It's been a pretty phenomenal year for Ke$ha. The brash, glitter-loving club kid burst onto the scene in January with her debut album, Animal, hot on the heels of the smash debut single "Tik Tok."
In short order, she ended the chart run of Susan Boyle when Animal debuted at #1, made her first trip to the Grammy Awards, teamed up with pals 3OH!3 for another hit video with "Blah Blah Blah," dropped in on "American Idol" and hit the road with Rihanna. And that's just the first three months of the year!
But after scoring another hit with "Your Love Is My Drug" and flipping the bird to haters over their critiques of her wobbly debut on "Saturday Night Live," Ke$ha unleashed another single, "Take It Off."
For a minute, there was talk of a follow-up album that might have a country twang, not out of the question considering that she's a Nashville native and her mom penned songs for Dolly Parton and Johnny Cash. But as she said at the time, "I'm also really digging being called, like, half-jokingly, a white-girl rapper. I think it's really funny, and I'm going to ride that train for a little bit."
By August, she was already plotting her next move, telling MTV News, "I'm always writing and kind of thinking of the next step. I'm still executing this record properly onstage, but the next record is definitely on my mind, and potentially in the works soon." She described waking up in Tokyo at 4 in the morning with a brainstorm for a new song and then spending seven hours making a "horrible" beat on "Garage Band" and singing and rapping into her computer.
A short time later, it was announced that her nine-song follow-up, Cannibal, would hit stores November 22 as a "companion" album to a reissue of Animal. The disc was reported to contain eight new songs produced by heavy-hitters like Max Martin, Benny Blanco and Bangladesh and to be preceded by "We R Who We R."
"This year has been carnivorous and life-changing. I have my rowdy, gorgeous fans to thank for taking me on the ride of a lifetime," Ke$ha said in a statement. "My only goal with this record is to keep them dancing. The songs on Cannibal were made to inspire people to ignore any hate or judgment and be themselves unapologetically. It's the perfect companion to Animal and I hope you guys like it. And if you don't like it — bite me."
Though a rumored hookup with Drake was false, a confirmed track list proved to have plenty of profane and silly titles, including (ahem) "C U Next Tuesday," "Sleazy," "Blow," "The Harold Song," "Cannibal," "We R," "Crazy Beautiful Life" and "Grow a Pear," plus a remix of "Animal." After winning an MTV EMA for Best New Act, the singer also locked in her first headlining affair, the Get $leazy Tour, which is slated to kick off February 15 in Portland, Oregon.
Like most major new albums, Cannibal leaked online a week before it hit shelves, perhaps the finest proof yet that Ke$ha has truly hit the big time. Only this time, after most of the songs had hit the Web, Ke$ha just posted the damn thing herself on her website and told her fans to enjoy.
"This is my album premiere, and it's top secret, and it's really fun and it's wild," Ke$ha said in a message posted on her site. "Things are going to get crazy and a little awkward, it'll be okay. Listen to it."
She's going to have plenty of major competition on the charts this week with new releases from Kanye West, Nicki Minaj and My Chemical Romance, but something tells us Ke$ha isn't that worried.
Open the floodgates! It's Mega-Release Week, with Kanye West, Nicki Minaj, Jay-Z, Ne-Yo, Ke$ha, My Chemical Romance and Lloyd Banks all dropping new albums. Stick with MTV News for everything you need to know about the brand-new music.