Kesha was born Kesha Rose Sebert in Los Angeles to a songwriting single mother. Her mother struggled financially to feed Kesha and her brother Lagan, often relying on welfare and food stamps to get by. Things picked up in 1991 when Kesha's mother scored a better songwriting deal and the family moved to Nashville to pursue better opportunities.
Kesha broke through in the music industry when she appeared on Flo Rida's 2009 track "Right Round
." She gained more notoriety by appearing in Katy Perry's video for "I Kissed a Girl
" and for co-writing Britney Spears' comeback single "Till The World Ends
In 2010, Kesha held a benefit concert to help aid the victims of the 2010 Tennessee floods in her hometown of Nashville. The concert raised $70,000 for the relief effort.
Her song "We R Who We R
" was influenced by the sudden surge of suicides by gay teenagers in the United States in mid-2010. Kesha wrote the song as a pride anthem, saying "I wanted to inspire people to be themselves. It's a celebration of any quirks or eccentricities."
In 2010, she was named the Humane Society's first global ambassador for animals. She donated 1,000 pounds of dog food to a Nashville animal shelter following the Tennessee floods of 2010 to help feed displaced animals. She later appeared with Iggy Pop in an ad for PETA to protest the clubbing of seals in Canada.
Kesha is a huge fan of the counterculture music and movies that surfaced in the late '60s and early '70s. The dramatic glitter makeup that often appears around her right eye was inspired by Stanley Kubrick's 1971 movie A Clockwork Orange
, while the animated scenes in the video for her hit song "Your Love Is My Drug
" were inspired by The Beatles' 1968 film Yellow Submarine
She says her 2009 album Animal was written in homage to the Beastie Boys' classic 1986 album License to Ill. In a chat with Interview magazine, the singer explained: "That record is so fun and youthful, but it's dangerous at the same time and just makes you want to get crazy in, like, the funnest possible way."
Kesha loves men with beards. The pop star says she likes that it makes guys look more like animals and that she actually enjoys biting them as well. She also likes that when she makes out with a man with a beard, her glitter sticks to it and other women know the guy is taken.
Kesha was one of a tiny minority of babies born with a tail. Human embryos have a tail, which is usually absorbed as the fetus grows. In rare cases, a child is born with the remnants of the slender prolongation and in Kesha's case she came into this world with a quarter of an inch tail, which was chopped off.
The "Die Young
" singer is proud that she always pushes herself to extremes. "Anything I am afraid of, I usually get off on doing," she explained to Heat
magazine. "I'm scared of heights and I'm scared of airplanes, so I'll jump out of an airplane! I just take the things that scare me the most and try and face them. That's the best adrenaline rush."
Kesha was the cover girl on the November 2012 edition of Vibe magazine. It was the first time any living white woman has ever landed on the front of the hip-hop and R&B publication by herself (Amy Winehouse was on the cover after her death).
Iggy Pop's "Real Wild Child (Wild One)
" is Kesha's favorite tune. She said: "It's the last song I play before I walk onstage and the first song I play when I get off stage. It always gets me going."
Her and her mom were featured in a 2005 episode of the reality show The Simple Life
as the host family to Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie in Nashville. The link with Hilton later provided material for her song "Party at a Rich Dude's House
Before breaking though with "Tik Tok
," Kesha worked as a staff songwriter, co-penning Australian pop group The Veronicas' single, "This Love
" with producer Toby Gad.
Kesha has an interest in comparative religion and is an ordained minister. In 2012 she conducted a commitment ceremony for her close friends Monique Morrison and Gretchen Helt.
In October 2014, Kesha filed a civil suit against her longtime producer Dr. Luke, accusing him of professional misconduct, along with emotional and sexual abuse. It was the beginning of a lengthy court battle, which included Kesha's 2016 file for a preliminary injunction which would let her bypass her Sony contract and record music apart from the label and her alleged abuser. The New York State Supreme Court court ruled against Kesha, but Sony insisted the singer could work with other producers besides Dr. Luke as long as she fulfilled the terms of her contract: six total albums with six songs on each produced by Dr. Luke.
Ke$ha scored near a near-perfect 1500 on her SATs and has a reported IQ of over 140, which puts her near genius level. However, she turned down the offer of a full scholarship at Barnard College, choosing her music career instead.
Kesha likes crafting with a certain part of the human body. In 2012, she asked her followers to send her their teeth. She received over 1,000 knashers from fans, which she used to make a bra top, a headdress, earrings and necklaces.
In early 2014, Kesha checked into a rehab center to deal with an eating disorder, reportedly brought on by her producer's criticism.
Kesha's mom, Pebe Sebert, began her music career as a punk rocker before becoming a singer-songwriter. She is best known for writing Dolly Parton's 1980 chart-topper "Old Flames (Can't Hold a Candle to You)
Dolly has been a huge influence on Kesha. She told Q magazine: "Whenever I come to a life decision or a fork in the road, I ask myself what would Dolly Parton do? Dolly Parton is someone I've looked up to since I was a kid. We went to her amusement park in East Tennessee and I knew that my mum wrote a song for her and I loved everything she did or said. She's strong and pretty and independent and funny and works her ass off and does things her own way. Her sayings are words I live by."
Kesha wrote her first song at the age of 12. It was about champagne; she admitted to The Hollywood Reporter
that at that age she had no idea what champagne tasted like.