Over the past month or so, several factors have encouraged my decision to avoid at all costs the pop-cultural force apparently known as Ke$ha. The dollar sign in her name and the ridiculous spelling and capitalization of her big hit ("TiK ToK") are the main things. (Maybe you think I give Miley Cyrus a bit too much credit, but at least her handlers appear to have some small amount of respect for the English language. Up to this point, at least.)
Then there's the fact that, in the past month (which is, so far as I can tell, about as long as anyone has known who she even is), I don't think I've heard or read a single positive thing about this girl. Her song seems to have been hurtled to the top of the Billboard charts by some force of collective, masochistic will—apparently, America didn't get its fill of abuse in 2009, so we had to make "TiK ToK" the #1 song in the country just to punish ourselves a little more in the new year. Congrats, it's a hate-hit!
If anyone actually loves this song, please show yourself. No, seriously, I don't want to mock you—I just need to know that you exist! In the meantime, here are nine other female artists who've decided to make music under just their first names (sans extraneous punctuation marks), all great enough that you have no real reason to actively ignore them.
Fierce, wordly soul from Nigeria by way of Germany. Stateside debut coming in February.
Big-voiced, old-souled, reverb-swathed strummer and one of my favorite new artists of 2009.
Tried and true elemental West Coast songstress.
Wry, twang-twinged pop straight outta Nashville. (Check back here tomorrow for more.)