It was the performance that no one was quite sure would happen. Kesha hit all the right notes during her performance at the Billboard Music Awards last night, but Dr. Luke, the producer she is currently suing, nearly prevented the performance from happening at all.
While it was certain why Dr. Luke pulled the plug on Kesha’s planned performance — concerns that Kesha might allude to the current sexual assault case she is suing him for was allegedly the motive behind Kemosabe Records pulling her performance — Kesha proved what some may have forgotten by hitting all the right notes on “It Ain’t Me, Babe,” a Bob Dylan classic.
Accompanied by Ben Folds, “[Kesha] kept things Dylan-esque, low and steady, waiting until the end to stretch her voice (and show her range), earning a standing ovation from the crowd,” according to Billboard.
To no one’s surprise, Kesha earned a standing ovation for her performance, according to the Guardian, and any concerns that Kesha might allude to Dr. Luke’s alleged sexual assault of her were alleviated as she gave a performance that was equal parts subtlety and introspection.
— Us Weekly (@usweekly) May 23, 2016
According to Variety, it took Kesha posting to Instagram that she would not call out Dr. Luke during her Billboard Music Awards performance for Kemosabe Records, the record company owned by Sony Entertainment that Dr. Luke produces for, to say that Kesha could sing on the show after all.
Outside of the Billboard Music Awards, Kesha has made only a handful of appearances since a judge ruled against her in her court case against Dr. Luke. According to Vanity Fair, Supreme Court Justice Shirley Werner Kornreich said that Kesha can still record music with Sony, as there are other producers besides Dr. Luke that she could work for.
Justice Kornreich reportedly said, “Although [Luke’s] alleged actions were directed to Kesha, who is female, [her claims] do no allege that [Luke] harbored animus toward women or was motivated by gender animus when he allegedly behaved violently toward Kesha.”
Kesha has appealed that decision, stating that she had been offered her freedom if she recanted the rape allegations against Dr. Luke. As one might expect, Kesha declined to recant those allegations.
Since the appeal was launched, Kesha has performed “True Colors” with Zedd at Coachella and “Til It Happens to You” at the Humane Society Gala in Los Angeles. She has effectively kept a fairly low profile since the judge ruled against her.
After her performance last night, though, Kesha has reminded everyone why she continues to be a big name in the music industry — her voice is incredible, and she earned accolades for her performance last night. While Dr. Luke’s caution might be understandable, given the public continues to watch Kesha’s every move since the court case against Dr. Luke first broke, it would seem that what people missed was Kesha hitting the stage and showcasing her voice.
“It was amazing meeting #Kesha and seeing her sing onstage again,” Laverne Cox of Orange Is the New Black and the reboot of The Rocky Horror Picture Show posted on Instagram. “We love you Kesha. you are amazing.”
— BuzzFeed (@BuzzFeed) May 23, 2016
Kesha took to Instagram after her performance as well, thanking the Billboard Music Awards for allowing her to perform. According to the Daily Mail, Kesha said that being able to sing on stage “literally reaches the untouched corners of my soul.”
Given the last couple of years that Kesha has had being entangled in the legal system with her allegations against Dr. Luke, it’s perhaps moments like those she experienced during her performance at the Billboard Music Awards that she needs more of.
[Photo by David Becker/Getty Images]