No. 6: “Tik Tok,” Ke$ha

“The Simple Life” is long gone for Ke$ha, who first jettisoned into the eye of pop-culture cultists on the Paris Hilton-Nicole Richie reality show. A one-time vocal contributor for Britney Spears and Flo Rida, Kesha Rose Sebert now has the cash — and flash — to go with the dollar sign in her stage name: bona fide club classic “Tik Tok.” Ke$ha‘s debut single has become the seventh best-selling download in digital history, scoring the highest weekly download sales ever by a female artist.

Blame its party-girl dance-pop popularity on its wake-up-call squeezebox rhythms, video game electronic textures, and K-Money’s sassy raps, name-checking P. Diddy and Mick Jagger and drawling, with an inaudible slur, “Before I leave, brush my teeth with a bottle of Jack / ‘Cause when I leave for the night, I ain’t coming back.” Ke$ha’s high times have inspired love: She has performed the song on “The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien,” “Today,” and “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” and it has been used in “Project Runway,” “Melrose Place,” “The Hills,” “Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief,” the Miss Universe 2010 competition.

But she’s also inspired parodies, both low-tech and viral (i.e., the Israel Defense Forces’ “IDF Tik Tok” dance video), as well as haters. Apparently an out-of-control girl who just wants to have fun runs the risk of viral shutdowns.

–Kimberly Chun

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