Ke$ha: I Feel Like I’m Most Pop Stars’ “Dirty Little Sister”

 Inez van Lamsweerde & Vinoodh Matadin

She isn't glamorous like Beyonce or overtly sexual like Britney Spears, but that hasn't stopped Ke$ha from becoming one of the most successful pop stars of her generation.

The 25-year-old singer — who has sold 15 million albums worldwide — explains her appeal in the Americana issue of V: "There are the pop stars of the world and then I'm like their dirty little sister, running around with sh-t on my face in combat boots because I can't walk in heels."

Despite her grungy, wild looks, the Tennessee native says her music is relatable on a variety of levels. "I do feel like there is an element of what I'm doing that is about where I come from, which is working-class. I was never the cool kid, I was never hot in high school. I was never popular. You don't have to be perfect to be rich and you can still be successful."

kesha v
Inez van Lamsweerde & Vinoodh Matadin

Music producer Dr. Luke adds that "it's tough for kids to emulate someone with 20 fashion people on staff. Ke$ha comes out in an AC/DC T-shirt that she found in a dumpster, literally, and she rocks. It's sort of a metaphor for who she is. Anyone can be Ke$ha in their own way."

Ke$ha is currently hard at work on her second album, which will be released later this year. "The first record was all me living in L.A., trying to pay my rent, have a really good time and look good on nothing. But ever since then I've seen how many people my music can reach, and I've realized that I have somewhat of a social responsibility to make sure everything I say is positive. The underlying theme of this next record is warrior, with the positive message behind that everyone has a warrior inside."

"Some people will be shocked," Ke$ha tells V of the album's new sound. "Some will also be excited to know that I don't just do silly white-girl rap. I'm from the South. I have a lot of soul. But trust me — it's not going to be some avant-garde jazz record. I innately write pop songs. That's just what I do."

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