Kesha’s ‘Die Young’ pulled from radio, claims she was ‘forced’ to use those lyrics

You guys know I’m a Ke$ha apologist. I like her. And I had already downloaded “Die Young” last month and it was part of my workout jam. I never really gave too much thought to the lyrics: “I hear your heart beat to the beat of the drums/Oh what a shame that you came here with someone/So while you’re here in my arms/Let’s make the most of the night like we’re gonna die young/We’re gonna die young” – it’s a song about young love. Teenage love. Staying up all night and making out LOVE. It’s part and parcel of the “Hollywood Martyrdom” of people like James Dean and Marilyn Monroe, the idea that everything is so intense when you’re young and when you get old, you lose that intensity and focus and passion.

But, of course, in the wake of Sandy Hook tragedy, the lyrics took on a different meaning, and radios across the country pulled Ke$ha’s song (which had been steadily rising on the charts for weeks). I really don’t think anyone really blamed Ke$ha for the tragedy, do they? Something similar happened here in Virginia (where CB and I live – not together!) – Virginia radio stations refused to play Foster the People’s “Pumped Up Kicks” because that song is about a kid playing with a gun, and many people around here were deeply affected by the 2007 Virginia Tech massacre.

Anyway, Ke$ha has spoken! She’s fine with her song being pulled, mostly because (she says) she was “forced” to sing those lyrics. The hell?

Ke$ha has just — shockingly — come out and said she never wanted to sing the controversial lyrics in “Die Young” — even though she’s listed as one of the writers of the song.

TMZ broke the story … Ke$ha’s hit song has been yanked from a huge number of radio playlists since the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre.

Ke$ha just tweeted, she understands why her song is now inappropriate, adding, “I had my very own issues with “die young” for this reason. I did NOT want to sing those lyrics and I was FORCED TO.”

The lyrics include this: “Let’s make the most of the night like we’re gonna die young. We’re gonna die young. We’re gonna die young.”

A bunch of people lashed out at Ke$ha on Twitter, slamming her for the song in the wake of the tragedy.

Ke$ha is listed as a co-writer of “Die Young,” along with Dr. Luke and others. She does not explain why she was forced to sing those lyrics.

[From TMZ]

Part of the reason I’m a Ke$ha apologist is because I think she’s a talented pop songwriter and I usually like her interviews and her “Whatever, dude, I’m just partying with my glitter bombs” attitude. But I feel like Kesha is copping out by saying that she was “forced” to sing those particular lyrics. Maybe there’s more to the story, and if so, I’d like to hear it. But I think she probably should have just stuck with a more general statement about the tragedy and how devastating it is for everyone, and not made it specifically about her and her lyric dramz.

Photos courtesy of WENN.

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65 Responses to “Kesha’s ‘Die Young’ pulled from radio, claims she was ‘forced’ to use those lyrics”

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  1. RN says:

    Good. Now I don’t have to hear that screeching, atonal crap song when my kids turn on the radio.

    Kesha handled this one poorly. She was “forced” to sing it?

    • Tiffany says:

      I agree that she handled it poorly, and even if it was beyond her control…it doesn’t do any good to make excuses and blame others. Too late, Kesh!

      However, a part of me does believe her. Producers, especially someone with the power of Dr. Luke, get a huge chunk of the royalties for their songs, and many they have a bigger financial interest in the song than the person singing…therefore they have more control. At the end of the day, “singers” are controlled by their labels and the producers they hire.

  2. Dee Cee says:

    It’s true for a lot of lost,empty.. living for the moment disconnected people full of grief for the world in chaos.. they feel no valid, spiritual reason to live on nowadays..

    I hear your heart beat to the beat of the drums Oh what a shame that you came here with someone So while you’re here in my arms Let’s make the most of the night like we’re gonna die young
    We’re gonna die young We’re gonna die young
    Let’s make the most of the night like we’re going to die young
    [Beat break]
    Let’s make the most of the night like we’re gonna die young
    Young hearts, out our minds Runnin till we outta time Wild childs, lookin’ good Livin hard just like we should Don’t care whose watching when we tearing it up (You Know) That magic that we got nobody can touch (For sure)
    Looking for some trouble tonight Take my hand, I’ll show you the wild, side Like it’s the last night of our lives We’ll keep dancing till we die
    I hear your heart beat to the beat of the drums Oh what a shame that you came here with someone So while you’re here in my arms, Let’s make the most of the night like we’re gonna die young
    We’re gonna die young We’re gonna die young [ From: ]
    Let’s make the most of the night like we’re gonna die young
    [Beat break]
    Let’s make the most of the night like we’re gonna die young
    Young punks, taking shots Stripping down to dirty socks Music up, gettin’ hot Kiss me, give me all you’ve got It’s pretty obvious that you’ve got a crush (you know) That magic in your pants, it’s making me blush (for sure)
    Looking for some trouble tonight Take my hand i’ll show you the wild side Like it’s the last night of our lives We’ll keep dancing till we die
    I hear your heart beat to the beat of the drums Oh what a shame that you came here with someone So while you’re here in my arms, Let’s make the most of the night like we’re gonna die young
    I hear your heart beat to the beat of the drums Oh what a shame that you came here with someone So while you’re here in my arms Let’s make the most of the night like we’re gonna die young
    We’re gonna die young We’re gonna die young
    Let’s make the most of the night like we’re gonna die young

  3. mkyarwood says:

    doesn’t blondie have die young lyrics?

  4. Riana says:

    I don’t think you have to be a Ke$ha apologist, I think you can just like Ke$ha.

    I’ve never understood why people judge others so much by their musical choices, expecting every artist they listen to to be indie/approved rock group. That’s like never being able to enjoy a candy bar, f that.

  5. NerdMomma says:

    The song has nothing to do with the tragedy, and I can’t believe people went on twitter to comment on any such link. She should have just kept her mouth shut.

    • emmie_a says:

      NerdMomma: Exactly. The song has been out for a couple of months now.

      …off topic but I love the black boots she’s wearing!

    • neelyo says:

      After 9/11 so many songs were pulled from the radio. If i recall, there was a list of over 100 songs that couldn’t be played. So yes, it’s a bit of an over reaction but nothing new.

      • D says:

        I agree with you on this. It is a bit of an overreaction. I never understood though why it was okay to pull “inappropriate” songs after 9/11 yet the same audience allowed artists to make money off of quick-released songs about the tragedy. There are at least two that come to mind immediately. I hope the same thing doesn’t happen about this tragedy.

    • ol cranky says:



      as for her “I was forced to sing these lyrics”: while I know record companies will pressure an act to put and release songs on a record, she’s listed as a writer so this would be a case of her playing a demo of what she already recorded and the company saying “do it” and deciding to release it as a single. If this was a song the record company brought to her and said “if you want your record released, you’ll do this song we bought for you” would she have gotten writing credits (the writers make more off a recording than the performers do) if she objected to the song’s lyrics?

    • Chicagogurl17 says:

      Understood and somewhat agree but if anything can help give peace to families and victims or prevent additional hurt, I’m all for it.

  6. Jean says:

    I was confused with her statement as well. I wasn’t sure if she meant she was forced to perform that song after the shootings or if she meant she was forced to record that song. I don’t understand why people would lash out at her for that song, obviously she recorded it before the tragedy. I doubt the killer was a Kesha fan.

  7. TQB says:

    Ugh, I so saw this coming. “Die Young” came on the radio on my way home from work on Friday and I admit, it felt icky. And I too am a Ke$ha fan/apologist/guilty pleasure whatever person. I like this song – the “deconstructed” version is awesome. It’s terrible timing, but that doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with the song. It’s not about ACTUALLY dying young, it’s about living in the moment, and isn’t that the best lesson you can take from last Friday?

    Anyway, disappointed to hear her apologizing or blaming someone else for the lyrics. A simple “yeah, I’m ok with it being pulled because it sounds wrong at this particular moment” would have been fine. Also would have been fine if radio stations could just be freaking grown ups and quietly stop playing a song, instead of making a big deal out of it.

    • V4Real says:

      You’re absolutely right; Ke$sha should just own it and say in light of the tragedy this song would be in poor taste to continue with air play. There was no need for her to mention that she was forced to sing a song that was released months before this unforeseen tragedy.

    • scotchy says:

      I work in the music business and though its a weak excuse I understand where she is coming from.
      Pop singers don’t really pen much of there own lyrical or musical content.
      If you are the performer of the song you are entitled to a piece of the publishing, thats why she is listed as one of the doesn’t really mean she wrote much of it.. or any of it in fact.
      These artists get pitched songs written by other people, their label decides which would fit and then the performer performs the track in the session.
      Though they can edit a bit, if the lyrics have been approved by the label its really hard for someone that is just talent to change that.
      I agree its a bit of a cop out to say you were “forced” as we all have a choice, but in that world of pop music where these artists are indebted to the label for hundreds of thousands of dollars( for the recording of the record that is), decisions are made for you that you are often contractually obliged to follow when you are not your own executive producer.

      Either way long rant aside, I personally think she shouldn’t have said anything…

  8. teehee says:

    This song has been around for what seems like a year here in germany, I hear it all the time.

    I agree with the commenter above though who says it only reflects how vapid and pointless and aimless the youth culture is at the moment, and this has totally nothing to do with any tragedy and I dont even see how they are offended by it now…. if its a pointless, empty song, it is so, no matter what has happened.

    Either you want substance in your music or you dont; but hey, maybe this has opened the eyes of a few people to what stupid crap is being promoted nowadays.

  9. Kayla says:

    Apparently she wanted the song to be called something other than Die Young or something along those lines, anyway the song has nothing to do with the Sandy Hook massacre why they felt the need to pull it from radio is beyond me, that’s like them pulling that Rihanna’s Diamonds song because somebody robbed a jewelry store. Makes no sense.

  10. Jess says:

    Romanticizing dying young has been around forever. The fact that Kesha’s stupid song is getting so much heat is ridiculous. It’s not like this is something new or innovative or cutting edge that someone is singing about dying young. It’s another weird finger pointed at the wrong culprit.

  11. florencia says:

    She’s so fake, her entire personality. My god, she tries so hard to be a rebel and somebody forced her to sing that silly song?? Too much glitter to me.

  12. jc126 says:

    I totally get that the song is harmless and obviously has nothing to do with the mass murder, but even before that, I didn’t like the lyrics and would shut it off. Just don’t like the phrase “die young” when too many people around me are facing their mortality. I do usually like Kesha’s songs.

  13. LadyMTL says:

    You want bad timing? One of the movie networks here in Canadaland aired the original Red Dawn this weekend. One of the very first scenes in the movie is of a high school being shot to hell by the invading Russians! My jaw was seriously on the floor. Compared to that, Ke$ha’s song is very, very tame.

  14. MJ says:

    I always thought her song was just a weaker version of Prince’s “1999″ sentiment. She shouldn’t have addressed it at all.

  15. thatttbitch says:

    It is not harmless …she repeats we’re going to die young so many times is that a positive message to send to people ..her video is chock full of illuminati symbolism ..the all seeing eye , pyramids and the inverted cross ..this is all part of their plan to desensitize the masses so much so that it becomes “harmless” to talk about and sing about dying young and to influence people to devalue human life . ….kesha is part of the illuminati just like gaga , beyonce , rihanna , google it if you don’t believe it ..of course she said she was FORCED to sing the lyrics because she the same people who are responsible for her video and it’s dark message your eyes and be aware..these things are going on.. be very careful of what you allow your children to listen to or watch… To those who are skeptical and might say I’m a conspiracy theory nut… Well go ahead and tell yourselves that die young is about teenage ℓ♥√e and passion or whatever but the things you listen to affect ur ideas , behaviour and mood …no matter how many meanings you read into that song the lyrics stay the same and they are telling you to act like YOU ARE GOING TO DIE YOUNG

    • TQB says:

      SWEET! We need more of this on CB. People are entirely too grounded and, you know, sane these days.

    • Sugar says:

      I’m going to read up on the iluminanti. I found your comment very intriguing because I’ve heard about this secret clandestine group since I was young (just hints & whispers) about a group of old business men but as I’m getting older I hear of these young stars involved w/ the illuminanti. And I thought they were just selling their
      souls for fame or is this the same as?

    • Chordy says:

      Yes! I thought today was just going to be another day of pearl clutching and casual misogyny here on Celebitchy, but you made all my dreams come true!

    • V4Real says:

      @ thattbitch I have been hearing about The Illuminati for years now from people in my circle. I’m well conversant in the knowledege of.
      Also Tupac talked about it in his song lyrics. Every celeb you mention have been accused of being members of this underground society. Conspiracy Theory or not; it’s what you choose to believe, I myself am on the fence but I know people who strongly believe in it but then again there are also people who strongly believe in alien life form. Didn’t The Son of Sam say it was the dog that made him do it?

      As for the dark messages in their songs/videos; I don’t know. Remember when vinyl was popular and it was said that if you played some songs backwards (especially rock albums) you can hear devil worshiping lyrics.

      Tupac claimed that it was the Illuminati that set him up for rape because he wouldn’t go along with their instructions for him.

      But to me they are just song lyrics, meant to entertain not to be taken literally. Are we going to dance until the world ends because Britney tells us to.
      Is every young girl who has unfortunately been sexually abused by someone going to go out and get a gun because Aerosmith tells the story of a girl being molested by her father and in the end shot him in their song Janie’s Got a Gun. There’s the song Cop Killer by Body Count, are people going to go out and kill cops?
      Killing in the Name of, by Rage Against the Machine and How I can just Kill a Man are other songs that promotes violence.
      Even though these songs have harsh lyrics and titles; we can’t continue to blame rap music/rock for the actions of a few mentally disturbed people.
      Along with trying to censor our children on what they watch or listen to we need to explain to them that it’s art, not to be taking as truth.

      That was a terrible crime that was committed against these beautiful innocent children of Sandy Hook but don’t try blaming music, movies or The Illumimnati on this horrific act. As far as we know that young man might have never heard of Ke$sha song Die Young. Don’t try to bring that propaganda into this situation. Just like Pearl Jam said about their music, even though their songs may have been written on their own experieces, they love how fans were able to interpret their music as how they wanted to believe what a song was about. So even if the song Die Young is filled with dark subliminal messages in your mind, it may not hold water with other listeners; that’s just your interpretation. Fans can interpret the meaning however they want. Stop placing the blame on music/movies and place it where it belongs; with the sick individuals who commited these heinous acts.

    • Nina W says:

      I don’t know if you’re joking or not but if you seriously buy this Illuminati conspiracy theory you need to put your kool-aid down. Do you understand how difficult it is to “keep secrets”? Do you know any people? Cause they can’t keep their mouths shut no matter what’s on the line. I don’t buy it at all.

      • V4Real says:

        Nina I’m assuming your comment is for thattbitch but I’m in agreement with you.

      • HotPockets says:

        Nina, jokes on you because the amount of symbolism and propaganda in the entertainment industry isn’t just used for entertainment purposes, it’s used to condition the masses. Back when television programming was first being developed, key word PROGRAMMING, there was a team of behavioral psychologists and there is to this day, who decide what they want you to see, whether it is on your local news or a music video. They create your reality and this is no secret, it is constantly referenced.

        Watch the movie, Videodrome, it’s great social commentary on how visual, subliminal, and various symbolism effects your psyche and frontal cortex, also google “predictive programming” or “MK Ultra.”

        Maybe I suggest you research how the The NSA Is building the country’s biggest spy center or let’s talk about Jimmy Savile: A Prime Example of an Entertainment Industry Abuser Protected by the Elite, it is documented he raped and abused children, but was knighted by the Queen. It was only after his death when people were no longer payed or threatened to be silenced that this well documented information surfaced. He worked in the entertainment industry and was a pedophile and people ignored it, high ranking people. The masses are so quick to dismiss everything as conspiracy theory because it is easier for them to dismiss things they don’t understand, rather then see things for what they really are. A music video isn’t just a music video anymore and more people are seeing that.

        Maybe Kesha wrote the song about the Georgia Guide-stones, ya know, the monument that prophesies the depopulation planned.

  16. sasa says:

    Pulling the song from the radio after the change in social circumstances? There’s a name for that: censorship. What utter bull.

  17. Tifygodess24 says:

    What I don’t understand I guess is besides the horrible tragedy that happened at Sandy Hook :( ( It still brings tears to my eyes ) Connecticut is my home. There are children that sadly die young everyday whether it be gun violence , child abuse , diseases etc. So where was the outrage then when it first came out? I mean If this is the point why weren’t people upset then? I have to be honest I didn’t even connect the song with this and I still don’t believe Kesha’s song was meant in a harmful way. If we want to talk about harming youth or sending the wrong message we might want to start looking at everything in the country not just a Kesha song. IMO.

  18. lucy2 says:

    I agree it has nothing to do with the tragedy, but I can understand radio stations choosing not to play it right now if they feel it is insensitive.
    If people disagree with that choice, they’re still free to purchase it or listen to it online all they want.

    I don’t get the “forced to” thing at all. Not the best way to handle it.

  19. HulaHoop says:

    I dislike Ke$sha but damn, who knew that this ish was going to happen? I mean that just doesn’t happen, not in Connecticut or anywhere else. It’s horrible and unspeakable. I think that radio stations are right for pulling it at least temporarily but she really shouldn’t get backlash for the lyrics because her lyrics were not the cause of the tragedy.

    • V4Real says:

      I agree with you. The song Juicy by rapper Big E. Smalls was a big hit after the first World Trade Center bombing. After the second and most catastrophic bombing of 9/11 the stations didn’t play it for a minute but currently play it but bleep out the part where he say’s’ “It’s time to get paid, b-ow up like the world trade.

  20. Lady Satan says:

    Ke$sha did nothing wrong, and nothing new.

    Shakespeare romanticized dying young in “Romeo & Juliet” and it is considered to be a classic work of literature. I don’t see people screaming to have it pulled from bookstores as it ‘gives the wrong message’.

    While a bubbly pop song is hardly going to stand the test of time the way Shakespeare has, it is simply a sad coincidence that the song was getting airplay at the time of the tragedy. I agree with having compassion for the survivors and pulling the song from the radio, but Ke$sha had no reason to apologize for writing OR singing it.

    • Trillion says:

      Lady Satan: 1. I am in love with your name and pissed I didn’t think of it first and 2. Yes, of course, you are exactly correct. I’m so embarrassed for my country when these silly overreactions happen. It’s false piety and over-simplification. Meanwhile, nothing really happens to significantly better the situation the over-reaction is uh, reacting to.

  21. sitting quietly says:

    there is nothing wrong with the song. i think it’s ridiculous to pull it from radio except in the area the tragedy happened– that would just be common sense.

  22. Dani says:

    Foster The People’s song is rumored to be about the Nebraska Mall Shooting from 2007. They even say the boys name (Robbie=Robert Hawkins). Also, one of the band members had a cousin that survived Columbine.

  23. m says:

    Has anyone seen her video? ‘forget the lyrics…the video itself is satanic. I for one have pulled it off my kids videos, especially when they question her friggin pentagram and upside cross. She can have her free speech but I have the right to tell to hell with it…oh wait…she is there already. Bloody satan worshiper

  24. Cletus says:

    I dont think ol’ Ke$ha knows her ass from a hole in the ground, frankly. “They” probably made her video and she was like “Huh? ok” and went on about her vapid existence. If she is a satan worshipper, I bet Satan is kind of embarrassed. I mean… I would be if I were him. Friggin KESHA? That’s like… I dunno… SNoop Dogg being a satan worshipper. Kind of not very dramatic. I thought the Devil was supposed to have more… you know… style. Like Pacino in The Devil’s Advocate.

  25. some bitch says:

    Illuminati conspiracies aren’t really something I believe in, but I agree there’s something damn unsettling about the video. It seems since the recession hit that the illuminati conspiracies started popping up everywhere, and now it’s prevalent in pop music videos.

    The song itself is harmless but the horrible incident last week makes for some bad timing.

  26. Feebee says:

    It’s hard that my kids like Kesha’s songs, I’m not a fan. However, if not for the Sandy Hook tragedy it would just be another song about youth and dying… or not. I read the song as them saying they’re going to do what they want while they can…. like we’re going to die young (except we’re not). Like we can still sing we’re going to party like it’s 1999 (except it’s not anymore). She’s making it worse but her stupid comments.

    When I first heard the lyrics of Band Perry’s die young song I had to fight back tears… that’s way more fatalistic for me. If that hadn’t been released prior, it would certainly be put on hold.

    Somebody mentioned Billy Joel’s Only the Good Die Young. If only those poor kids at Sandy Hook had lived long enough to even contemplate rebelling…..

  27. Louise says:

    Of course she was forced, if you don’t understand what these songs are about and the reason for them, then jesus open your eyes and get a clue.

  28. kelbravura says:

    This is a ratings bonanza for the news slores.

    The real sickness is our deranged media.

    They just have to try to steer grief into profit for them, and whatever Leftwing cause their peers are currently into.

  29. SG# says:

    We are such a reactive vs. pro-active country as a whole. This song has little to nothing to do w/ the tragedy at Sandy Hook! I had never heard this song until this was reported and the only lyric every outlet is quoting is “we die young” but reading it it sounds just as the theme is more like “party like it’s 1999″ then masacare tragedy. Believe me; I’m not insensitive to how this may rub some individuals the wrong way; but where was the concern about this song (any many more like it that have come and gone and some that are still on radio) prior to this unfortunate event???? Hell Beyonce had a song on her album saying she rather die young then live w/o a love interest. Come the fuck on with these cop outs. Address the real issues at hand; mental health, lack of morality in mainstream and pop culture, lack of respect for our fellow man, and respect for life in general!

  30. The Wizz says:

    Only in America – you’ll pull a song from the radio because the lyrics touch a nerve, but you’ll fight for the right to have a gun! The rest of the world does not understand you guys!

  31. Chrissy says:

    I can believe she was told to sing that crud: singers are highly controlled by the record companies. Watch the video and then tell me it’s about “teenage love.” I’m glad it’s been pulled; it’s stupid pollution we don’t need and we certainly don’t need to hear it after the tragedy of the deaths of those children. I doubt the writer of this column has truly felt the horror and sadness of this tragedy the way most people with children have.

  32. world humin says:

    Everyone is soul searching right now. Dying young is a tired.cliche that’s been hijacked by corporations. Don’t we all truly want a meaningful long life? Aren’t we all tired of the pop life? Kesha used this.opportunity to reveal something she needs to examine. We are all part of a tragedy . Good for her willingness to see her part

  33. Alex says:

    The song is a hit and your saying you had nothing to do with the hole concept of the chorus… Pretty stupid

  34. Laura says:

    1. The song is not about love in any form. The song is about macking on another girl’s boyfriend (‘oh what a shame that you came here with someone’). Ergo they want to make the most of the time they have before he goes back to her.
    2. Hate the song, but hate censorship more. It has nothing to do with what happened and shouldn’t be pulled. The stations where I live haven’t pulled it though.
    3. It’s just funny because she acts like a badass doing whatever she wants all the time but as soon as she gets heat she was ‘forced’ to do something.