Surviving the Condition of Being a Woman in the Music Industry: Kesha’s Story

Miranda Vargo is a clarinetist and singer, and a music education major at William Paterson University of New Jersey. She went to Warren Hills Regional High School in Washington, Warren County, New Jersey. On the side, she knits and crochets, and runs an Etsy shop, along with taking custom orders from William Paterson students. She came to William Paterson because the minute she stepped foot on campus, she felt like she was at home. This year she will be graduating with her B. M. in K-12 Music Education. 

Surviving the Condition of Being a Woman in the Music Industry: Kesha’s Story

 

Many are familiar with all of the stories coming that have come out in the news in recent years regarding sexual assault in the music and entertainment industries; the story of Kesha and her former manager is no exception. It is the classic tale of a disadvantaged woman artist pressured into illegal activities and sexual favors by a manager that knew he was in a position to manipulate her. 

Kesha, 2011

As a young artist, Kesha was in a position where it may have been detrimental to her career to stand up to her attacker. Like many other young women in the entertainment industry, she felt out of control of her circumstances. Many women struggle to make a career for themselves in music or film without a man being involved in their career path. This puts women in a vulnerable position in the music industry; speaking out against abuse can potentially alter or destroy your career. 

Kesha put her career as a successful musician on the line to come out against her abuser, calling attention to the abuse that many women face in the industry. Her courage and tenacity has inspired others to come out against their attackers and break the silence. As a woman in music, she is an inspiration to me and others around me to keep fighting for equality in the industry. 

The song praying by Kesha is an ode to her struggle with the events described above. You can find it on YouTube here:

One of the reasons that people have been applauding Kesha for the way that she’s been handling the situation so graciously. If you listen to the song, you’ll understand why.

Album Artwork from “Rainbow”

Here’s a playlist of some of my favorite Kesha songs from the same album as “Praying”:

I’ve also included a playlist that I found on Spotify of songs by empowered women in music, by user David Ortega.

 

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