2011 New Year's Eve In Times Square

It’s only been a few hours since Kesha returned home after undergoing treatment for an eating disorder, and she’s already made some big changes in her life. Not only has she dyed her hair, but her people got in touch with E! News to announce that she’s officially dropping the infamous $ from her name– presumably to signify a fresh start.

On the one hand, I’m thrilled to see that she’s doing well, and if her recovery process involves a change to her public image, I’m glad she has the power to make that happen. The media was completely horrible to her when the news came out that she was struggling with a mental health issue, so I can totally understand why she’d want to take control of the way she’s presented to the world. But, on the other hand, I’m going to miss the hell out of that dollar sign. I would never forgive myself if I let it fade away into pop culture history without first receiving a proper eulogy. Here goes.

I met The Dollar Sign during my senior year of high school. I was in my friend’s driveway at 8am, waiting for her to get out of the shower and knowing full well that we were going to be late to first period. The local pop station was blaring out of the speakers of my rickety pickup truck, playing some bizarre song that used a combination of yodeling and white girl rap to endorse rubbing Jack Daniels on one’s teeth. Who owned this angelic, vaguely computerized voice? I took out my flip phone (which didn’t even have a camera on it, if you need help remembering 2009), and texted ChaCha: “Who sings the song about tick tock on the clock and the party not stopping?” And that’s when I saw it. Jumping out of a name that I wrongly assumed was pronounced like Keesha, there was a dollar sign. Like P!nk. But cooler. I fell instantly in love.

Kesha’s dollar sign was always there for me during my college years. If I needed to draw something obnoxious on my face with a glitter pen, it was my go-to. If I needed a name for my iTunes playlist consisting only of songs about vomiting fairy dust, $$$$ did the trick. If I needed ammunition for a drunken Gaga-vs-Ke$ha debate at a bar, I cited the dollar sign as an obvious example of why the latter diva was way more fun. That dollar sign was a symbol for me that meant “don’t take anything too seriously” and “why sing real words when it’s more cathartic to scream about beards.” It was my friend. And it will be missed.

While I’m sad to see it go, I’m willing to prioritize the needs of Kesha, the person, over my love of Ke$ha, the figure. Eventually, all good things must come to an end. Goodbye, my friend.

Photo: Getty images