Kesha Rose Sebert (pronounced /kɛʃə/, KESH-ə; born March 1, 1987), better known mononymously as Kesha (stylized as Ke$ha), is an American recording artist. Her breakthrough came in early 2009 after appearing on Flo Rida's number one single "Right Round". Her debut single, "Tik Tok", was released in August 2009, it reached number one in four countries and set the female weekly download record in the US. Her debut album, Animal, was released in early 2010.
Kesha was born during a party in the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles to a single parent. Her mother, Pebe Sebert, a singer and songwriter, looked after then 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 and Kesha spent the rest of her early years there. She often brought Kesha and her brothers, Lagan and Louis, along to recording studios and encouraged Kesha to sing and taught her how to write songs.
The Sebert family was featured in an episode of The Simple Life in 2005, as the host family. Kesha was already working on her music by then and at the age of seventeen she dropped out of high school, after being convinced by Dr. Luke and Max Martin to return to Los Angeles and pursue a music career. Dr. Luke had come across her demos and was so impressed that he contacted her with Martin and began flying her to New York and Los Angeles to make music.
While in Los Angeles, Kesha survived on low income and few gigs at first, moonlighting as a waitress to make ends meet while furthering her music career in studio and seeing talent scouts. Kesha wanted Prince to produce her music then, so she found and snuck 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 afterwards. She also had the opportunity to sing background for Paris Hilton's second single, which led to an incident later where she vomited in Hilton's closet and wrote a song about it.
Between 2006 and 2009, Kesha's music appeared in a variety of media. The song "Former Overexposed Blonde" appeared in Degrassi: The Next Generation, while "Backstabber" and "Chain Reaction" were used on The Hills. Her songs were used for background cues on Teen Cribs, and My Super Sweet 16 as well. However, she turned down a lucrative offer for one of her songs to appear in a fast food commercial because she did not think it was appropriate. During this time, she also co-wrote The Veronicas' single, "This Love" with Toby Gad, 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.