Thursday, June 10, 2010

Ke$ha (Biography)

Kesha Rose Sebert (born March 1, 1987),  better known by her first name Kesha (Loudspeaker.svg /ˈkɛʃə/ KESH-ə, stylized Ke$ha), is an American pop singer, rapper and songwriter. Her debut single, "Tik Tok", released in late 2009, reached number one in eleven countries and set the weekly records for digital downloads of a female artist  and total Top 40 Mainstream airplay in the US.  The song also became the first Billboard Hot 100 number one of the decade  and the longest running number one debut single by a female artist since 1977.

At the age of eighteen, Kesha was signed to Dr. Luke's record label and publishing company. Although an active musician since 2005, singing background vocals and writing songs for other artists, her breakthrough only came in early 2009 after appearing on Flo Rida's number one single "Right Round". Before being brought to RCA Records, she had amassed an extensive social media following that was factored in for the promotion of her debut single and album. Her debut album, Animal, was released in early 2010 and debuted at number one in the US.

Childhood and youth: 1987–2004

Kesha was born in the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles to Pebe Sebert, a singer and songwriter. Her mother, a single parent, looked after infant Kesha onstage while performing. Pebe was struggling financially while supporting Kesha and her older brother, Lagan, at the time and they had to rely on welfare payments and food stamps to get by. Pebe moved the family to Nashville, Tennessee in 1991 after securing a publishing deal. She often brought Kesha and her brothers, Lagan and Louis, along to recording studios and encouraged Kesha to sing.

The Sebert family was featured in an episode of The Simple Life in 2005. Kesha was already working on her music by then. Pebe had taught Kesha how to write songs and they would often write together when she returned home from high school. She described herself in an interview as being "very studious" in high school; she would often drive to Belmont University to listen in on Cold War history classes after school and achieved "near perfect" SAT scores. However, she dropped out at the age of seventeen and earned her GED later, after being convinced by Dr. Luke and Max Martin to return to Los Angeles and pursue a music career. They had come across her demos and were impressed.

Career beginnings: 2005–2009

At the age of eighteen, she was signed to Luke's own label and music publishing company. While in Los Angeles, Kesha had the opportunity to sing background vocals for Paris Hilton's single, "Nothing in This World," which led to a later incident in which she vomited in Hilton's closet. Luke and Kesha later became estranged, with Kesha eventually signing with David Sonenberg's management company, DAS Communications Inc. in 2006. They were tasked with obtaining a major label record deal for her in a years time. She worked with several top writers and producers while at the company and credits the creation of her beat-driven sound to a co-writing session with Greg Wells. She also co-wrote The Veronicas' single, "This Love" with Toby Gad. Her songs were used on Degrassi: The Next Generation, The Hills, Teen Cribs and My Super Sweet 16 as well.

Kesha had wanted Prince to produce her music, so she located and trespassed into his Beverly Hills home. Once discovered, she was thrown out, but not before she left her demo with Prince, who did not contact her afterward. She later remarked that, "I felt it was harmless at the time, but looking back it was pretty psychotic." Kesha moonlighted as a waitress and a telemarketer to make ends meet while furthering her music career in the studio. She appeared in the video for Katy Perry's single, "I Kissed a Girl." Her appearance in the video arose due to her friendship with Perry; they met frequently as aspiring pop singers in Los Angeles and shared many musical collaborators.

In 2008, DAS attracted the attention of Kara Dioguardi, who wanted to sign Kesha to Warner. The deal fell through due to existing conflicts with Kesha's contract with Dr. Luke's label. She terminated her contract with DAS in September and reunited with Luke. She later sang background vocals for Britney Spears' song "Lace and Leather".

Kesha gained exposure in the mainstream media in early 2009 after appearing on Flo Rida's number one single, "Right Round." The collaboration was called "an accident" by Kesha; she had walked into a recording session with Flo Rida and Luke, who was producing the song. Flo Rida had wanted a female voice for the song, Kesha was then suggested for the part by Luke. Flo Rida liked the end result so much that they did two more songs. Kesha is not credited for her feature on the US release of "Right Round" and did not collect any money for the part. She also refused to appear in the video; she explained in an interview that, "if you want to be a legitimate artist, it’s more important what you say no to. I knew he would want me to be some sexpot, shake my booty, and whatever." The song soon achieved success worldwide while Kesha continued to live on a meager income, which inspired the dollar sign in her stage name. She states that it was meant to be ironic, in that she "actually [stood] for the opposite of putting a lot of emphasis on money."

Animal: 2010–present
Soon after, it was announced that Kesha had signed a multi-album deal  with RCA Records through Luke's imprint, after being sought after by many major labels,  and was working on her debut album.  She made her official stage debut at that year's Lollapalooza  as part of the BMI Stage, with Time Out Chicago saying that the set was "cheap, extremely short, and left the audience wanting more. Just like crack." Her debut single, "Tik Tok", had been released digitally in the US in early August, and was sent to radio two months later in October. Her label noticed her strong following on social media when negotiating her contract and relied on viral marketing to build a following for the song, offering the song as a free stream on MySpace as early as July. Kesha had co-wrote the title song for Miley Cyrus' The Time of Our Lives EP, made appearances on Pitbull's album and the cover of Women's Wear Daily.  In September 2009, the former lead singer of punk band The Actual, Max Bernstein, was hired as her bassist. She supported Calvin Harris on tour in the UK  and toured with Mickey Avalon in the US.

A number one placing in New Zealand for "Tik Tok" gave Kesha her first number one; this was followed by number one positions ten other countries. It reached the top of the Billboard Hot 100, becoming the first number one of the decade. For its second week at number one on the Billboard Hot 100, "Tik Tok" set the weekly record for the most digital downloads of a female artist and became the second best-selling single in a week, after "Right Round", by shifting 610,000 copies. At its fifth week at the top, it broke the record for the highest weekly total Top 40 Mainstream airplay record. Spending nine weeks at number one, the song became the longest running number one debut single by a female artist since Debby Boone's 1977 single "You Light Up My Life". "Tik Tok" was featured in the opening sequence for The Simpsons episode "To Surveil With Love" where the entire cast lip-synced to the song, making it the first time that the series has forgone its traditional opening theme for another song since its creation.

Kesha's debut album, Animal, was released on January 5, 2010 in the US to mixed reviews from music critics. Rolling Stone called the album "repulsive, obnoxious and ridiculously catchy." The album debuted at number one in the US, selling 152,000 copies with 76% of sales coming from digital outlets, the largest weekly digital percentage share for an album at number one. By March, the album had sold a million copies worldwide with half of the sales coming from digital downloads. Second single, "Blah Blah Blah" managed to debut on the charts in the US, Canada and Ireland before being announced as the next single due to strong digital sales following the release of the album. She presented with Justin Bieber at the 52nd Grammy Awards and performed on American Idol on March 17, 2010. Kesha made her debut Saturday Night Live appearance as the musical guest on April 17, 2010.

Kesha's musical credits in 2010 include a co-write for Miranda Cosgrove's debut album as well as features on singles by Taio Cruz and 3OH!3 and Mickey Avalon's record. She will be the opening act on the North American leg of Rihanna's Last Girl on Earth tour and is one of the acts performing for the revival of Lilith Fair. In May, her former managers from DAS filed a lawsuit seeking $14 million in damages from Kesha and $12 million from Dr. Luke for commissions on her RCA record deal, alleging that she squeezed them out of her career under pressure from Luke. Kesha's lawyer, Charles Ortner, said she was entitled to end her relationship with the firm for failing to "get [her] a major-label record deal in a year" and that they had nothing to do in her eventual signing with RCA.


Post a Comment