.
- She didn't like "Tik Tok" at first and wanted to rewrite the verses. "I didn't think it was funny or clever," she explained to the Herald Sun in 2010. "I thought it kind of sucked. But everyone else liked it".
- She broke into Prince's house to leave him her demo CD.
- She drove a gold trans am, until it broke down in 2013 (shown on her tv show).