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: 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.
Fuck the World Tour and Rainbow: 2016–present Edit
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. This tour lasted nearly an entire year, from July 23, 2016 to July 22, 2017.
On July 5, 2017 Kesha announced via her Instagram account that she was releasing a single, titled "Praying", the following day. This was the lead single from her third studio album Rainbow, which was released 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. They are set to embark on a tour together beginning on June 6, 2018. This tour will promote both Kesha's album Rainbow and Macklemore's album Gemini.