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Kesha Rose Sebert (pronounced /kɛʃə/; born March 1, 1987), known by the stylized stage name/mononym Ke$ha, is an American singer–songwriter. Although she began her music career in 2006, her breakthrough only came in early 2009 after appearing on Flo Rida’s number one single, “Right Round.” Sebert’s debut single, “TiK ToK,” was later released in October, preceding the release of her debut album, Animal, which was released on January 5, 2010.
Sebert was born in San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles to a single parent. Her mother, Pebe Sebert, also a singer-songwriter, was struggling to get by and support Kesha and her older brother at the time, she would often look after then infant Kesha onstage while performing. Pebe moved the family to Nashville, Tennessee in 1991 after securing a publishing deal, and Kesha spent the rest of her early years attending a music school in the neighboring countryside. Pebe often brought Kesha along to recording studios and encouraged her to sing, Kesha was exposed to the music of many country music artists while learning to write songs. The Sebert family was featured in an episode of The Simple Life, as the host family, which led to an incident later where Sebert vomited in Paris Hilton’s closet. At the age of seventeen she dropped out of Brentwood High School in Nashville to return to Los Angeles and pursue a music career.
She decided that she wanted Prince to produce her music, so she found and snuck into his Beverly Hills home. Once she was discovered, she was promptly thrown out, but not before she dropped off her demo, which was wrapped in a purple bow, with Prince himself. Sebert survived on low income and few gigs while pursuing her career at first, moonlighting as a waitress to make ends meet while furthering her music career in studios with different producers. It was then that she met Dr. Luke who had come across her demos and was so impressed that he contacted her with Max Martin and began a working relationship with her immediately.
Between 2006 and 2009, Sebert’s music appeared in a variety of media, her song “Former Overexposed Blonde” appeared in Degrassi: The Next Generation, while “Backstabber” and “Chain Reaction” were used in The Hills. During this time, she also co-wrote The Veronicas’ single, “This Love”, sang background vocals for Britney Spears’ song “Lace and Leather” and appeared in the video for Katy Perry’s single, “I Kissed a Girl” Her appearance in the video arose due to her being friends with Perry, they met frequently as aspiring pop singers in Los Angeles and shared many musical collaborators. Sebert currently lives in a shared mansion in Laurel Canyon.
She gained exposure in the mainstream media after being featured on Flo Rida’s single, “Right Round”. The collaboration came about when Flo Rida decided that the song needed a female voice, Sebert was then roped in for the part after being suggested by Dr. Luke, who was producing the song. Flo Rida liked the end result so much that he invited her to guest on another song, “Touch Me”, for his album. She turned down an offer to appear in the video for “Right Round”, because she wanted to strike out on her own. Soon after, it was announced that she had signed with RCA Records through Dr. Luke and was working on her debut album, which has now been completed and was released on January 5, 2010 in the US. It immediately stole the top spot on Itunes Albums, gaining both fans and critics alike. Her first single, “TiK ToK”, was officially serviced to US radio on October 5, 2009. It features an uncredited cameo appearance by Diddy who is the inspiration for the song. In an interview with MTV Sweden for MTV Push, Sebert revealed that her debut album would be called Animal.
On March 27, 2009, she appeared onstage alongside 3OH!3 at one of their concerts at Avalon Hollywood to perform their duet, “My First Kiss”. She also performed at that year’s Lollapalooza as part of the BMI Stage. Sebert’s musical credits in 2009 include work for Teen Cribs, she had previously done background cues for My Super Sweet 16 as well, co-writing the title song for Miley Cyrus’ The Time of Our Lives EP and featured appearances on Pitbull and Taio Cruz’s albums. She also revealed in an interview with DigitalSpy that she had written a song for Rihanna. Sebert has also been a supporting act of Calvin Harris on tour in the UK and has performed with Mickey Avalon on multiple tour dates.