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Dr Luke bars Kesha from performing at the Billboard Music Awards

By | Published on Thursday 19 May 2016


Kesha has been forced to withdraw from a performance at this Sunday’s Billboard Music Awards, after her appearance at the show was vetoed by Dr Luke’s Kemosabe record label. The singer is, of course, currently embroiled in a complex legal battle with Dr Luke, but his company had apparently previously granted permission for her to sing at the awards.

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 “Kemosabe subsequently rescinded its approval following a media report on Wednesday 11 May regarding Kesha’s appearance on the BBMAs.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

The report referenced in the statement was a TMZ story which claimed that the singer was planning to stage a “statement performance”, which would make “direct references” to her legal battle with Dr Luke that “might even include images of him”.

However, the company added: “Dick Clark Productions has a long standing relationship with Kesha. We hope that the parties can come to an arrangement such that we can continue that long standing relationship with a performance by Kesha on the Billboard Music Awards stage on 22 May”.

Kesha, meanwhile, is less optimistic about the situation being resolved, revealing what she had actually planned for her performance in a post on Instagram.

“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”, she wrote. “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 honouring one of my favourite 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 honour an artist I have always looked up to. Thank you all for the continued support”.

Dr Luke and Kemosabe did previously grant permission for Kesha to record a new version of Zedd’s ‘True Colors’, which itself could have been seen as some sort of statement. In any case, this latest incident could be seen as another PR own goal for the producer and his key business partner Sony Music.

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