Kesha: 7 Great Songs You Didn't Know She Wrote - Rolling Stone
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7 Great Songs You Didn’t Know Kesha Wrote

Revisit tracks the pop ace penned for everyone from Miley Cyrus to Alice Cooper

7 Songs; Kesha; The Veronicas; Miley Cyrus; Charlee; Alice Cooper

Rachel Murray/WireImage/Getty

Despite allegations that he drugged and raped her, a judge denied Kesha‘s attempt to extricate herself from a recording contract with Dr. Luke — the producer and songwriter who signed her when she was 18. She’s reportedly required to furnish six more albums for Luke’s label, Kemosabe Records. In court, Luke’s lawyers declared that the singer was free to make music without him, a point they reiterated after the judge’s decision. However, Kesha’s attorney referred to this as an “elusive promise,” suggesting that she was trapped with her abuser.

After that judge’s ruling years ago, several musicians volunteered to come to Kesha’s aid. Jack Antonoff, who has written songs with Taylor Swift, Sara Bareilles, and Carly Rae Jepsen, tweeted “don’t know what the legal specifics are, but if you want to make something together & then leak it for everyone I’m around. Or just make something and wait on it till that creep can’t block you anymore. Standing offer.” The electronic producer Zedd also offered his services.

But Kesha is more in need of legal assistance than studio help: She’s an accomplished songwriter in her own right. She has a writing credit on every song on her 2010 debut, Animal, the follow-up full-length, Warrior, and the EP she released in between the two albums, Cannibal. After all, songwriting is in Kesha’s blood: Her mother, Rosemary Patricia “Pebe” Sebert, helped write “Old Flames Can’t Hold a Candle to You,” a hit in 1980 for Dolly Parton.

In addition to penning tracks for her own albums, Kesha has written a number of songs for other artists. Here’s a quick rundown of some of her most noteworthy credits.

7 Songs; Kesha; The Veronicas; Miley Cyrus; Charlee; Alice Cooper

Rachel Murray/WireImage/Getty

Big Time Rush, “Windows Down” (2012)

"Windows Down" shows a different side of Kesha's songwriting: She built the track around a sample of one of Blur's best known hits, "Song 2," with its iconic shouts of "woo-hoo!" That refrain comes paired with a thunderous electronic beat, scuzzy synthesizers, a club-ready breakdown that builds suspense and a seize-the-moment message: "I can feel it in the air that it's on tonight/I don't really care if it's wrong or right/Pedal to the metal, baby, hold me tight."

Rachel Murray/WireImage/Getty

7 Songs; Kesha; The Veronicas; Miley Cyrus; Charlee; Alice Cooper

Ariana Grande, “Pink Champagne” (2013)

Kesha helped write “Pink Champagne,” which was never officially released for sale — Grande posted the track on her YouTube account as a thank you to fans when she reached 10 million followers. “I hope you enjoy this fetus record of mine,” she said at the time. Though Grande’s debut album was dominated by Nineties R&B homage, “Pink Champagne” hints at an alternative direction that she could’ve taken. Like Cyrus’ “The Time of Our Lives,” this record emphasizes a pounding pulse, with some of the forceful neo-doo-wop elements that were so successful recently for Meghan Trainor.

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