Kesha, who was scheduled to sing at the 2016 Billboard Music Awards this coming Sunday, has reportedly canceled the performance after Dr. Luke’s label, Kemosabe Records, rescinded its approval of the performance following a media report earlier this month. The report rumored that the pop star was planning to use the award show as a chance to take a jab at the record producer, with whom she has been entangled in an ongoing legal and professional battle since October of 2014.
The singer has since taken to Instagram to deny the rumors, posting a photo of herself playing the guitar with the caption:
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.
The relationship between Dr. Luke and Kesha has been a source of intense media speculation ever since the singer sued Dr. Luke in 2014 for numerous accounts of abuse over a decade of partnership, citing alleged sexual assault and battery, sexual harassment and gender violence. Kesha also sought to obtain a preliminary injunction to nullify her contract with Kemosabe Records. The lawsuit made its way up to the New York Supreme Court earlier this year, where Judge Shirley Kornreich ruled against both the injunction and all claims made against the producer. This ruling has been the subject of controversy in the media since the announcement of the decision.
Dick Clark Productions, the producer of the BBMAs, has made an optimistic statement about the situation: “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.” Neither party has immediately responded to requests for comment.