Ke$ha Holds Off Taylor Swift On Hot 100
Kesha performs on stage at The Forum on October 28, 2009 in London, England. Redferns

In just seven months, Ke$ha has seen her first three singles become top 10 hits and her debut album "Animal" reach No. 1 on the Billboard 200. Still, the pop star tells that she's flattered to be nominated for an MTV VMA for Best New Artist -- along with Justin Bieber, Jason Derulo, Broken Bells and Nicki Minaj, whom she calls "one of the sickest chicks out there right now."

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"I've been a skeptic as to whether or not I've 'made it,' and when I got the phone call yesterday, I had to take a step back and be like, 'Maybe now I can officially think I've made it,'" says Ke$ha, who is also up for Best Pop Video and Best Female Video VMAs. "I'm in a category with Gaga and Beyoncé. I think maybe I'm doing OK."

Ke$ha also expressed remorse for the fact that her friend and fellow pop star, Adam Lambert, didn't receive any nods. "It's a little bit unfortunate that he didn't get nominated, because he does have one of the best voices I've ever heard," she says. Lambert took the news in stride, tweeting Ke$ha a congratulations message after the nominations were announced. "In a business full of utmost douchebaggery, I'm really lucky to have found a real friend in him," Ke$ha adds.

Ke$ha has spent the summer opening for Rihanna on tour, a gig that she says was intimidating at first but has since become an "amazing" experience. While the trek wraps up Aug. 20, the singer will stay busy supporting "Take It Off," the fourth single from "Animal," which is currently at No. 92 on the Hot 100.

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"The song was written about me and my friends going to a tranny bar and watching these really beautiful transgender men and women take off their clothes and… just being turned on by their confidence and something so exotic," explains Ke$ha, who calls "Take It Off" her favorite track on "Animal." "If you just strip off everything, we're really all made of the same thing. The message [of the song] is, do whatever the f**k you want and don't worry about what anybody else thinks and be yourself."