Kesha Best PoseIn 2005, at 18, Kesha was signed to Dr. Luke's label, Kemosabe Entertainment, and his music publishing company, Prescription Songs.Kesha later sang background vocals for Paris Hilton's single, "Nothing in This World".Dr. Luke became preoccupied with other incoming projects, having enjoyed success writing and producing for Kelly Clarkson's album, Breakaway.
Kesha was born in Los Angeles, California on March 1, 1987. Her mother, Pebe Sebert, is a singer-songwriter who co-wrote the 1978 single "Old Flames Can't Hold a Candle to You" with Hugh Moffatt for Joe Sun. Pebe, a single mother, struggled financially while supporting herself, Kesha and her older brother, Lagan, at the time. They had to rely on welfare payments and food stamps to get by.When Kesha was an infant, Pebe would often have to look after her onstage while performing.Pebe moved the family to Nashville, Tennessee, in 1991 after securing a new publishing deal for her songwriting. Kesha's younger brother Louis was born shortly after. She claims to have not fit in in school in the Brentwood suburb of Nashville which she called the "Bible Belt", explaining that her unconventional dress sense including homemade purple velvet pants and purple hair did not warm her to other students. The Seberts were featured in an episode of The Simple Life as the host family to Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie in 2005. Kesha attended Franklin High School and Brentwood High School.She played the trumpet and later the saxophone in the marching band in school and described herself in an interview with NPR as being a diligent student.
Kesha then signed with David Sonenberg's management company, DAS Communications Inc., in 2006, hardly interacting with Dr. Luke after that. DAS was tasked with obtaining a major label record deal for Kesha in a year’s time in exchange for 20 percent of her music income, with her having the option of ending the relationship if they failed.She worked with several writers and producers while at the company and ended up co-writing The Veronicas' single, "This Love" alongside Toby Gad. While furthering her career in studio, Kesha earned her living as a waitress.She appeared in the video for Katy Perry's single, "I Kissed a Girl" and sang background vocals for the Dr. Luke produced song, "Lace and Leather" by Britney Spears in 2008.DAS soon attracted the attention of Kara DioGuardi, who wanted to sign Kesha to Warner Bros. Records. The deal fell through due to her existing contract with Dr. Luke's label. Soon after, she terminated her contract with DAS, reuniting with Dr. Luke.
Kesha's debut single, "Tik Tok", was a commercial success, topping the charts in eleven countries; performing best in the US where it set the weekly record for the most digital downloads of a female artist and became the second best-selling single in a week, after "Right Round", by shifting 610,000 copies.RCA had noticed her strong following on social media when negotiating her contract and thus relied on viral marketing to build a following for her single, offering it for free a month before releasing it for digital download. "Tik Tok" was released for digital download in August 2009 and reached number one on iTunes in New Zealand without radio airplay. Radio stations soon began expressing interest in the song, but RCA/Jive Label Group chairman/CEO Barry Weiss decided to delay its shipping to radio by a month, to October, to let the song continue to build viral support digitally and good word of mouth.