Watch Kesha Perform ‘It Ain’t Me Babe’ with Ben Folds

By Amanda Wicks

After Dr. Luke’s record label barred Kesha from performing at the Billboard Music Awards, Ben Folds invited her onstage last night (May 18) to perform the song she was supposed to sing at the ceremony on May 22nd.

Related: Kesha Responds to Being Yanked from Awards Show Lineup

Kesha joined Ben Folds and Y Music onstage at the Orpheum in Los Angeles to sing Bob Dylan’s “It Ain’t Me Babe.” Sitting next to Folds on the piano, Kesha’s alto voice resounds with emotion as she builds into a melancholy take on the song. Folds accompanies her initially with just a piano before Y Music comes in with strings for a full bodied sound that emanates with pain.

Dr. Luke’s label originally granted her permission to perform the cover, which she said she intended only as a tribute, but then later changed their mind. Given a hint of what she did with Folds, it would have been a powerful moment for all to see.

On Instagram, Kesha thanked Folds many times over. “dear Mr. ben folds, thank u for tonight. thanks for letting me share your stage, your band, your audience, your humor, your songs. thanks for believing in me. thanks for being a positive and encouraging human in my life,” she wrote. She went on to thank him for making records that helped her get through high school and for being so nice to work with. 

An audience member captured the performance. Watch below:

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