Sony Music’s attempt to congratulate artist Kesha on her performance of “Praying” at the Grammys did not go over well.
At the music awards ceremony on Sunday, Kesha sang the 2017 single that is thought to be inspired by the events that transpired between her and music producer Dr. Luke.
Sony Music posted a tweet after the performance in apparent support of the singer: “No words. All love. #GRAMMYS.” There was immediate backlash due to Sony’s controversial role in the legal battle between the singer and producer.
In 2014, Kesha sued Dr. Luke, claiming that he sexually, physically, verbally, and emotionally abused her. She sought to exit her contract with him and Sony Music via the lawsuit, but Dr. Luke denied the allegations and counter-sued for defamation. In 2016, Kesha dropped the suit.
Amid the legal battle, Sony Music was criticized as not doing enough to support Kesha. The label claimed that it was “not in a position to terminate the contractual agreement between Luke and Kesha.” So Kesha is required to record two more albums with Sony before her contract is fulfilled, and Dr. Luke continues to profit from the albums. The only accommodation Sony Music made was letting Kesha “record without any connection, involvement or interaction with Luke whatsoever,” according to a Sony lawyer’s statement to Vox last year.
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After Sony’s tweet Sunday night, Kesha fans called out its alleged complicity in the legal matter, while others tweeted #FreeKesha, a hashtag used to advocate for the artist’s liberation from her contract with the label.
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Amid the blowback, Sony Music appears to have deleted the tweet.