Kesha performed Bob Dylan’s “It Ain’t Me Babe” at the 2016 Billboard Music Awards while accompanied on the piano by Ben Folds. The white suited singer gave a subtle, yet powerful rendition of one of her favorite artist’s songs — one that almost didn’t happen.
Less than a week ago, Dr. Luke’s Kemosabe Records suspended approval of the performance when reports suggested Kesha was planning to address the longstanding court battle between the two parties. However, the performance was reinstated a mere three days before the show after the pop singer cleared the air about her plans to pay tribute to Dylan.
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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.
Despite Kesha’s years-long struggle to be freed from her contract with Dr. Luke and his Kemosabe Records label, the 29-year-old has still managed to release a new song with super-producer Zedd. In addition, she performed at Coachella and the 2016 Humane Society Gala, while Ben Folds also brought her on stage Wednesday to perform this very same cover.
After Kesha’s recent flurry of activity, perhaps there’s still hope of a compromise that allows her to record new music or maybe even a new album, while her lawsuit with Dr. Luke continues.
Stay updated with our list of 2016 Billboard Music Awards winners as the ceremony rolls on.