By Hayden Wright
Embattled in pending legal action against her producer Dr. Luke and his record label, Kesha delivered a moving performance of Bob Dylan’s “It Aint Me, Babe” with Ben Folds at the Billboard Music Awards. Her Las Vegas appearance was on-again-off-again in days leading up to the awards show, but her confidence in the moment was palpable. With eyes welling up, Kesha earned a standing ovation from the A-list crowd of music industry stars.
“You say you’re lookin’ for someone / Never weak but always strong / To protect you and defend you,” she crooned. “Whether you are right or wrong / Someone to open each and every door / But it ain’t me, babe
Kesha’s performance marks the culmination of months of public conversation and legal maneuvering. Since accusing Dr. Luke of physical, sexual and emotional abuse, the singer has sought to extricate herself from her contract under his label, Kemosabe Records. While key legal victories have eluded her thus far, Kesha has earned the support of many fellow artists and fans determined to #FreeKesha.
Earlier this week, label representatives announced that her Billboard performance wouldn’t go forward. Following days of public outcry, Kemosabe reversed its stance and allowed her to perform. This made Kesha’s performance the most controversial, buzzed-about set of the night days before she even took the stage.