Rapper-singer-songwriter Kesha took home the prestigious Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Visibility Award and delivered a riveting acceptance speech at the 21st Annual Human Rights Campaign Nashville Equality Dinner on Saturday for her extensive work and support of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community, specifically youth who have been bullied or harassed.
— NYLON (@NylonMag) March 6, 2016
The Nashville native gave a powerful and emotional acceptance speech, aligning herself with “outsiders” like those in the LGBT community who have felt marginalized or been discriminated against.
“It’s about equality everywhere… we are all equal. That is the principle this country was founded on and yet we’re still not living up to that… and that’s why it’s up to us to continue to push progress forward… We all have to fight for what is right even if it’s hard and the cards are stacked against us. That is the only way that progress happens. And we all know we still have a lot more work to do.”
During her inspiring and at times tearful speech, Kesha thanked fans for their support with regard to personal struggles, alluding to her ongoing legal battle with Sony Music Entertainment (SME) and her producer Lukasz “Dr. Luke” Gottwald, whom she filed suit against for sexual assault and battery in October 2014 after admitting herself to rehab for an eating disorder. The alleged sexual, physical, verbal and emotional abuse occurred for a period of 10 years beginning when Kesha was 18 years old and originally signed to Gottwald’s SME subsidiary label, Kemosabe Records.
I have nothing left to hide. I did this because the truth was eating away my soul and killing me from the inside. this is not just for me. this is for every woman, every human who has ever been abused. sexually. emotionally. mentally. I had to tell the truth. so the outcome will be what it will be. there’s nothing left I can do. it’s just so scary to have zero control in your fate. but this is my path this life for whatever reason…. #Friday ????????
A photo posted by Kesha (@iiswhoiis) on
Kesha has released two studio albums, Animal (2010) and Warrior (2012), one compilation album, two EPs, 13 singles including two number one singles and three promotional singles. She is known for her upbeat, party lyrics, colorful wardrobe and dynamic personality. Her music has domestic and international appeal with two number one singles, “Tik Tok” and “We R Who We R” and a string of top 10 singles. To date she has sold 2.47 million albums and 36.3 million songs in the United States alone. “Tik Tok” became one of the best selling digital singles in history with more than 14 million units sold internationally. Kesha primarily considers herself a songwriter, having written for the likes of Britney Spears and Miley Cyrus.
Gottwald is a well known music producer responsible for producing major hits for pop stars like Britney Spears, Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus, Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, Shakira, Pink, Avril Lavigne, Kelly Clarkson and more. Clarkson, among many A-list celebrities, recently spoke out in support of Kesha.
In February Kesha was denied a preliminary injunction that would release her from her contract with Sony Music Entertainment and specifically, Gottwald. The 29-year-old artist has not produced any music since filing the lawsuit.
The star was photographed in court sobbing next to her mother as the judge ruled against her and in favor of SME.
— Entertainment Weekly (@EW) February 28, 2016
The #FreeKesha hashtag has gone viral thanks to Hollywood, with many celebrities publicly supporting Kesha including Ariana Grande, Iggy Azalea, Lorde, Adele and more. Taylor Swift responded by donating $250,000 to help with legal fees and financial needs while Lady Gaga dedicated her recent Oscars performance of Academy Award nominated Best Original Song, “‘Til It Happens to You,” to Kesha and rape victims around the world.
According to CNN, Kesha has used her public legal battle as a platform to empower women and girls and encourage abuse victims to speak out despite the unfavorable outcomes for her personally.
[Photo by Katie Stratton/Getty Images]