This is the first single from American singer-songwriter Ke$ha (real name Kesha Sebert)'s debut album, Animal
. Before recording this song Ke$ha's résumé already included co-writing The Veronicas single "This Love
, providing background vocals to Britney Spears's "Lace and Leather
" and, most notably, guest vocalist on rapper Flo Rida's chart-topping "Right Round
In an interview with Esquire magazine, Ke$ha explained the original inspiration for this decadent number. "One morning I just woke up, and I live in this house with I-don't-even-know-how-many roommates - it's this Laurel Canyon house with seven rooms and roommates fluctuating monthly." She added: "Well it was the house The Eagles recorded Hotel California in. So it's just this huge hippy... There are a bunch of hippies who come in and out, and there are all these people sleeping on the couches. I don't really care, I don't mind it. But I woke up one day after we went to a party, and I was surrounded by ten of the most beautiful women you've ever seen. And I was like, I'm like P. Diddy - there's no man like this in the entire world. So that became the first line of the new single, and we just went from there."
The song is featured on the second episode of the 2009 series of Melrose Place.
American actor Simon Rex, who played George Logan in Scary Movies 3 &4, appears as a character named Barry in the song's music video.
Diddy contributes to this song rapping the lines "Hey, what up girl?" and "Let's Go." The story of how Ke$ha hooked up with the A-list producer and rapper is that after writing the first line of the song, which is "Wake up in the morning feeling like P Diddy," she took it to her producer, Dr. Luke. By coincidence about four hours later, Diddy called Luke for the first time ever saying they should do a song together some time. Almost immediately Diddy dropped by the studio to contribute his lines. Ke$ha told MTV News: "He agreed to come in that day. It was so bizarre, but as fate would have it, happened in the course of hours. We all were hanging out and I was so intimidated... but he was the nicest guy."
Ke$ha became the first female vocalist to rise to have a #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 with her debut single since Lady Gaga achieved the same feat 11 months previously with "Just Dance
This was the first Hot 100 #1 of the 2010s decade.
In its second week on top of the Hot 100, this set the record for most single-week downloads by a female artist (610,000) beating the prior female mark set by Lady Gaga's "Just Dance" (419,000). The record was set during the 2009 holiday week, which is traditionally the strongest download sales week of the year. Flo Rida's "Right Round
" sold the highest weekly (636,000), on which co-incidentally Ke$ha provided non-credited vocals.
Ke$ha's biggest digital sales record by a female was beaten by Taylor Swift when her "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" sold 623,000 in the week ending August 19, 2012.
Ke$ha explained to Jam! Music
that the dollar sign in her name was inspired by the fact that she never benefited financially from "Right Round"s huge success. She said of Flo Rida: "He's super-sweet. It's not like I blame him." Then added: "To me, it's not about the money. That's the whole reason I have (the dollar sign), 'cause it's ironic. Like, I don't care. I was so happy being broke. And I'm happy not being broke. It doesn't really affect me either way. I care about taking care of people that have taken care of me - that's important to me. But to be honest, I'm kind of repulsed by the gluttony and excesses of a lot of people in the limelight."
This unapologetic ode to getting totally wasted logged 11,224 spins in the tracking week of January 18-24 2010 setting a record for the most weekly plays in the 17 year history of the Billboard Charts. Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance
" was the previous record holder having been played 10,859 times in the previous seven day period.
When Ke$ha's producer Dr Luke telephoned her after hearing a demo to say he'd like to hook up with the then unknown singer-songwriter, Nicole Richie took the call and hung up on him. At the time Ke$ha and her mom were filming an episode of the reality show The Simple Life as the host family to Paris Hilton and Richie. Fortunately, he eventually got Ke$ha on the phone and the rest was history.
Ke$ha has been tagged by some music publications as a white rapper thanks to her songy-rapping style on tracks like this one and "Blah Blah Blah
. The singer told Billboard
magazine that initially she was reluctant to rap on Animal
. "The white-girl rap swagger thing is really a little bit of a joke," she said. "I never thought of myself as a rapper. This is just the way I talk."
This song spent nine weeks at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100, the most for a single by a female artist since Debby Boone's "You Light Up My Life
" stayed at the peak for ten weeks. in 1977.
Ke$ha sings in this song about brushing her teeth with a bottle of Jack Daniel's. She told The Daily Telegraph that the lyric shouldn't be taken seriously. The singer said shaking her head: "Everyone's really offended by that, but come on, brushing your teeth with Jack Daniel's: what girl does that? People are like, 'Do you really advocate brushing your teeth with bourbon?' I'm like, 'Yes, actually, I do, every day, for everybody. Especially eight-year-olds.' I mean, what are you talking about? Of course I don't. Come on."
Ke$ha performed this on the April 17, 2010 episode of Saturday Night Live with her band and backup dancers dressed as astronauts.
Ke$ha paid tribute to Billboard magazine about co-writer and producer Dr Luke's contribution to this song. "I tried to rewrite the verses of 'TiK ToK,'" she said. "I was like, 'This doesn't make sense. "Brushing your teeth with Jack Daniel's"-are people going to get what I'm talking about? Is this too much? Is it clever enough?' And he literally had to fight me off, and then Benny Blanco had to chase me out of the studio when I got a mind to rewrite it. He kept saying, 'It's good. Just trust me, it's good.'
He really lets me be myself. All the crazy s--t I say, he embraces, because he really embraced my personality. A lot of producers have tried to tone it down. And I wouldn't be as successful as I have been had I been watered down."
This was the top song of 2010 on Billboard's Hot 100 chart, having spent nine weeks at #1. Surprisingly Ke$ha was the first ever female since Billboard began producing year-end recaps in 1946, to achieve the top song of the year.
Ke$ha was asked in an interview with Billboard magazine whether the song's success can be attributed to good timing. She replied: "In terms of the state of America, with the recession? Definitely. It's a celebratory song, but it's not about bottles of champagne in the club and my brand-name clothes. It's just me talking about being somewhat of a bum and having a great time in Los Angeles."
This was the world's biggest selling digital single in 2010. Ke$ha's pop-rap track sold 12.8 million copies, well ahead of Lady Gaga's runner-up "Poker Face
," which was downloaded 9.8 million times.