The US singer has been unable to release music since 2012 due to a traumatic legal battle with producer Dr Luke. That hasn’t stopped her being awesome, though
Became an ordained Minister (for real!), 2012
What happened: She’s long been a champion of LGBT+ rights, but Kesha proved her commitment to the cause when she became an ordained minister so she could officiate her friends’ same-sex wedding in 2012. She helped a second gay couple to tie the knot in 2015.
What she said: “It was such an amazing experience to help two beautiful women cement their commitment to each other through marriage… I saw how much it meant to them, and I can’t understand why any person or any law would stand in between that kind of love.”
Worked on an album with The Flaming Lips, 2013
What happened: Magic, that’s what. One track, the clatteringly weird ‘You Must Be Upgraded’, appeared on The Flaming Lips’ 2012 album ‘The Flaming Lips And Heady Fwends’. An entire collaborative album, billed under the name Lip$ha, was announced in 2013 but – heartbreakingly – Kesha’s legal dispute meant the record was indefinitely canned. Flaming Lips frontman Wayne Coyne has offered to leak the music. “It’ll be great [even] if it takes five years to come out,” he said.
What she said: “[Wayne and I] are two weirdos that get together andmake noise… it’s just an experimental musical adventure every time we get together.”
Got louche with Nashville band Yeast Infection, December 2015
What happened: You cannot keep Kesha down. If she couldn’t make new music, she was determined to hit the stage instead. She did just that in Nashville with a local band called – yes, that’s right – Yeast Infection. Their raffish set included an utterly fabulous lounge version of her own ‘Timber’, and without Pitbull to yap over the track, it sounded the way it was always meant to: like a joyful hoedown, the aural equivalent of dancing at the end of the world, tequila in hand, smile intact.
What she said: “I am Kesha! And we are… Yeast Infection!”
Camped it up with Kesha and the Creepies, 2016-2017
What happened: Although often positioned as an EDM-influenced pop star, Kesha’s always been more at home as a sassy country rock gal. Take her short US tour around toilet venues in Las Vegas and beyond, as she performed with a scuzzy covers band called Kesha And The Creepies. It was dubbed the F**k The World tour, the flyers carried campy, ’60s garage rock-style imagery (her mouth dripping blood, a tiger roaring the background) and the setlist included a rendition of Britney Spears’ ‘Til The World’s End’, which she co-wrote. Highlight: Kesha belting out ‘Your Love Is My Drug’ while a dude waved a rainbow flag.
What she said: “We have come here to impregnate you with the sweet glory of rock’n’roll… Anything outside of these four walls, it has no business here tonight… Homework? F**k it for tonight!”
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Spotted UFOs at the Joshua Tree National Park, 2017
What happened: Kesha was kicking it on a rock in the Californian desert when, lo and behold, she noticed the sky was dancing with extraterrestrial aircraft. There were “five to seven” of the things, she claimed in an interview, and they hovered above her. The spaceships then disappeared, only to reappear in a different formation. She was unable to take a snap of the UFOs, but the experience influenced the new track ‘Spaceship’, on which she croons, “I’m waiting for my spaceship to come back to me… I been living in a lonesome galaxy but in my dreams I see them come and rescue me”.
What she said: “I think people would be like, ‘She was on acid’, or something. I wasn’t. I was on nothing. I was a totally sober Sally, just a lady in the desert.”
Taught Jerry Seinfeld how to hug, June 2017
What happened: She approached the comedian at a swanky Hollywood event and asked for a hug. Seinfeld’s response was as deadpan as his ’90s sitcom: “No thanks!” The debacle was caught on camera and became a meme, even inspiring a mural on a Melbourne wall. He later explained, “I don’t hug a total stranger.” Now, though, he’s embraced the joy of the cuddle and tweeted a snap in which he embraces his manager with the mural in the background. Like so many good things in life, it wouldn’t have happened without Kesha.
What she said: “Oh, f**k me, somehow I ended up in my very own mini episode of Seinfeld, for, like, five seconds… He’s not a huggy guy; that’s fine… I like hugging. Hugging is magical, hugging is beautiful, it’s this exchange of wonderful soul energy.”
Recorded her brilliant, defiant new album, 2012-2017
What happened: Kesha Rose Sebert went through a bitter court battle (now dropped) in which she accused her former producer Dr Luke of “mental manipulation, emotional abuse and sexual assault”. As he owned the rights to her contract, she was prevented from releasing music, but now – finally – we have her defiant third record ‘Rainbow’. Created in “a tiny little studio”, the collection draws on her country lineage and opens with the gee-whiz acoustic guitar of ‘Bastard’, on which she tells us, “Don’t let the bastards take you down”.
What she said: “I would pour my f**king guts out [in the studio]… that is how I made it through the past four years. That, and with the support of my fans… The s**tstorm’s over. This is the beginning of the good stuff.”
Kesha’s new album ‘Rainbow’ is out now