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Ke$ha on fast track to fame

Newsflash: Pop star Ke$ha doesn't really brush her teeth with a bottle of Jack Daniel's. So don't read too much into the first verse of her smash hit "Tik Tok."

Well, actually, she has brushed with Jack. But, the thing is, you can't always take Ke$ha (rhymes with Tesh-a) at her word. She mixes sarcasm, a tongue-in-cheek attitude and a dash of irony into relentlessly catchy PG-13 pop concoctions that should be called "A Girl Just Wants to Have Too Much Fun."

In "Tik Tok," the 23-year-old party animal rhymes "everybody getting crunk" with guys "trying to touch my junk" with a boy "getting too drunk."

While those lyrics might put parents in a funk, they helped put Ke$ha's electro-pop dance-floor celebration at the top of the pop charts for nine weeks this winter. That was the longest run at No. 1 for a debut single by a female artist since -- no kidding -- Debby Boone's "You Light Up My Life" in 1977.

"I couldn't think of two more different songs, but I salute her," Ke$ha said.

"Tik Tok" is romantic in a different sense -- like a girls-gone-wild sense. Ke$ha says the song is about the notion that "anybody can feel like a pimp."

"I wrote that when I was really broke, but I was feeling really awesome. It's like a celebration of being young and broke. Maybe life isn't like quote-unquote 'perfect,' but you're not letting anything stop you from having a good time."

Rolling Stone described her chart-topping album "Animal," with its percolating beats and deadpan raps, as either "propulsively catchy or repulsively moronic." As with Lady Gaga, music listeners seem to either love or hate Ke$ha. The haters talk not just about the party-out-of-control lyrics but also about the over-the-top real-life tales.

Kesha Rose Sebert was born in 1987 in Los Angeles to a single mother who isn't sure who Kesha's father is. Pebe Sebert tasted success as a Nashville songwriter (her "Old Flames Can't Hold a Candle to You" was a hit for Dolly Parton in 1980), then tried to make it as a singer-songwriter in L.A. When Kesha was 6 or 7, Pebe moved back to Nashville with her three children.

Ke$sha started writing songs at 14. Three years later, via a friend of a friend, her demo tape wound up in the hands of Dr. Luke, the hot producer behind Kelly Clarkson's "Since U Been Gone."

He invited her to Los Angeles, so Kesha quit high school weeks before graduation and passed on a scholarship to Barnard College in New York. But Luke got tied up on other projects, and Kesha was broke for two years. Hence, Ms. Irony added the dollar sign to her name.

In the fall of 2008, Dr. Luke reconnected with Ke$ha and finally delivered on his promises. She sang the hook on Flo Rida's "Right Round," which went to No. 1 last year, and recorded "Animal," which debuted at No. 1 in January.

Ke$ha has been on the fast track all year: She appeared on the Grammys in January, sang on "American Idol" in March and "Saturday Night Live" in April, and will hit the road this summer with Rihanna and Lilith Fair.

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