"I found her when she was in Nashville," Gottwald said. "She was sleeping on people's couches...she worked a lot, wrote a lot and got it together."
After taking Ke$ha, now 23, under his wing, Gottwald helped coach and transform her into the megastar she is today.
"We kind of developed the sound together," Ke$ha said. "It was me, like, being a sassy lady, and then him kind of helping me put that into a pop song."
That "sound" produced Ke$ha's "drunk-tastic" hit single, "Tik Tok," which put Ke$ha on the Pop music map. "I brush my teeth with a bottle of Jack / 'Cause when I leave for the night, I ain't coming back," she sings.
Ke$ha on Working with Gottwald: 'His Sense of Melody Is Like a Gift From God'
"His sense of melody is like a gift from God," Ke$ha said. "It's bizarre. Everything that comes out of his mouth is incredible and is so catching and hooky."
But the doctor doesn't just know the perfect formula for punchy lyrics, he's also a master at blending and mixing sounds together, as evidenced by one of his most popular productions: Katy Perry's "Teenage Dream."
The song features a mind-boggling 182 different tracks, including guitar, an entire crowd of people for the chorus, and of course, Perry herself.
Gottwald has joined forces with Max Martin once again for Spears' "Hold It Against Me," a song he said he found himself recreating on the fly when Spears wanted changes.
"I don't want to disappoint people," he said, laughing. "Especially with an icon like Britney. You don't want to be the one who messed it up. Hopefully I won't fail, you know?"
When asked what it was about Pop music that made it all worthwhile, Gottwald said that the songs were all about "feeling good."
"I wanna feel that way," he said. "I feel like if you can make music, and get people to, you know, evoke that feeling out of other people through writing songs, that's a pretty cool thing to do."