Dressed in a white suit, Kesha gave a stripped-back and emotional rendition of Bob Dylan’s ‘It Ain’t Me, Babe’ during the ceremony, allowing viewers to see a different side to her musical stylings.
While in the early days of her career, Kesha was perhaps best known for her lyrics about partying and heavy use of AutoTune, her homage to Bob Dylan allowed her to show off her full singing ability, following a week of speculation about whether she’d be appearing at all.
Last week, she claimed on Instagram that her record label boss, Dr Luke - who she has repeatedly accused of rape and emotional abuse - had refused to grant her permission to sing at the awards show.
He later set the record straight, claiming that once he’d had full confirmation that the performance wouldn’t contain any allusions to their ongoing legal disputes, he’d “restored his approval” for her to sing at the awards show.
Kesha said at the time: “I just wanted to make very clear that this performance … 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.
The crowd clearly appreciated seeing a different side to the ‘We R Who We R’ singer, who was visibly moved when she received her standing ovation at the end of the track.
Kesha is currently fighting a legal battle to get out of her contract with Dr Luke’s division of Sony Records, having previously accused him of sexual assault, which he has repeatedly denied.
At present, she is currently legally obligated to record a further six albums with Kemosabe Records until she is allowed to leave the label.
Other big performances at the Billboard Music Awards came from Britney Spears - who whizzed through a collection of her hits as she received the Millennium award - as well as a special tribute to Prince from Madonna and Stevie Wonder.
Watch Kesha's full performance below:
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