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Whatever happened to Kesha and why is #FreedomForKesha trending?

Allow us to explain.

9th Annual Delete Blood Cancer Gala - New York Source: AP/Press Association Images


A few years ago, the pop star was at the peak of her powers and enjoyed worldwide success with hits like Tik Tok and We R Who We R.

The singer hasn’t released an album since 2012, however, and has largely disappeared from public view.

Today, the hashtag #FreedomForKesha is trending worldwide.


So what’s the story? Here’s what you need to know.

So, where has Kesha been?

2014 Billboard Music Awards - Las Vegas Source: AP/Press Association Images

Let’s go back to 2012.

Kesha’s second album Warrior was released in December of that year. With the exception of the single Die Young, the album failed to make much of an impact and didn’t spawn any hit singles.

The album’s failure was largely attributed to producer Dr. Luke and some dedicated fans later set up a petition demanding that Kesha be freed from her eight-album contract with the producer amid claims he was stifling her creativity.

In an interview with Rolling Stone that year, Kesha confessed that she had no creative control over the music she was releasing. “What’s been put out as singles have just perpetuated a particular image that may or may not be entirely accurate,” she told the magazine.

Okay, so then what?

Ke$ha - Brixton Academy Source: John Rahim

In January 2014, Kesha entered rehab for an eating disorder.

Her mother later confirmed that the singer was suffering from bulimia and stated that Dr. Luke was to blame for her daughter’s struggles, alleging on Twitter that the producer once called the singer a “f**king refrigerator” on a video shoot.

Last October, Kesha filed a lawsuit against Dr. Luke, who has previously worked with the likes of Katy Perry, Rihanna, Nicki Minaj and Britney Spears.

Dance Domination Source: AP/Press Association Images

In addition to wanting to be freed of her contract, the singer alleged that she was subject to “mental manipulation, emotional abuse and sexual assault” at the hands of the producer.

The lawsuit also alleges that Dr. Luke drugged and raped Kesha when she was 18.

After forcing Ms. Sebert to drink with him, Dr. Luke instructed Ms. Sebert to take what he described as ‘sober pills’ in order for her to sober up. Ms. Sebert took the pills and woke up the following afternoon, naked in Dr. Luke’s bed, sore and sick, with no memory of how she got there. Ms. Sebert later learned that the ‘sober pills’ Dr. Luke had given her were [...] more commonly known as the date rape drug, allowing him to bring Ms. Sebert back to his hotel room alone and rape her while she was unconscious.

At the time, industry magazine Billboard wrote that the lawsuit “paints the picture of an artist scared to cross Dr. Luke”.

Dr. Luke has vehemently denied the allegations contained in the lawsuit, describing them as “scurrilous” and “outrageous”.

His legal team described the lawsuit as an attempt to “extort [Dr. Luke] into releasing Kesha from her exclusive recording agreement with Dr. Luke”.

And now?

Kesha-Lawsuit Source: AP/Press Association Images

Yesterday it was reported that Kesha had filed a preliminary injunction.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, this means that “a New York judge will soon have to make a determination if she is likely to succeed on the merits of a claim that her recording contracts are void.”

In court papers, Kesha’s attorney stated that she was at an “impasse” and explained that her career as it stands is in jeopardy.

She cannot work with music producers, publishers, or record labels to release new music. With no new music to perform, Kesha cannot tour. Off the radio and stage and out of the spotlight, Kesha cannot sell merchandise, receive sponsorships, or get media attention. Her brand value has fallen, and unless the Court issues this injunction, Kesha will suffer irreparable harm, plummeting her career past the point of no return.

Following this news, fans started the #FreedomForKesha hashtag and it quickly trended worldwide. (According to Topsy, 105,000 tweets using the hashtag have been sent in the past 24 hours.)

Fans expressed solidarity with the singer and stated that she was being punished for standing up to Dr. Luke.

For her part, the singer has remained quiet on social media regarding the lawsuit.

Earlier this evening, however, her mother tweeted the following.

In a statement yesterday, a spokesperson for Dr. Luke stated that the mess was “entirely [Kesha's] making”.

As long as she continues to stand by her false claims of abuse against Dr. Luke and remains in breach of her contracts, he will continue to protect his professional and personal reputation, as well as his contractual rights, in a court of law. He looks forward to obtaining judgments in his favor.

Whatever the outcome, we suspect this won’t be the last we hear about all of this.

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About the author:

Amy O'Connor

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