Back in 2005, when Ke$ha was just a glimmer in the eye of the reality-TV wave, her random appearance on The Simple Life proved a harbinger: Like Paris Hilton back then, Ke$ha rose earlier this year, seemingly out of nowhere, to startling ubiquity. By combining hard-house-appropriated dance pop with singsong-couplet rapping, lots of Auto-Tune and an apparent fetish for the noted, ahem, good looks of Mick Jagger, Ke$ha hit a pop-culture nerve with January's Animal, her first LP. To her credit, she's not just a pretty face — her resumé includes songwriting credits for Miley Cyrus and collaborations with Flo Rida — and though it's about as substantial as a Twinkie (and roughly as cultured), her music is nothing if not fun. And it's taking her places: When you secure an opening slot on Rihanna's tour, you can pretty much do whatever you want — even if all a girl wants to do is brush her teeth with bourbon.


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