Update: Dr. Luke’s imprint Kemosabe Records has granted the ‘ok’ for Kesha to perform at Sunday’s Billboard Music Awards, after being reassured that “Kesha nor her supporters would use the performance as such a platform.”
Read the full story at Spin Magazine.
Just when you thought that singer/songwriter Kesha had a foothold in making a comeback, her abuser/producer Dr. Luke throws a huge wrench in the fire. After it was announced Kesha would be one of the performers at this Sunday’s Billboard Music Awards, alongside acts like Ariana Grande and Nick Jonas, it was reported that Luke’s imprint/label Kemosabe Records had withdrawn their approval granting her the ability to perform.
The decision comes following a report that Kesha was going to use her performance to make a statement about her ongoing legal battle with Luke. This was denied by the singer herself, who claims she was simply going to perform a cover of Bob Dylan’s song “It Ain’t Me Babe.” Kesha is a noted fan of Dylan, but had she wanted to use the opportunity to comment on something that happened to her, she should be allowed that right.
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I was very excited to perform a tribute to Bob Dylan by singing a cover of "It ain't me, babe" at the Billboard awards this year. I'm very sad and sorry to say I won't be allowed to do this. I just wanted to make very clear that this performance was about me honoring one of my favorite songwriters of all time and has never had anything at all to do with Dr. Luke. I was never going to use a picture of him, speak of him or allude to my legal situation in any way. I simply wanted to sing a song I love to honor an artist I have always looked up to. thank u all for the continued support.
Not only is this just another example in a long list of very suspicious behavior by the producer to hide his trail of abuse inflicted upon Kesha. Not only is it upsetting that Kesha is being denied the ability to continue her career and express herself creatively, but it’s frustrating that this is the very thing the judges ruling against her said wouldn’t happen.
Many are still baffled as to why Kesha is so dead set on getting out of her contract with Luke and Kemosabe Records. Luke doesn’t only produce Kesha’s music, but he essentially owns her and her creative material. It’s a very sick deal that gives him the right to approve or deny anything Kesha releases, and in this case he’s exerted his right to prevent her from making a public performance. So yes, technically Kesha can record and write with other artists. On the other side of that coin, Luke can shut down or prevent these projects from ever coming to light. Look no further then the Kesha and Flaming Lips album that never was. In an interview with Radio.com, Flaming Lips frontman Wayne Coyne alluded to the project being blocked by Luke himself:
“The stuff we did with Kesha was just spectacular,” he said, adding that, “It made us want to do more, and then Kesha would remind me “Wayne, I can’t put music out Dr. Luke would kill me.'”
After reaching out to the singer via Twitter, producer Zedd recorded a remix of his song “True Colors” following a surprise performance at Coachella last month. The song did very well, peaking within the top 10 of iTunes with close to zero promotion. Right before the song was going to be sent to radio, it was reported those plans were cancelled.
Zedd has had multiple radio hits such as “Clarity,” “Break Free” and “I Want You To Know,” and while the song doesn’t scream Song of the Summer, such a high profile duet would have absolutely done well if it received support from the label. It’s strange that this news came right before Luke’s label cancelled Kesha’s latest song.
This afternoon, Kesha’s mother Pebe published a series of tweets commenting on the issue.
Again, this is exactly what the judge ruling in Kesha’s case had said wouldn’t happen. In reports and statements, numerous people claimed that Kesha was free to work without Luke in the room, and without his direct influence. But that was never the case; as long as Kesha’s contract with Luke still stands, he doesn’t have to work with her or be in the same room to negatively impact her career. Yet the industry continues to embolden rapists and turn the other cheek when it comes to the plights of abused women, while the rest of us are just supposed to stand by and watch, and be okay with it. If Luke was as innocent as he claimed, he wouldn’t be so aggressive in his attempts to keep Kesha, and those around her, quiet.