Ke$ha is Billboard's Hot 100 artist of the year

Fri Dec 10, 2010 6:59pm EST
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By Mikael Wood

NEW YORK (Billboard) - Sometimes I need to remind myself that 'TiK ToK' only went to No. 1 in January," Ke$ha says of her party-hearty electro-pop jam. "Because it kind of feels like it was 17 years ago."

Doesn't it, though? As far as new artists go, 2010 more or less belonged to this 23-year-old Nashville native, who released her hit debut, "Animal," in January, then followed it up last month with a nine-track mini-album, "Cannibal."

With three songs on Billboard's year-end Hot 100, and 1.1 million copies sold of "Animal," according to Nielsen SoundScan, Ke$ha is the Hot 100 artist of the year, as well as the top new artist.

"You can never completely predict what's going to be a hit," says her producer, Lukasz "Dr. Luke" Gottwald. "But I can't say I'm surprised by Ke$ha's success." The secret behind her rise? RCA/Jive Label Group chairman/CEO Barry Weiss says, "She's an artist with a point of view, which is more than you can say about 95 percent of the acts out there."

Billboard: How different is your life right now versus this time a year ago?

Ke$ha: "Are you kidding me? I pretty much feel like I've been reborn into this completely different existence. My entire life has become making music and playing shows, and I love it. I've accepted the fact that my fans are now my family, and I won't be having boyfriends. I'll just be having a really amazing relationship with the radio."

Billboard: Were you prepared for that transformation?

Ke$ha: "I wasn't clueless. It's just not at all what I expected it to be like. It's really intense -- more intense than I ever thought it would be. I remember pulling up to the with Dr. Luke in a DeLorean wearing a garbage-bag dress with the paparazzi chasing me. I was having an anxiety attack, like, 'I just wrote some pop songs, man!'"   Continued...