Dr. Luke said to block Kesha’s Billboard Music Award performance

Singer Kesha performs onstage during The Humane Society of the United States’ to the Rescue Gala at Paramount Studios on May 7, 2016 in Hollywood.
(Angela Weiss/Getty Images for The Humane Society of the United States)

Kesha is no longer performing at this year’s Billboard Music Awards, Dick Clark Productions announced on Tuesday. 

It was previously reported that the pop star, embroiled in a messy lawsuit against her onetime mentor Dr. Luke, would make an appearance during Sunday’s telecast in what would be her first televised performance since her legal battle with the producer began in 2014. 

Dick Clark Productions, which produces the annual pop spectacle in Las Vegas, released a statement Tuesday saying Dr. Luke’s label “rescinded its approval,” following last week’s announcement of her involvement.

“Kesha accepted an invitation to perform on the show and she received written approval from Dr. Luke’s record label, Kemosabe Records,” the statement read. “Unfortunately, Kesha and Kemosabe have since been unable to come to an agreement for Kesha to perform on the show. Kemosabe subsequently rescinded its approval following a media report on Wednesday, May 11th regarding Kesha’s appearance on the BBMAs.”


No further details were provided. The Times has reached out to reps for both Luke and Kesha.

Kesha, whose full name is Kesha Rose Sebert, is signed to Dr. Luke’s Kemosabe Records, an imprint of Sony Music. 

The pop star jolted the music industry in 2014 when she hit her longtime partner and platinum producer with a suit, alleging a decade of sexual, physical and mental abuse. 

In the suit filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court, the singer alleges that the years of abuse resulted in an eating disorder and a stint in rehab that sidelined a once white-hot career. Dr. Luke has denied all the claims and has continued to remain one of pop’s most in-demand hit makers.


Kesha’s ongoing case got widespread attention earlier this year after a video of the singer breaking down and sobbing in court brought an onslaught of public support from some of the biggest names in pop music.

In April, a New York State Supreme Court judge dismissed Kesha’s counterclaims against the producer and rejected her request to be let out of her contract with Dr. Luke and Sony and a judge in California put the sexual assault case on hold, on Monday, pending the outcome of a breach-of-contract lawsuit in New York that was brought by Dr. Luke, who accuses Kesha of lying about the abuse in order to get out of her contract.

Last week it was reported the singer would use her performance at the Billboard Awards to make a statement of sorts about her ongoing case. 

She recently released “True Colors,” a collaboration with EDM producer Zedd with permission of Kemosabe and Sony (the original version of the song is the title track to his recently released album). Kesha and Zedd debuted the single, her first single in three years, at Coachella. 

Kesha’s booking on Billboard came after her emotional cover of Lady Gaga’s Oscar-nominated song about sexual abuse, “Till It Happens To You,” at a gala for the Humane Society.  “I could feel your pain,” Gaga wrote in support of the performance. “Girl these boys won’t be in charge forever. The wisdom of women is rising. Let’s get louder.”

Before Monday’s judgment, Kesha opened to fans on social media, writing that she made the decision to “take my life back.”

“I have been battling depression and an eating disorder for a while now. my career is in a strange place and it feels like I’m fighting an uphill fight some days. but I have decided to take my life back. my freedom. my happiness. my voice. my worth. I will not just [expletive] be quiet and hide,” she wrote.

Dick Clark Productions said it still hopes both parties can come to an arrangement before Sunday’s event.



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