Producer Dr. Luke and his Sony Music imprint Kemosabe Records are putting the kibosh on a planned performance by Kesha, TheWrap has learned.
The singer was set to appear on the Billboard Music Awards airing May 22, and had written approval from the label to do so — until it was reported that she planned to reference her ongoing contract struggle and egregious sexual abuse claims against Luke in her live performance, according to show helmers
“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 Kemosabe subsequently rescinded its approval following a media report on Wednesday, May 11, regarding Kesha’s appearance on the BBMAs,” a rep for Billboard Awards producer Dick Clark Productions told TheWrap.
“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 statement concluded.
Reps for Dr. Luke, real name Lukasz Gottwald, did not immediately return TheWrap’s request for comment.
The May 11 report was from TMZ, one that cited a source saying “she’s planning to make direct references to her ongoing legal battle with Dr. Luke … and might even include images of him.”
The hitmaker and his former mentor have been engaged in a contentious legal battle since October 2014. The pop star maintains that Gottwald, who discovered her at 17, inflicted years of verbal and sexual abuse. Their legal struggle has exclusively been playing out as a contract dispute — one she is increasingly losing.
Kesha’s legion fans have been encouraged of late by a string of appearances — most memorably at April’s Coachella Valley Music Festival, followed by a Los Angeles benefit where she belted Lady Gaga‘s rape survival anthem “Til It Happens To You.”