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Before They Were Famous: Kesha

Jim Dyson, Getty Images

Since she is celebrated as the queen of raunchy pop, it’s really no surprise that Kesha had a somewhat unconventional upbringing. So, what was this ‘Sleazy’ songstress, who is also an accomplished songwriter, up to before she hit it big with her breakout single ‘Tik Tok’?

Kesha Rose Sebert was born on March 1, 1987 in Los Angeles, Calif. Her mother, Pebe Sebert, raised Kesha and her brothers (Lagan and Louis) alone, and Kesha grew up never knowing her father. As a child, Kesha’s mother Pebe Sebert worked as a struggling songwriter (she had already hit it big with her country single ‘Old Flames Can’t Hold a Candle to You,’ which was a No. 1 hit for Dolly Parton). Kesha’s family often had to rely on food stamps and welfare checks for sustenance.

When Kesha was about 3 years old, she and her family moved to Nashville, Tenn., since Pebe had found work down there. It was there that Kesha grew to love music, with her mother often taking her and her brother to recording sessions. Despite having a deep love for music, Kesha didn’t love school, especially because her eccentric style of dressing and acting didn’t fit the norms in the conservative South.

After her family was featured on ‘The Simple Life’ with Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie — the socialites lived with the family for the show — and performing songs like Radiohead’s ‘Karma Police’ in school talent shows, Kesha ultimately decided to drop out of high school at the age of 17. So, what prompted this tough decision? She recorded demos, and caught the attention of acclaimed producers Dr. Luke and Max Martin, who convinced her to move back to L.A. to pursue a music career. She soon attained her GED, appeared on Flo Rida‘s ‘Right Round,’ and unleashed ‘Tik Tok,’ only to become an international sensation.

Next: Lil Wayne Before He Was Famous

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