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Woman by Kesha

Album: RainbowReleased: 2017Charted:
  • Kesha explained the story behind this honky-tonk female empowerment jam in an essay detailing the track's background:

    "In the past few years, I have felt like a woman more than ever. I just feel the strength and awesomeness and power of being female. We hold the key to humanity. We decide if we populate the Earth, and if so, with whom. We could just decide not to have any more kids and the human race would be over. That is power. I just really f---ing love being a woman and I wanted an anthem for anyone else who wants to yell about being self-sufficient and strong. (Yes, men, this song can be for you too.)."
  • The song is filled to the brim with F-bombs. Kesha said that the inspiration for the track came while she was stuck in traffic and "felt the urge to scream 'I'm a mother---ing woman.'"
  • The song is a shutdown to any man, who behaves badly towards women, but one guy in particular inspired the track. Speaking at a preview event, Kesha revealed that Donald Trump's "grab them by the pussy" comment led to this song's creation.

    "That made me so infuriated, as a hardcore feminist," she said. "Ever since I was a kid and knew what a feminist was, I was a feminist. [I was] raised by a feminist. Once I heard that[comment] I was like, okay, well, I'm going to write this song about being a badass mother---ing woman who you don't want to f--k with."
  • Kesha wrote and recorded the track with LA-based singer/songwriter Wrabel and Drew Pearson (Phillip Phillips' "Home"). The songstress recalled:

    "It was such a beautiful experience to write such a strong female empowerment song with two men, Drew Pearson and Stephen Wrabel, because it reinforces how supportive men can be of women AND feminism. That day was one of the best writing sessions of my life. It was pure raw joy. I have never had such a wonderful and hilarious work day as I did that day. It was one of those days I'll remember forever, because it brought me back to why I wanted to ever start making music.

    We were just making it up as we went. Wrabel and I got in the booth together singing vocals together and I sing 'I do what I want' and he sings 'she does' and I go 'say what you say' and he goes 'aahh' and I go 'work real hard every day' and he starts laughing.

    It was one of those songs that just happened as much as it was written. We were like three little kids going f--king crazy. We were just giddy, singing in the vocal booth until we realized that we had somehow (Drew!) gotten ourselves locked in the vocal booth ... we had to call a handyman who helped remove a window so we could crawl out before we died of asphyxiation."
  • Kesha headed to the Brooklyn studio of the Dap-Kings to let their horn section inject it with their "soul-funk sound." She said:

    "I knew we had a good song but since the day we wrote it I had wanted that Dap-King special sauce to take it to the next level. It was such an experience to come into their world and see the stacks of reel to reel tapes of Sharon Jones and Reigning Sound records that I love along the walls."
  • This was the first song titled "Woman" sung by a woman to reach the Hot 100. The prior "Woman" singles to reach the chart were all recorded by male acts. They were by Peter and Gordon (#14, 1966), John Lennon (#2, 1981) and Raheem DeVaughn (#96, 2008).
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