May 19, 2016


Kesha's Billboard Music Awards Performance is Back On: Update

JB Lacroix/WireImage
JB Lacroix/WireImage

Update #2 (5/19 3:30 p.m.):  Kesha's Billboard Music Awards performance is back on. After Dr. Luke and his Kemosabe Records team rescinded its approval earlier this week, they have issued a statement granting Kesha permission to sing, now that they've been assured that she won't mention her legal battle with Dr. Luke.

Here is the full statement, sent to Fuse by a representative for Kemosabe Records:

“Kesha’s performance on the Billboard Music Awards was always approved, in good faith. Approval was only suspended when Kemosabe learned Kesha was to use the performance as a platform to discuss the litigation. Now that Kemosabe has obtained assurances, that it is relying upon, from Kesha, her representatives and Dick Clark Productions that neither Kesha nor her supporters will use the performance as such a platform, the approval has been restored.”

Update #1 (5/17 7 p.m.): Kesha posted this update 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. 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.

Original story: Kesha reportedly had a statement performance planned for the 2016 Billboard Music Awards, which would reference her legal battle with Dr. Luke. But in a recent statement given to Billboard, the producer's Kemosabe Records label have now canceled the performance.

Dick Clark Productions shared this message:

"Kesha accepted an invitation to perform on the show and she received written approval from Dr. Luke's record label, Kemosabe Records. Kemosabe subsequently rescinded its approval following a media report on Wednesday May 11 regarding Kesha’s appearance on the BBMAs.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."

No other details have been given in regards to Kemosabe Records' specific reason why they decided to shut down Kesha's performance, but DCP say they hope the label and the singer will come to an agreement ahead of the awards show. They will be under a tight time crunch, as the Billboard Music Awards air live from Las Vegas on May 22. 

Just last month, a New York judge dropped Kesha's case against Sony and threw out her claims of being enslaved by the label. The announcement of Kemosabe Records' (they are owned by Sony Music Entertainment) performance disapproval seems to contradict that decision. We will continue to update if any changes arise.

Listen to an episode of Fuse's Pop Chat podcast where we have a roundtable discussion on Kesha's case with Dr. Luke: