Since coming onto the scene as a solo artist in 2010, Ke$ha exploded into stardom with a list of hit singles, including “Tik Tok,” “Blow,” and “Your Love Is My Drug.”  But how much do you really know about the pop star?  From her early childhood of living on welfare, to climbing the charts of fame and fortune, there’s a lot to know about this week’s 20 Things Artist: [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Ke$ha[/lastfm].

Who is Ke$ha?  Her real name is Kesha Rose Sebert and she was born on March 1, 1987 in LA.

Ke$ha’s Mom, Pebe Sebert, is a former punk-rock singer.  Although she co-wrote the 70’s hit song “Old Flames Can’t Hold A Candle To You,” they still grew up struggling and on welfare and food stamps.  Ke$ha said on her website that one of her first memories is her Mom telling her, “If you want something, just take it.”

Ke$ha has 2 brothers, Lagan and Louis.  She has never known her father and has no clue as to his identity.

Ke$ha quit high school at 17, even though she was enrolled in an International Baccalaureate program and was headed to Columbia University to study psychology.  But her Mom told her she had a great voice, so she moved back to LA to pursue music.

In 2005, the Sebert family, including Ke$ha, was featured on “The Simple Life” as the host family for Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie.

In addition to playing guitar, Ke$ha also knows how to play the trumpet and saxophone, which she played in the marching band while attending Franklin HS and Brentwood HS.

Before her career really took off, Ke$ha sang background vocals on Paris Hilton’s single, “Nothing In This World.”

While struggling in the recording studio to become an artist, Ke$ha worked as a waitress and dabbled in telemarketing to pay the bills.  She adopted the $ icon in her name while struggling to get by.

Before any of her hit-singles were released, Ke$ha gained national attention for her background vocals on [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Flo Rida’s[/lastfm] “Right Round” and she also appeared in [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Katy Perry’s[/lastfm] video for “I Kissed A Girl.”  However, Ke$ha did not appear in the Flo Rida video and received no money for her role on the song.

How cool is this!  I got this info right from Ke$ha’s website bio

Two years ago, Ke$ha decided she wanted Prince to produce her first album. So, she found out his address and drove to his Beverly Hills home, where she paid the gardener $5 to let her squeeze under his front gate. Then, she walked up the driveway (which was lined in purple velvet), let herself in through an unlocked side door, and rode the mirrored elevator up to the 3rd floor where Prince was jamming with his band.

“It was kind of awkward,” she recalls, “but who cares, right? So I sat on one of the purple thrones in the room until he noticed me, which he finally did. He was like, ‘How the hell did you get in here?'” she says with a laugh. “His security kicked me out, but not before I left him my demo CD wrapped in a giant purple bow.” Ke$ha never did hear from Prince. 

Ke$ha’s debut album, “Animal,” charted at #1 when it was released in January of 2010, knocking [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Susan Boyle[/lastfm] out of that spot after 5 weeks of being at #1.  Her first single from that album was “Tik Tok.”

Who are Ke$ha’s musical influences?  [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Johnny Cash[/lastfm], [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Dolly Parton[/lastfm], [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Beck[/lastfm], [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Led Zeppelin[/lastfm], [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Queen[/lastfm], and [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Madonna[/lastfm].

Did you know Ke$ha wrote the [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Britney Spears[/lastfm] hit-single “Til the World Ends?”  She gave it to Britney because she is very proud of her song-writing ability and thinks it’s amazing to hear someone like Britney sing one of her songs!

Back in May, Ke$ha urged fans to send her teeth, because she wanted to make a necklace out of fans’ teeth for an awards party. (Eww)

When asked about comparing her past to now being famous, she’s quoted on her website saying:

Three years ago I was stealing canned vegetables from the dollar store to survive. Now I’m on a No. 1 song, working on my album, and have a little change in my pocket. To be able to take my mom out to dinner is the best feeling in the world.

Her song “Chain Reaction” was featured on MTV’s “The Hills” and is about seeing the world as a cynical chain reaction of connected events after meeting a guy in the club.

Ke$ha was invited to a White Party at [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Diddy’s[/lastfm] house and didn’t have an all-white shirt, so she tied a white plastic garbage bag around her top.

In 2010, she won the MTV Europe Award for Best New Act.

Ke$ha considers herself a songwriter before a singer and loves hearing artists perform her songs.  Not only is she a fan of [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Miley Cyrus[/lastfm], but she also wrote the title-track to her album “The Time of Our Lives.”

What’s Ke$ha up to now?  She will be featured on [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Alice Cooper’s[/lastfm] new CD “Welcome 2 My Nightmare” on the song “What Baby Wants.”

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