It has been an emotional few years for Kesha, following lengthy legal battles with producer Dr. Luke that took a personal and professional toll, preventing her from releasing new music. Now with the recent release of her latest album, Rainbow, the singer seems liberated through her new music with the public widely celebrating her return.
In a recent cover story with Rolling Stone, Kesha talks about how going to rehab saved her life after her eating disorder and how she wishes to move past her legal woes with her former producer.
Read our five key takeaways from the interview, below.
1. Kesha Loves Old-School Rock ‘n’ Roll
While recording a cover of T. Rex‘s “Children of the Revolution” for an upcoming multi-artist Marc Bolan tribute album, Kesha revealed the tunes she grew up listening to. She prepped for her collaboration by “playing MC5 records and crying,” noting that she considered “Kick Out the Jams” to be “one of the greatest songs.” She continued, “The first time I heard that song, I went down a rabbit hole, with MC5 and then Iggy Pop. It was basically the beginning of my life. I was 10 years old!”
2. Rehab Saved Her Life
Kesha’s mom and longtime collaborate Pebe Sebert brought her to rehab when she had reached a breaking point. “I didn’t even know how to even eat. At that point, I’d forgotten how to do it,” the singer said. The nutritionist at the rehab facility basically helped Kesha learn how to keep herself alive. Kesha detailed the pressures that stardom put on her expectations of body image and how this amplified her experience with eating disorder. “I just remember crying into a carbohydrate,” she said, “being like, ‘I can’t eat it. It’s going to make me fat and if I’m fat, I can’t be a singer because pop stars can’t eat food — they can’t be fat.”
3. Many Rainbow Songs Were Written in Rehab.
Kesha had to persuade the rehab facility administrators to allow her to have an instrument during her stay. She explained their reasoning for not allowing an instrument initially, “because you don’t want to have anything that could be at all used for suicide. And I was like, ‘I respect all of that, but please let me have a keyboard or my brain’s going to explode. My head has all these song ideas in it and I just really need to play an instrument.'” She was allowed the keyboard, but was only allowed to plug headphones in with strict supervision.
4. Kesha’s Boyfriend Brad is a Keeper
It wasn’t love at first sight with “sweet-faced” Brad, because Kesha usually preferred men with facial hair. She recalled, “Then he kissed me and it was the nicest kiss I ever had. I was like, ‘Wow, you’re such a pure soul. Holy shit.’ And I knew from that moment, ‘I gotta hold on to you.'” Together, they live with Kesha’s three cats Charlie, Mr. Peeps and Queso near the canals in Venice, California. When Kesha was in rehab, Brad made sure to fly out for a visit every weekend, sitting with her and coloring for a few hours.
5. Eagles of Death Metal are Like Brothers to Her
Eagles of Death Metal frontman Jesse Hughes recalled early memories of Kesha, who became friends with the band when she was only 14 years old. At 16, Hughes says Kesha didn’t hesitate to react with force when some bro grabbed one of her breasts while she smoked a joint with the band. “She just fuckin’ popped him,” Hughes said. “Boom! Right in the lips, kind of split his upper lip. Then, she forgave him when he apologized.”
Hughes briefly touched on Kesha’s legal battles with Dr. Luke, which Kesha declined to talk about. “When she was going through her shit we were like her big brothers. I was like, ‘Who do I fuck up? You want me to go to his place right now? You want me to beat that fucking contract out of him right now? I will.’ That’s how strongly I felt about it. That’s not even a lie, man.”