Dr. Luke’s Label Cancels Kesha’s Performance at Billboard Music Awards

May 18, 2016, 2:09 AM UTC
Kesha Makes An Appearance At New York State Supreme Court
Photograph by Raymond Hall—GC Images

This article was originally published on EntertainmentWeekly.com.

UPDATE: Kesha took to Facebook to express disappointment about the cancellation of her Billboard Music Awards 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,” the singer 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 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.”


EARLIER: Kesha will not perform at this year’s Billboard Music Awards despite previous reports, Dick Clark Productions announced Tuesday.

“Kesha accepted an invitation to perform on the show and she received written approval from Dr. Luke’s record label, Kemosabe Records,” the production company said in a statement. “Kemosabe subsequently rescinded its approval following a media report on Wednesday, May 11th regarding Kesha’s appearance on the BBMAs.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. 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 May 22.”

The “Die Young” singer is currently involved in a legal battle with producer Dr. Luke, who she’s accused of verbal, emotional, and sexual abuse (all claims that he’s denied in court and on social media). 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.

Kesha, who released “True Colors” with Zedd in late April with permission from Kemosabe Records, recently performed Lady Gaga’s “Til it Happens to You” at the Humane Society Gala Ball on May 7. She’s also on the lineup for this summer’s Mad Decent Block Party.

Sony declined to comment, as did representatives for Dr. Luke. Reps for Kesha did not immediately respond to EW’s request for comment.

The Billboard Music Awards will air on Sunday, May 22.