"To have a breakthrough you have to have a breakdown, and I definitely went through both of those—in hindsight, it saved my life."
Kesha is Teen Vogue's next cover girl, and the new judge of ABC's Rising Star has clearly changed her hard-partying tune since her initial, wild ascent to pop stardom. She was clear and candid with Teen Vogue about everything from coping with the pressures of looking perfect in the music industry to the breakthrough she encountered while creating Warrior to her recent stay in rehab, which was for the treatment of her eating disorder. The mag has published excerpts from Kesha's feature, and a few quotes in particular really shone a light on where the Warrior is at now that she's ready to kickstart the next exciting phase of her career.
Warrior was an awakening--but it was a rude one by way of revelation: "Making my last record, Warrior, was a pretty miserable process, and it wore my spirit down. I was fighting like hell to keep my whole irreverent essence and everything raw and visceral that I stand for in it, but in the end I was promoting something that wasn't the animal I wanted it to be. I decided to face my problem head-on."
Her worst fear in life? Being a phony: "My whole message is to love who you are and accept all your beautiful imperfections. When I felt I was slipping into unloving territory with myself, I knew I had to listen to my own advice and correct it ... I have a public persona where I need to be fun all the time, and I refuse to be a hypocrite. I felt I needed to get help, not only for myself but also for my fans. My worst fear in life is to be fake."
Mean people are lame (and tackling personal turmoil was a scarier feat than skydiving or diving with sharks): "Things got worse because I'm in an industry where people photograph your body and zoom in and blow it up and put it on the cover of magazines, and other people make terrible comments ... It really messed with my head, and I realized I couldn't do it by myself. The decision to take control of it is the scariest thing I've ever done, and this is coming from someone who dives with sharks and jumps out of airplanes for fun."
Kesha covers the August issue of Teen Vogue, on newsstands July 15.