After Kesha’s permission to perform at the upcoming Billboard Music Awards was revoked by her label, Lady Gaga issued a tweet vilifying the embattled singer’s nemesis, Dr. Luke. Soon afterward, Luke acquiesced to allowing Kesha to sing at the event, as long as she agrees not to include any references to him in her performance.
( Kesha | Instagram )
It looks as if Kesha will be singing at this Sunday’s Billboard Music Awards after her performance was originally scheduled, and then blocked by her nemesis Dr. Luke. After support from Lady Gaga and assurances that Kesha will not use the performance as a platform to address her situation with Luke, he has now agreed to let her sing.
Kesha was all set to perform a cover of Bob Dylan’s “It Ain’t Me Babe” at the Billboard Music Awards, when media reports claimed she was going to use her performance as a vehicle to state her mind about her ongoing battle with her former producer Dr. Luke. The producer runs record label Kemosabe, which Kesha unsuccessfully tried to split from in a high profile case that was decided earlier this year. Kesha has asserted that Dr. Luke raped, drugged and abused her during the period in which they were recording, accusations which he vehemently denies.
Once Luke heard that Kesha planned an attack on him during the awards, he rescinded the permission to perform that he had initially given. Kesha then expressed her dismay on Instagram, insisting 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.”
Lady Gaga also took to social media to support Kesha, tweeting, “Isn’t it strange that it’s legal to own a woman this way? Listen Ursula, we want her voice back. #freeKesha.” The Ursula reference is a comparison of Dr. Luke to the Disney villain from The Little Mermaid. Gaga has been vocal in her support of Kesha during the ordeal, and Kesha recently performed a live cover of Gaga’s song about sexual abuse, “Till It Happens To You'” at a charity event.
Now it appears the two sides have suddenly come to an agreement. Kesha’s people have issued assurances to Dr. Luke’s camp that no references or allusions will be made to his situation with the singer, and she will perform the Dylan cover as planned. “We are pleased that Kesha and Kemosabe Records have reached an agreement and very much look forward to having Kesha perform on the Billboard Music Awards this Sunday night on ABC,” said the awards producers, Dick Clark Productions.
The question now is whether the song choice itself has any veiled connection to the dispute. While a literal interpretation of the lyrics doesn’t seem to indicate a direct reference, the chorus of “It ain’t me, babe…No, no, no, it ain’t me, babe…. It ain’t me you’re lookin’ for, babe,” certainly seems fitting as some sort of message from Kesha to Luke about his alleged behavior.