The stories behind Kesha’s revealing Cosmopolitan interview


Get to know the stories behind some of Kesha’s most stand-out quotes from her Cosmopolitan interview and her journey so far.

As they say, you can’t bottle a rainbow or capture the spectrum of Kesha in a single Cosmopolitan interview. The latter may be a paraphrased idiom invented just now by me, but it’s still true. The former party-girl pop star’s road to empowerment has not been an easy one.

Over the last 10 years, she saw record-breaking success, battled a severe eating disorder, entered rehab and endured a very public legal battle with an abusive producer. All the while, she wrote hundreds of tracks, 14 of which ended up on her inspiring Grammy-nominating album Rainbow.

Understandably unable to give her the book-long interview she deserves, here are the stories behind the most stand-out quotes from Kesha’s Cosmo interview.

DALLAS, TX – NOVEMBER 28: EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NO COMMERCIAL USE: (EDITORS NOTE: Image has been converted to black and white.) Kesha performs onstage at 106.1 KISS FM’s Jingle Ball 2017 Presented by Capital One at American Airlines Center on November 28, 2017 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images for iHeartMedia)

“I am a strong, badass mothef***ing woman… frankly, I like my junk.”

Kesha shared with Cosmo how a family dinner party triggered the roadside collapse of her DGAF front. Crippled by the weight of her secrets, she pulled over and called her mom, entering rehab soon after. But the devil is in the details of that fateful day. Speaking with Rolling Stone last October, the Nashville-native revealed the heartbreaking context that preceded her 2014 rehab stay for anorexia and bulimia.

"She sat there, pretending to eat, trying to figure out how she could hide her food. “And I was like, ‘Oh, my God, what if they walk outside and see this food in a bush? Or they see it in the garbage can?’ And I just had all this mounting anxiety. And then finally I was like, ‘F***. This. Shit. F*** this sh**. I’m hungry!'”"

During a talk at SXSW in 2017, Kesha said she was so malnourished, doctors in rehab couldn’t believe the star hadn’t suffered a stroke. She credited that moment by the road the “huge turning point” that changed her life and allowed to finally overcome her insecurities. In an essay for Refinery29, she explained how she wrote Rainbow one hour at a time during her stay.

Why didn’t Kesha talk about her public legal battle with Dr. Luke?

Kesha’s agonizing public legal battle with her former producer Lukasz “Dr. Luke” Gottwald, who she accused of emotional and sexual abuse, is still ongoing. The singer-songwriter has often spoken about the role Gottwald played in her eating disorder, suicidal depression and the pain that inspired her third studio album.

But Cosmo only skimmed the subject with no quote from Kesha. A recent interview with CBS Sunday Morning revealed why.

"“I can’t really talk about that part,” Kesha says about the lawsuits. “[My lawyers] deal with it. In my mind, my focus is my music and, like, my happiness. ‘Cause who knows when the sun’s gonna burn out?”"

Rainbow is Kesha’s first album since the legal dispute began, revealing another, subtler layer to the glaring omission — it’s also the first time Gottwald has not been involved with her music. “I’ve taken ownership of myself. I’m taking control of my life and my name and the music it’s attached to,” she told Cosmo.

NEW YORK, NY – JANUARY 28: (L-R) Bebe Rexha, Cyndi Lauper, Kesha; Camila Cabello, Andra Day, Kesha and Julia Michaels perform onstage during the 60th Annual GRAMMY Awards at Madison Square Garden on January 28, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images for NARAS)

“I burst into tears. Those women didn’t owe me anything.”

Moments before she stole the show at the Grammys with a devastating performance of “Praying” backed by an army of powerhouse female artist including Cyndi Lauper and Camila Cabello, a nervous Kesha burst into tears — and it was all their fault.

"“They were like ‘[Let’s say] Kesha on three.’ I was like, ‘No, no, no. Praying, all of on three.’ But instead, they said my name, and I burst into tears. Those women didn’t owe me anything. It just took my breath away-that feeling of having people be there for you.”"

Post-Grammys, a video uploaded to YouTube shows a tearful Kesha backstage at the show. Although it is unclear whether it is from before or after the performance, her emotion and the support of fellow singers are.

This wasn’t the first time Kesha was overcome on the Grammy stage. During a private rehearsal days before the show, the singer-songwriter broke down. According to the LA Times, Cabello and Lauper embraced her as she “let out a roaring vocal” that left host James Corden speechless.

None of this would have happened if one Kesha-averse Grammy producer hadn’t attended her final show of Rainbow tour at the Hollywood Palladium. Grammy Awards Executive Producer Ken Ehrlich was not a fan of dollar-sign Ke$ha and “boozy party anthems,” but her incredible performance and growth changed his mind. Kesha did not think twice about which song she would perform, and the rest is history.

Next: Women to Admire: Kesha

As Cosmo and every listener of Rainbow has noticed, the glowstick-girl who washed her mouth with a bottle of Jack has grown up – but that doesn’t mean she’s gone. Although she now allows herself to feel the sadder emotions and be open about her struggles, article closes by reassuring us that the crazy diamond will shine on.

“I’m not, like, a sad sap now,” she said. “My show is still extremely fun. I’m not going to be less crazy…there’s dancing and glitter. That’s a promise I will keep: there will always be glitter.”