With the news that Kesha would no longer be accusing Dr Luke of sexual assault in a court of law, we've decided to take a look back at the relationship between the pair, with the singer still fighting for her freedom from the producer's record company...



September 2005

Kesha drops out of her high school in Tennessee with big dreams of becoming a singer at 17-years-old. She moves to Los Angeles aged 18, poached by producers Dr Luke and Max Martin who had been impressed by demos they'd heard, swiftly signing a major six-album deal with Luke and his Kasz Money company.

Luke told Billboard at the time: "I like this girl's personality. When you're listening to 100 CDs, that kind of bravado and chutzpah stand out."

October 2005

Later signing to Luke's label Kemosabe Entertainment, Kesha then appeared on an episode of The Simple Life and sang backing vocals for Paris Hilton on her song 'Nothing In This World'. Big fans also know that she threw up in Hilton's closet, as referenced by the singer in this hilarious track:


Kesha and Luke were thought to have become estranged for some time, as the producer was busy working with Kelly Clarkson, so Kesha signed to David Sonenberg's Das Communications Inc. that year.

Whilst Luke was enjoying success with Clarkson, Kesha did her best to get her own career up off the ground, almost gaining a label deal with Warner amongst other big companies. Unfortunately, her outstanding six-album contract with Luke meant that any deals were thrown off the table.

April 2008

Katy Perry explodes onto the pop music scene with 'I Kissed A Girl', with Kesha, now known as Ke$ha appearing in the music video for the track. She also went on to record backing vocals for Britney Spears' song 'Lace and Leather', which she worked on with Dr Luke.

Though she had been working closely with Das Communications, Ke$ha terminated her contract with the company at some point in 2008 to begin working once more with Dr Luke.


Flo Rida made the decision in this year to cover and change up Dead or Alive's classic hit, bringing out his own version of 'Right round' featuring Ke$ha. Despite laying down vocals for the song, Ke$ha opted not to appear in the music video as she wanted to gain success in her own right, and not as part of a collaboration.

Luke supported her in her decision, with the young artist then going on to sign a multi-album deal with RCA Records through Luke's imprint. Luke was to executive produce her debut album, 'Animal'. Das Communications weren't happy, and filed a lawsuit seeking $14 million from Ke$ha and $12 million from Luke for commissions on her RCA Records deal. They later dropped the lawsuits.

Ke$ha wasn't going to take the hit lying down, launching her own lawsuit and asking the California Labor Commissioner to declare her Das contract void. An agreement was met by both sides but never disclosed, with the case settled.

January 2010

At the beginning of the New Year, Ke$ha really hit her stride with debut single 'Tik Tok', produced by Luke. It here began a nine week reign at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the US, setting a then-record for the largest digital sales in a single week. She was riding a major wave of success.

Later in the same year, Billboard wrote a profile on the then-up-and-coming singer, where Ke$ha said of Luke: "He really lets me be myself. All the crazy s**t I say, he embraces, because he really embraced my personality. A lot of producers have tried to tone it down."

August 2012

Ke$ha continues to earn success through the years leading up to August 2012, where she works on her sophomore album 'Warrior' with Luke at his Malibu studio. Though nothing has been proved, Ke$ha alleged in her 2014 lawsuit that violent threats during this period of time from Luke caused her to flee the house and hide.

December 2012

The singer scores controversy with the title and lyrics of her single 'Die Young', later taking to her Twitter account to say: "I had my very own issues with 'Die Young' for this reason. I did not want to sing those lyrics and I was forced to." Listed in the writers along with Ke$ha was of course Dr. Luke and while she never said who forced her to sing the lyrics, the track was pulled from radio following the tragic Sandy Hook Elementary School murders. Ke$ha's tweet about being forced to sing those lyrics were deleted with no explanation.

April 2013

Ke$ha again goes up against those who employ her during her MTV documentary My Crazy Beautiful Life. During the show, she mentioned just how little control she had over her second album and said her favourite song was taken off the tracklist without her being informed.

Co-director of the documentary, Steven Greenstreet later that year took to social media to post a picture of Ke$ha fans in the front row at one of her concerts holding a banner that read 'f**k Dr. Luke'.

July 2013

The Flaming Lips say they'd like to release a full-length collaborative album with Ke$ha called 'Lipsha', and it seems that plans were put into action. However they were later cancelled, with Ke$ha claiming once more it was out of her control, and she would record and release the material for free if it was up to her.

Late 2013

Fans set up an online #freekesha petition against Dr Luke, writing that the producer was 'controlling Ke$ha like a puppet, feeding her what she doesn't want and her creativity is dwindling. When Ke$ha, young and naive at the age of 18, was signed to Luke's eight-album contract, it's obvious that she was unaware of the severe pop puppeteer act she was soon to play by. What our fear as her fans should be is that she will soon lose interest in playing this industry game and stop releasing music."

That petition gained over 12,000 signatures, and the title of it would go on to become something the world heard in the near future...

Ke$ha's mother Pebe got involved in October, tweeting to address the issues and sending out a link to the petition. When a fan asked who wasn't giving her daughter freedom, she replied 'Dr Luke'.

Though relationships looked to be fractured, Ke$ha hit the top of the charts again that month with her Dr Luke-produced Pitbull collab, 'Timber'.

A profile of Dr Luke later that year in the New Yorker quoted Luke as saying Ke$ha was "proving harder to control" as of late, with the producer claiming he hadn't "heard from her in a while".

January 2014

Ke$ha releases a statement telling her fans she was entering rehab, hoping "to learn to love myself again". Her mother Pebe joined her at the Timberline Knolls rehab center. Within hours, sources said that Kesha was blaming Luke for her eating disorder, with the producer allegedly telling her she "looks like a f**king refrigerator" on the set of a 2012 music video. More claims came that said he began calling Ke$ha fat following her Get Sleazy tour in 2011, because of a weight gain in her downtime.

March 2014

Kesha left rehab on March 7 having sat in therapy for 60 days, dropping the dollar sign from her name and posting an image online of her wearing a sweatshirt which read 'ima survivor'.

October 2014

TMZ reported that Kesha was going ahead with plans to sue Dr Luke for sexual assault and battery, claiming that she had been the victim of sexual, physical, verbal and emotional abuse for almost a decade.

Her lawyer, Mark Geragos said: "This lawsuit is a wholehearted effort by Kesha to regain control of her music career... After suffering for ten years as a victim of mental manipulation, emotional abuse and an instance of sexual assault at the hands of Dr Luke".

Claims of abuse included one instance where Kesha says Luke forced her to snort something before she got on a plane, drugged, where he allegedly forced himself on her during her drugged state.

Dr Luke said that all of the claims were lies, setting up his own lawsuit against Kesha and saying he had a draft of the lawsuit Kesha filed for months, with the singer threatening to file it if she wasn't released from her contract with him.

His lawyer Christine Lepera told TMZ: 'Kesha's lawsuit is part of a campaign of publishing outrageous and untrue statements'.

Kesha's lawyer Geragos replied: "This is just another pathetic and entirely predictable example of Dr Luke's continued abuse, and a misguided attempt to keep Kesha under his tyrannical control."

TMZ later got their hands on a copy of an email Kesha's mother Pebe sent to Dr Luke's lawyers a year back, asking for her daughter to be released from her contract.

Pebe wrote in the email: "We, me and Kesha and her friends, like Lady Gaga, are going to make all of this really public, in the next few days. Luke date raped Kesha when she was 18. Nicky Hilton's birthday? Paris Hilton's house? Luke gave Kesha pills. She ended up naked in his hotel room two days later. No longer a virgin? Do we all want this to come out? Either Luke releases Kesha from all legal contracts, and gives me back all my publishing, or we, Kesha and I, tell the truth. And if I wind up dead, trust me, it's in writing to call you and Luke."

The gossip website TMZ also said that sources told them while Kesha was in rehab, she would "spontaneously" tell her doctors stories about Luke. The sources added that doctors told Kesha she may die if she didn't stay away from the producer, and that Kesha didn't go to the police because of a lack of "free will".

A representative for Luke retorted: "That's preposterous. Just because someone says something to a doctor doesn't mean they weren't fabricated or part of an overall pre-planned campaign. Her statements are false... These are just the latest in a series of bizarre public statements and actions by Kesha and her mother over the years, including Kesha's claim her vagina is 'haunted', her drinking her own urine on her reality show, and her mother dressing up as a penis on the television show."

February 2016

Jumping ahead, with Kesha gaining momentum through her fans and celebrity support, it looked like she could be headed for a victory, but when she sat in a Manhattan courtroom, waiting to find out if she was to be granted a preliminary injunction allowing her to record outside of her Dr Luke contract, she broke down in tears when the judge denied her that freedom.

Adele, Lady Gaga and Kelly Clarkson were amongst the big stars coming out to support Kesha, forcing Luke to take to his social media to deny he had ever done anything to Kesha that she had alleged. Maintaining his innocence, fans ignore his tweets and the #FreeKesha movement continues to grow. Sony Music make a public statement saying they are "legally unable to terminate" her contract with Luke, as they were not party to the original deal.

March 2016

Kesha accepts an award from the Human Rights Campaign Nashville, speaking to the crowd at the event and imploring them to never "be afraid to speak up against any injustice" they might experience.

April 2016

Facing another blow in court, Kesha's abuse claims are dismissed by New York Judge Shirley Kornreich, who said: "While Kesha's [claim] alleges that she was sexually, physically and verbally abused by Gottwald for a decade, she describes only two specific instances of physical/sexual abuse."

She dismissed that they were a gendered hate crime, as they "do not allege that Gottwald harboured animus toward women or was motivated by gender animus when he allegedly behaved violently toward Kesha... Every rape is not a gender-motivated hate crime."

The claim of intentional infliction of emotional distress was also dismissed, as "claims of insults about her value as an artist, her looks, and her weight are insufficient to constitute extreme, outrageous conduct intolerable in civilised society."

Actor George Takei responded to the ruling, saying it was "an unfortunate and troubling example of favouring corporations over people." Producer Brad Walsh added: "Forcing a woman to work with her rapist, or to work to profit her rapist, is a failure of justice."

Not everyone was on Kesha's side though, with television host Wendy Williams saying in an interview: "Unfortunately business is business, and it sounds like it's fair. If everybody complained because somebody allegedly sexually abused them and was ripping them off, then contracts would be broken all the time."

She later said: "Kesha, a) I want to apologise to you, and b) I am woman enough to admit when I'm wrong and c) you're a hell of a woman."

August 2016

Now we come to this month. Kesha is forced to drop her sexual abuse charges in Los Angeles more than 18 months after first filming them, with the singer saying "this lawsuit [has been] so heavy on my once free spirit, and I can only pray to one day feel that happiness again." She went on to say she wants to release music for her fans, but release dates have not been given.

by for www.femalefirst.co.uk
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