By Christopher Rosa. Photos: Getty Images.
Kesha has been through a lot over the past few years. In January 2014, she checked into a rehab facility to seek treatment for an eating disorder. Ten months later, she sued her music producer, Dr. Luke, for sexual assault, harassment, and emotional abuse. The case is still ongoing (and tumultuous), and Kesha is very vocal about how it affects her.
One notable change that Kesha made during this difficult time was dropping the "$" symbol from her stage name. (She now goes by her birth name, which is just Kesha.) At first, this doesn't seem like that big of a deal—perhaps she just wanted to usher in a more mature stage of her career, like when Bow Wow dropped the "Lil'" from his name. But there's more to it than that. In a new interview with Refinery 29, Kesha reveals she ditched the "$" so she could begin telling the truth about who she is: vulnerable, real, and not always strong.
"It [losing the $] happened after I went to rehab for my eating disorder," Kesha said at Refinery 29's SXSW panel. "I let go of my facade about being a girl who didn't care. My facade was to be strong, and I realized it was total bullshit. I took out the "$" because I realized that was part of the facade. It was a journey and I'm happy—that was me in that part of my life. But then I turned a corner—but I still have a f-cking tattoo of it on my hand. I'll have to figure that out!”
Kesha's quote confirms a point we made a few months ago about the early stages of her career. 2010 "Ke$ha" was a breath of fresh air in the pop world. She was sex-positive, confident, and wonderfully irreverent—a total foil to the polished, somewhat generic pop stars that ran music at that time. Kesha surely is all of these things, but if she didn't actually want that image of her out there, then it wasn't empowering. It was degrading. True strength comes from being unabashedly who you are—and it seems like Kesha is doing this now. Cheers to that.
This story originally appeared on Glamour.
More from Glamour: