Though Ke$ha may wake up in the morning feeling like P. Diddy, especially now that her electro-pop single "TiK ToK" has climbed to No. 1 just as her debut "Animal" is about to hit stores on Tuesday, her roots are distinctly country.
Ke$ha, also known as Kesha Rose Sebert, has set her sights on conquering dance pop, but it wasn't that long ago that the Nashville native's style was far closer to that of her mom, Pebe, and her brother Lagan. Pebe Sebert's been a Nashville fixture for years, co-writing Dolly Parton's "Old Flames (Can't Hold a Candle to You)" and Crystal Gayle's "More Money." You can see Ke$ha singing some her country tunes - including a nice duet on the Rolling Stones' "Dead Flowers" - on YouTube (make sure you enter the name "Kesha Sebert.")
Ke$ha, who co-wrote all the songs on her debut album, studied at a music school in Tennessee and said she fell in love with the music of country greats Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton and Patsy Cline. "I'd listen to these beautiful songs and they all told stories," she says. "Bob Dylan's 'Nashville Skyline' is one of my all-time favorite records."
Perhaps that's what inspired the now-famous couplet in "TiK-ToK": "Everybody getting crunk, crunk/Boys trying to touch my junk, junk."
Read Glenn Gamboa's review of "Animal" in Tuesday's Explore LI.