Also Credited As:Kesha, Kesha Sebert, Kesha Rose Sebert
|March 1, 1987|
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She was born Kesha Rose Sebert on March 1, 1987 in Los Angeles, where she was raised by a single mother who relied on welfare and food stamps in order to get by. Ke$ha's mother Pebe, who also worked as a songwriter to earn extra money, moved the family to Nashville, TN, where she often brought along the future star to recording studios. One of Ke$ha's earliest television appearances was on the reality series "The Simple Life" (Fox, 2003-05; E! 2006-07), where socialites Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie traveled across the country to live and work with various families. A 2005 episode of the show featured Hilton and Richie visiting and living with Ke$ha's family for a few days. After dropping out of high school, Ke$ha recorded a demo of two songs - a country ballad and an ad-libbed hip-hop track - that eventually made it to executives at Broadcast Music, Inc., a non-profit organization for artists. BMI convinced Ke$ha to move back to Los Angeles and pursue a music career.
At 18, Ke$ha signed with producer Dr. Luke's Kemosabe Entertainment and sang background vocals, ironically, for Hilton's single "Nothing in This World" (2006). Moving to L.A. did not help Ke$ha achieve overnight success. She earned a living as a waitress while waiting to get discovered. Yet nothing stopped the aspiring singer to pursue her dreams, even if it meant breaking the law. Two years after arriving in L.A., Ke$ha reportedly trespassed the property of music icon Prince because she was determined to have him produce her first album. She was eventually thrown out, but she allegedly managed to leave a copy of her demo.
Shortly after landing mainstream projects, from appearing in Katy Perry's music video for "I Kissed A Girl" (2008), to singing background vocals for Britney Spears's song "Lace and Leather" (2008), Ke$ha finally hit music gold when she sang the hook in rapper Flo Rida's chart-topping single, "Right Round." The collaboration happened after Ke$ha accidentally walked into a recording session with Flo Rida and Dr. Luke, and was asked to sing the catchy hook. Even though she was not paid, nor was she credited on the U.S. release of the song, Ke$ha's vocal cameo in "Right Round" helped her land a multi-album deal with RCA Records. She released her debut single "Tik Tok," a celebratory pop song inspired by Ke$ha's party-girl lifestyle. The song topped the charts in several countries and by October 2010, was certified five times platinum. "Tik Tok" was also featured in various Hollywood projects, from the long-running animated series "The Simpsons" (Fox, 1989- ), to the family feature "Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules" (2011). The track even received a show choir version on the award-winning comedy series "Glee" (Fox, 2009- ) during an episode about teen drinking. "Tik Tok" paved the way for Ke$ha's debut album, Animal and subsequent singles "Blah Blah Blah" and "Your Love Is My Drug" to do equally well on the charts.
Ke$ha's breakout success with Animal earned her rave critical reviews and multiple award nominations, including Artist of the Year at the 2010 American Music Awards. Never one to take herself too seriously, Ke$ha also showcased her acting skills in a series of comedy short films for the popular website Funnyordie.com. In "The Story of the $" (2010), Ke$ha jokingly revealed her stage name originated from a birthday cake at Shakey's Pizza that replaced the "S" with a dollar sign. She returned to short film acting in "Disney Princess Ke$ha" (2011) as a wholesome fairy tale princess who prances around with animated pals until her bad girl alter-ego shows up. In November 2010, Ke$ha released Cannibal, a companion album to Animal that yielded more hits, including the No. 1 track "We R Who We R."