Lady Gaga Defends Kesha After Dr. Luke Halts Billboard Music Awards Performance
"Isn't it strange that it's legal to own a woman this way?"
Following news that Kesha will not be performing at this year's Billboard Music Awards due to Dr. Luke's label Kemosabe Records rescinding its approval, Lady Gaga has spoken out in support of her friend.
Kesha intended to cover the Bob Dylan song "It Ain't Me, Babe," and noted on Instagram that she was not going to use the performance as a televised platform to "speak of [Dr. Luke] 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."
"Isn't it strange that it's legal to own a woman this way?" Gaga tweeted, including a link to a story reporting Dr. Luke was preventing Kesha's performance. "Listen Ursula, we want her voice back. #freeKesha," she added, likening the producer to the villain in Disney's The Little Mermaid.
Dick Clark Productions, which produces the Billboard Music Awards, said in a statement about the matter on Tuesday: "Kesha accepted an invitation to perform on the show, and she received written approval from Dr. Luke's record label, Kemosabe Records. Kemosabe subsequently rescinded its approval following a media report on Wednesday May 11 regarding Kesha’s appearance on the BBMAs. Unfortunately, Kesha and Kemosabe have since been unable to come to an agreement for Kesha to perform on the show."
At the time, DCP said they remained hopeful that Kesha and Kemosabe would come to an agreement before the show.
Gaga has been an outspoken proponent of Kesha's during her legal battle against Dr. Luke over claims he drugged, raped and emotionally abused her.
Kesha recently performed Gaga's "Til It Happens to You" with Diane Warren at the Humane Society of the United States Los Angeles gala.
The owner of The Hollywood Reporter and Billboard has an ownership stake in DCP. The Billboard Music Awards air Sunday, May 22 on ABC at 8 p.m. ET/ 5 p.m. PT.
A version of this article originally appeared on Billboard.com.