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Kesha: Biography and Origins of the Tik Tok Singer

VO: Rebecca Brayton
Born March 1st, 1987 in Los Angeles, California, Kesha fell in love with singing in her adolescence. At the insistence of producers Dr. Luke and Max Martin, she quit high school to pursue music but spent her first few years in the business writing songs for others. After providing vocals on Flo Rida's "Right Round," she hit it big with her own music and number one album, "Animal." Kesha continued to top charts with her own songs and found success collaborating with big name acts. Her second album, "Warrior," hits store shelves on December 4th, 2012. In this video, takes a look at the musical origins of Kesha.

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She wakes up in the morning feeling like P. Diddy. Welcome to, and today we're taking a look at the musical origins of Ke$ha.

Musical Family

Ke$ha Rose Sebert was born March 1st, 1987 in Los Angeles, California. She and her brothers were raised in poverty by her mother, singer-songwriter Pebe Sebert. But, the family’s luck turned around when Pebe negotiated a songwriting deal and they relocated to Nashville.

Musical Beginnings

It was while Ke$ha spent time at her mother’s recording studio that her singing talent was discovered. She was encouraged to sing and write music, so in high school she took songwriting classes and joined the school band. When she had built up her confidence, Ke$ha began recording demos, and one of these tapes landed on the doorstep of producers Dr. Luke and Max Martin. The two convinced Ke$ha to drop out of school and return to L.A. to begin a music career.

First Record Label

The eighteen-year-old signed to Dr. Luke’s record label in 2005; however, aside from providing backup vocals on a Paris Hilton track, Ke$ha’s career experienced little progress. The next year, she signed with a new talent management company in the hopes of landing a major label contract.


Though she continued to work in music, she also took up waitressing to make ends meet. During this period, she also penned tracks for artists like The Veronicas, sang backup for Britney Spears and appeared in a Katy Perry music video. Soon, Ke$ha soon reunited with Dr. Luke and it wasn’t long before she had her big break.

Flo Rida

2009 saw Ke$ha featured on Flo Rida's single “Right Round.” While the song was a smash hit, Ke$ha was not credited for her efforts and even declined to appear in the corresponding music video because she wanted to make it in the business based on her own work.

Number One Debut

After many unsuccessful attempts, Ke$ha finally struck a multi-album deal with RCA Records, and released her first full-length solo record. When Animal dropped in 2010, it debuted at the top spot on the Billboard 200. With Dr. Luke tackling executive production duties, the electropop album was eventually certified platinum in the U.S. The first single, “Tik Tok,” spent nine weeks at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and was quickly followed up by three more top ten hits. Ke$ha quickly became the target of critics who panned her unrefined musical style and artificial personality. Regardless, Ke$ha’s career skyrocketed.

“Cannibal” EP

She went on tour with Rihanna, won an MTV Europe Music Award and collaborated with Taio Cruz and 3OH!3. Her success continued with the re-release of Animal, which was accompanied by her first EP, Cannibal, and another chart topping single: “We R Who We R.” By the end of 2010, Ke$ha was named Billboard's Hot 100 Artist of the Year.


Ke$ha exploded into 2011: Cannibal’s second single, “Blow,” peaked at number seven on the Billboard Hot 100 and the artist embarked on her Get Sleazy world tour. That same year, she also collaborated with Alice Cooper, co-wrote the Britney Spears' single "Till the World Ends” and appeared on a remix of that track.

Sophomore Effort

In 2012, Ke$ha scheduled the release of her biography, “My Crazy Beautiful Life,” ahead of her second album, Warrior. Though it still contained elements of dance and pop, that record focused more on a ‘70s rock sound. Its first single, “Die Young,” was her eighth top ten hit.

Continued Success

This unique and multi-talented singer-songwriter has proven she is a warrior by achieving so much success in such a short time span, despite her detractors. Music clearly flows through Ke$ha’s veins and whether you’d like to admit it or not, the girl’s got skills.

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