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All About Ke$ha's Crazy Beautiful Life and "Overnight" Success

Updated on April 14, 2013

Usually, when I listen to pop radio, I don't really pay attention to the lyrics of the dance and electropop songs. When I first heard Ke$ha's debut song Tik Tok, lyrically it really stood out from many of the other songs of its type. I found myself actually listening to what she was saying. Many songs in the techno genre don't really tell a story. The focus is mainly on the beat.

But Tik Tok did even if many people might strongly disapprove of the story it was telling (despite the fact that partying is pretty common behavior among her age group). I didn't know anything about Ke$ha at that time. I've learned since that she comes from a musical Nashville family and story telling is very common in country songs. Her mother is a country music songwriter who wrote Dolly Parton's huge hit Old Flames Can't Hold a Candle to You (which Ke$ha covers on a new acoustic EP called Deconstructed). Kesha and her older brother Lagan performed country songs together when she was a teenager.

Kesha Sebert was trained in songwriting from an early age. Her mother taught her to write about her life and that's what she did in Tik Tok. Ke$ha has just come out with a book called My Crazy Beautiful Life that details her childhood, move to Los Angeles, her Get Sleazy tour, songwriting process, "spirit journey" to the Galapagos Islands and South Africa, and working on her new album Warrior. Many people think Ke$ha was some kind of overnight sensation but that's very far from the truth. She moved to Los Angeles at 18 and finally had her big break at the age of 22.

A review of My Crazy Beautiful Life by Ke$ha
A review of My Crazy Beautiful Life by Ke$ha

Kesha from Goodbye at age 15...

My Crazy Beautiful Life

Ke$ha was a gifted student who scored 1500 out of 1600 on her SATs. She had been accepted to ivy league colleges. But a call from up-and-coming music producer Dr. Luke changed the direction of her life. He had wanted to break a new act. After receiving a demo of hers, he thought she was a good candidate to work with. Ke$ha dropped out of school a month before graduating and moved to Los Angeles to work with him.

However, Dr. Luke went from being an up-and-coming producer to being one of the hottest in the music business. He was booked solid, so Ke$ha was very low on his list of priorities. Being the tenacious person she is, Ke$ha approached anyone she could with demos. She even paid a gardener to let her sneak into Prince's house, so she could hand him a demo. Prince was nice enough to not have her arrested.

Ke$ha was so broke she often had no place to live. She sometimes stayed with friends, sometimes slept in her car, or at a flop house. Despite her circumstances, she didn't give up on her dreams and run back home. She made a lot of friends and describes those days as broke but basically carefree. She partied a lot and as someone who writes about her life, she wrote a lot about it.

Finally her big break came when she got to do some vocal work on rapper Flo Rida's big hit Right Round. Flo Rida had other female vocalists record the same part but he decided that he liked Kesha's initial recording the most, so he kept her on the song. Right Round broke the record for digital sales at that time. Ke$ha later broke that record with Tik Tok. Suddenly everyone was interested in the girl on Right Round and recording contract offers poured in.

...to C'mon today

Animal and Warrior

Since Ke$ha writes about her life, some of the songs on her debut album Animal were about partying. But she also had love songs, a great stalker/obsessive song called Stephen, a song about betrayal called Backstabber and the poetic song Animal. She called out older men who hit on younger women in Dinosaur and turned the male sexism that is rampant in music back on men in songs like Blah Blah Blah and Boots and Boys.

Animal debuted at number 1 and went on to sell 3 million copies. Ke$ha is now looking to follow up the success of Animal with her sophomore album Warrior. She has spent a year working on the album. In My Crazy Beautiful Life, she explains how important this album is to her career. She knows that if it isn't big, she'll likely fade into obscurity, so she put her all into it.

For Ke$ha fans, My Crazy Beautiful Life is a must have. But it should also be a good read for anyone who is interested in knowing more about her. She's definitely an inspirational young woman, even if she's a bit odd at times. Her success is a great don't give up on your dreams and never take no for an answer kind of story making My Crazy Beautiful Life a fascinating read.

My Crazy Beautiful Life on MTV

A documentary series called My Crazy Beautiful Life will be coming to MTV on April 23, 2013. Kesha's brother Lagan and a friend followed her for two years. Many photos used in the book will also be seen on the show. The documentary will include the making of her Warrior album.

Ke$ha Was Not Just an Autotuned Party Girl on her Debut Album

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