Tracks for Britney Spears, Alice Cooper, Ariana Grande and more.
Pop star Kesha is in the midst of a full-blown Rainbow renaissance following her very public court battle with ex-producer Dr. Luke. With her highly anticipated third studio LP out Friday (Aug. 11), it’s the first time in her decade long career that the highly skilled vocalist and songwriter has truly realized the range and breadth of her prowess and potential musically.
The singer-songwriter’s early club-friendly bops dominated the charts throughout the past decade, with her first hit “TiK ToK” reigning for nine weeks atop the Hot 100, and two additional No. 1s — “We R Who We R” (Nov. 13, 2010) and as featured on Pitbull‘s “Timber” (No. 1 for three weeks beginning Jan. 18, 2014). She has scored 10 top 10s, among 18 total visits to the Hot 100.
While the steady stream of hits might signify outside assistance to non die-hard fans, Kesha has always been instrumental in her ascent and long standing success, with a writing credit on every song on her 2010 debut LP Animal, as well as her follow-up efforts — 2010’s Cannibal and 2012’s Warrior.
Songwriting is also in Kesha’s blood. Her mother, Pebe Sebert, has co-written many of her biggest hits – including “Your Love Is My Drug” — and also famously co-wrote the Dolly Parton classic “Old Flames (Can’t Hold A Candle To You),” which the singer covers alongside Parton on Rainbow in one of the set’s most particularly special moments.
To celebrate the release of Kesha’s monster of a comeback LP, we take a stroll through 9 songs you might not know the very talented songstress penned for other artists.
1. Alice Cooper “What Baby Wants”
Despite her reign atop the pop charts, Kesha’s 2011 collaboration for Alice Cooper’s Welcome 2 My Nightmare, showcased her true embrace of rock-n-roll. The move preceded a trend that lasts today, as she worked with the Black Key’s Patrick Carney, Iggy Pop and the Flaming Lips for 2012’s Warrior, as well as Eagles of Death Metal on Rainbow’s “Let ‘Em Talk” and “Boogie Feet.”
2. Ariana Grande “Pink Champagne”
While this track didn’t make the cut for Ariana Grande‘s debut LP Yours Truly, the doo-wop inspired deep cut — recorded when she was just 17 — was dropped on social media as a gift to her fans when she reached 10M followers on YouTube, captioned “I hope you enjoy this fetus record of mine.”
love you http://t.co/MGC5YHfBuo
— Ariana Grande (@ArianaGrande) October 2, 2013
3. Big Time Rush “Windows Down”
Featuring a major nod to Blur, this 2012 effort recorded by Big Time Rush was formed around the ’90s rock icons’ hit “Song 2” taking the track’s hook of “Woo hoo!” and pairing it with a rowdy dance floor beat, anchored on the line, ”Pedal to the medal baby, hold me tight.”
4. Britney Spears’ “Till The World Ends”
This mega-hit — recorded for Britney Spears’ seventh studio LP — played a major role in the troubled pop star’s comeback to the top of the charts, and even featured a star-studded remix, with features from Nicki Minaj and Kesha herself on the hook.
5. Charlee “Boy Like You”
The pop cut, co-written by Kesha, landed on the 2010 LP of Austrian singer Charlee. While the raucous beat suggests otherwise, the song represents a more inquisitive, anxious through line from the star, anchored on the phrase “I don’t really understand what to do with a boy like you.”
6. Flo Rida “Touch Me”
The robotic cut – which begins with a creepy, intergalactic overdub “If you like my body, touch me, touch me, touch me” has Kesha written all over it. The track appeared on the Flo Rida‘s 2009 LP R.O.O.T.S., which also included the major hit “Right Round” with Kesha’s vocals (uncredited, BTW) on the hook.
7. Miley Cyrus “The Time of Our Lives”
The title track on then-Hannah Montana star Miley Cyrus‘ 2009 EP was overshadowed by the set’s breakthrough single “Party In The U.S.A.,” which proved to be the star’s first taste of the top ten on the Hot 100, peaking at No. 2. “The Time of Our Lives” — like most Kesha songs of that era — was anchored on the theme of not giving any f—s, with the hook: “Just throw your hands up high/ Even when they try to take us down.”
8. Miranda Cosgrove “Disgusting”
While iCarly & Despicable Me actress Miranda Cosgrove isn’t known for her music career, this 2010 gem appeared on her early LP Sparks Fly.
9. The Veronicas’ “This Love”
The “Praying” singer co-wrote this rock-tinged track alongside Toby Gad for The Veronicas’ sophomore effort, Hook Me Up. The tune showcases the potential of pre-fame Kesha as a songwriter, as it was released before the star had earned a hit of her own, pre-dating “TiK ToK.”