- Advertisement -
Kesha Rose Sebert (/ˈkɛʃə ˈsiːbərt/; born March 1, 1987), known mononymously as Kesha (formerly stylized Ke$ha), is an American singer, songwriter, rapper, and actress. In 2005, at age 18, Kesha was signed to Kemosabe Records. Her first major success came in early 2009 after she was featured on American rapper Flo Rida’s number-one single “Right Round”.
Kesha’s music and image propelled her to immediate success. She has earned two number-one albums on the US Billboard 200 with Animal (2010) and Rainbow (2017), and the number-six record Warrior (2012). She has attained ten top-ten singles on the US Billboard Hot 100, including “Blah Blah Blah”, “Your Love Is My Drug”, “Take It Off”, “Blow”, “Die Young”, “My First Kiss” with 3OH!3, and the chart-topping “Tik Tok”, “We R Who We R”, “Right Round” with Flo Rida, and “Timber” with Pitbull. “Tik Tok”, at one point, was the best-selling digital single in history, selling over 16.5 million units internationally. She has written songs for other artists, including “Till the World Ends” for Britney Spears.
Kesha’s career was halted between Warrior and Rainbow due to a legal dispute with her former producer Dr. Luke, which has been ongoing since 2014. A series of lawsuits, known collectively as Kesha v. Dr. Luke, were exchanged between the two parties in which Kesha accused him of physical, sexual, and emotional abuse and employment discrimination against her, while Dr. Luke claims breach of contract and defamation by Kesha. Kesha has received several awards and nominations, including her win for the MTV Europe Music Award for Best New Act in 2010. As of November 2013, she has reportedly sold over 59 million records in the United States and 76 million records worldwide.
2016–present: Rainbow and touring
Kesha appeared during Zedd’s slot at the 2016 Coachella music festival to perform “True Colors”, a track from Zedd’s second studio album. The cameo marked her first high-profile public performance since her ongoing legal battle with Dr. Luke. A studio version of the collaboration was released as a single on April 29, 2016. On May 22, 2016, Kesha covered Bob Dylan’s song “It Ain’t Me Babe” at the 2016 Billboard Music Awards. On June 11, 2016, Kesha performed at Pride in the Street in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Afterwards, Kesha embarked on her third worldwide concert tour, the Kesha and the Creepies: Fuck the World Tour (2016–2017). The tour commenced on July 23, 2016, in Las Vegas, Nevada and ended on July 21, 2017, in Aurora, Illinois, after various shows in China as well. The tour included various covers of songs and several rock and country reworks of Kesha’s own hit singles. During this time, it was revealed that Kesha had recorded 22 songs on her own and had given them to her label, was in the process of recording a third studio album.
On July 6, 2017, Kesha released a single, titled “Praying”. The single charted successfully at number 6 on the music charts of Australia, selling over 140,000 copies and being certified 2x Platinum in the country. The single charted at number 22 and number 11 in the United States and Canada respectively, and subsequently was certified Platinum in both territories. “Praying” was released as the lead single from Kesha’s third studio album, Rainbow, which was released on August 11, 2017. Rainbow debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 chart in the United States, becoming her second number-one album in the country, and was the subject of universal acclaim from music critics, with several complimenting the album’s feminist angle and uniqueness as well as Kesha’s vocal performance and ability to interweave different music genres. Three tracks from Rainbow were released as promotional singles ahead of the album’s release; “Woman”, “Learn to Let Go” and “Hymn”, two of which were released with accompanying music videos. “Learn to Let Go” was later released as the second single from the album in November 2017. The album received nominations for Best Pop Vocal Album and Best Pop Solo Performance (for “Praying”) at the 60th Annual Grammy Awards, marking Kesha’s first Grammy nominations.
To promote Rainbow, Kesha embarked on the Rainbow Tour (2017–2019), which began on September 26, 2017, in Birmingham, Alabama, and visited North America, Europe, Oceania, and Asia. She furthered promotion by joining a co-headlining concert tour with American rapper Macklemore named The Adventures of Kesha and Macklemore (2018). This tour took place in North America between June 6, 2018 and August 5, 2018. Kesha’s documentary film, Rainbow: The Film, was released on Apple Music on August 10, 2018. The documentary chronicles her stint in rehab for her eating disorder and the creation of Rainbow. In the same month, Kesha collaborated with British rock band The Struts on the remix of their song “Body Talks”, released as a single from their album Young & Dangerous (2018). On September 19, 2018, Kesha released her song “Here Comes the Change”, which served as a single to promote On the Basis of Sex (2018), a biographical film about Ruth Bader Ginsburg. In October 2018, Kesha collaborated, wrote, and performed on the song “Safe” with her younger brother Sage Sebert and rapper Chika, as an homage for the Parkland, Florida school shooting.
Between February 17 and 21, 2019, Kesha embarked on a cruise called, Kesha’s Weird and Wonderful Rainbow Ride. Sailing on the Norwegian Pearl, the cruise set off in Tampa, Florida and ended in Nassau, Bahamas. Special guests included Wrabel, Jonathan Van Ness, Betty Who, Detox, and Superfruit, among others.
On June 2, 2019, Kesha released a song titled “Rich, White, Straight, Men”. Originally it was only released onto YouTube, with Kesha stating that maybe RCA Records could help her put it on streaming services if they were not too upset with her leaking the song. It was then announced on June 7, 2019, that the song would be available on all streaming services by the end of that day. On July 25, Kesha released the single “Best Day” for the film The Angry Birds Movie 2.