Kesha's Billboard Music Award Show Performance Has Been Cancelled

This sh*tty situation just keeps getting sh*ttier, and it's hard to be hopeful about it.
Publish date:
May 19, 2016
music, Kesha, Dr. Luke, Sony, Billboard Music

In what I'm calling "bullshit piled on an already ridiculous pile of bullshit," Kesha's Billboard Music Award Show performance has been cancelled by Dr. Luke's label.

Kesha had originally planned to honor singer/songwriter Bob Dylan by covering "It Ain't Me Babe," but, according to the New York Times, Kemosabe Records has rescinded its permission for her to do so, because they felt Kesha would use the opportunity to reference her legal disputes with the producer:

Dick Clark Productions, which is overseeing the awards show, said in a statement on Tuesday that Dr. Luke’s Kemosabe Records, to which Kesha remains signed, rescinded its approval of the appearance after anonymous media reports last week that said Kesha’s performance would directly reference her dispute with the producer.

According to Kesha's Instagram, the "Tik Tok" singer had never intended to reference Dr. Luke in any way during the performance:

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.

A representative for Kesha had told the New York Times on Monday that the singer had given Dr. Luke written assurance that she wouldn't allude to or address their lengthy legal dispute surrounding his treatment of her, but this apparently was not enough.

To anyone who thought that remaining on Dr. Luke's label while "being allowed to work with other producers" wouldn't be that bad of a deal, this is the kind of shit that Kesha will continue to be subjected to under this contract. It's pretty infuriating, since her job is singing, and she's not being allowed to do her job. Among the greatly infuriated are Kesha's mother, who took to Twitter to express her displeasure. Some of her Tweets are below:

The thing I don't get is this: by allowing Kesha to perform as intended, even if she were to reference the rape allegations and lawsuit, Dr. Luke would have drawn way less attention to what an asshole he is. (Not that anyone is confused about the issue.) Preventing her from performing makes him look frantic, small, and afraid, but — if I really stop and think about it — Dr. Luke and SONY are most likely not concerned about how they look in all of this; they are concerned about controlling Kesha and making her life as difficult as possible.

In spite of all of this, Kesha is still managing to not only perform, but create new music. Back in April, she returned to the studio to record "True Colors" with electronic producer Zedd, which you can listen to below.

I'd usually say something like "hopefully Kesha will find a way to keep making music in spite of SONY and Dr. Luke," but this shitty situation just keeps getting shittier, and it's hard to be hopeful about it. Maybe SONY will eventually tire of all the bad press and #FreeKesha, or maybe they'll just keep being total assholes. Time will tell.