Music Article

Soundtrack of my life: Ke$ha

Pop's glitter-bombing, chart-topping wild child just released her second studio album, Warrior. She talks to EW about the artists -- from Bob Dylan to the Beastie Boys, Beck, and Beyoncé -- who shaped her.

The first song I was obsessed with
This is embarrassing, but ''Gettin' Jiggy Wit It.'' I can sing every word when I hear it, still.

The first album I bought with my own money
License to Ill by the Beastie Boys. I remember specifically because I asked my brother, and that's what he told me to get. It was definitely an integral moment to me growing up.

The song that reminds me of my first love
''Strawberry Wine'' by Deana Carter. It's so good! Such a nostalgic, beautifully written song. When I was super in love with my first boyfriend, we went on a road trip and there's a dinosaur park in the middle of the desert when you're driving to Vegas, and it was on the radio. And we made out at dino-land to ''Strawberry Wine.''

The first song I ever sang in public
''Karma Police'' by Radiohead, which unfortunately is up online. It was a talent show when I was maybe 12. But I loved Radiohead growing up — I have so much Radiohead in my collection, it's creepy.

An artist people don't know I'm a fan of
Well, I love Hank Williams. There's this song [starts singing] ''Baby We're Really in Love.'' It's maybe sweeter, more vulnerable, more country than people would expect me to listen to. I think some people are surprised to find out I'm from Nashville because I like to sing about, like, being wild, but Nashville's definitely in my blood.

My go-to karaoke jam
I like taking country songs and singing them in the style of rapping. There's a [John Michael Montgomery song called ''Sold''] that I rap and I completely destroy it — the entire song, mutilated. I usually get people throwing stuff at me, and then they'll turn my microphone off. I love it. Do I hear people doing my songs? Probably. But I see more strippers stripping to my songs, to be honest. ''Blow'' and ''Take It Off,'' those are two stripper favorites.

The album that reminds me of home
Bob Dylan's Nashville Skyline. I take it with me on tour everywhere. The back room of my bus is covered in Christmas lights and glitter, and there's a turntable and all my fans' teeth. Because my fans give me their teeth, so I have this whole little, like, weird shrine in the back of the bus.

The album that always makes me cry
Sea Change by Beck was kind of the soundtrack to my formative years, figuring out who I am, my first experiences with kissing and falling in love and boys and partying ... . That whole record's very nostalgic for me.

The songs I listen to before I go out
Daft Punk, always. If I'm tired or jet-lagged, it'll get the blood pumping. ''Work It,'' that one always does the trick. Also ''Something About Us.''

The songs I wish I'd written
[Beyoncé's] ''Single Ladies'' and [Britney Spears'] ''Toxic.'' I love the craft of a really good pop song.

The album I want played at my funeral
Jeff Buckley's Grace. I just think it's one of the most beautiful albums ever made.

Originally posted Dec 21, 2012 Published in issue #1238 Dec 21, 2012 Order article reprints