Other artists who have also had trouble with Dr. Luke

Demi Lovato

Demi Lovato has been outspoken in her support of Kesha, and it may be because she has some unsavoury tales about Dr. Luke of her own. During an interview promoting her 2015 album, Confident, Demi revealed, “There was a song that I wanted on this album, and because I didn’t make it the second single, the producer took it away and gave it to somebody else. It was kind of shady. The industry is very cutthroat.” Lovato never said what song it was or who produced it, but fans speculate that it was the Dr. Luke track “Break a Sweat,” which eventually went to his protege, Becky G.

Charli XCX

Charli XCX once said that Dr. Luke body shamed her, allegedly saying, “She better lose some weight if she wants to be a pop star.” She later confessed to Pitchfork that her experiences with Dr. Luke jaded her from the music business. “I wrote Sucker when I was really angry, and it’s about my very cynical view of the music industry. When True Romance came out, some people still doubted me as an artist and a songwriter. But once "I Love It” appeared, and later “Fancy” and “Boom Clap,” people began to really pay attention,“ she said. "I find it difficult to deal with someone who rejects me and then kisses my ass later—even though I know that’s what the whole music industry is. One of the lines in ‘Sucker’ goes, 'You joined my club / Luke loves your stuff.’ People would always come up to me and say, 'Oh, [Dr.] Luke loves your stuff, well done—as if that means, 'You’ve made it.’ That’s fucking weird to me.”

Becky G

Becky G has been signed to Dr. Luke’s Kemosabe Records since 2011. In July 2015, a “fan” body shamed her on Twitter, calling her fat. She replied, “You sound like Dr. Luke. Let me live.” Ouch!


In producer Butch Walker’s memoir, Drinking With Strangers, he describes an incident in which Pink nearly tackled an unnamed producer for giving her a recycled song and vowed to never work with him again. When Pink was recording her album I’m Not Dead, she worked with Max Martin, who reportedly brought Dr. Luke in to work with them, and he gave her a track that was nearly identical to another that he’d produced. Fans picked up on it and deduced that the incident might be based on Pink’s song “U + Ur Hand,” which sounded a lot like the song “4Ever,” since Dr. Luke produced both. Pink refused to work with Dr. Luke ever again.

Avril Lavigne

Butch Walker produced songs for Avril Lavigne’s album The Best Damn Thing and claimed that a producer named “Larry” intruded and caused a slew of problems during recording. Walker says that he and Lavigne recorded a demo song in the style of Toni Basil’s classic “Mickey.” “Larry” then took over, claimed their track wasn’t good enough for a single and scrapped the song. He then created a new track that sounded not only like the original song, but also like another song that “Larry” and Lavigne was previously sued for copyright infringement upon its release. The only Avril Lavigne song that’s happened with is “Girlfriend,” which Dr. Luke produced: The Rubinoos sued both Dr. Luke and Lavigne for allegedly ripping off their 1979 hit “I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend.” Lavigne hasn’t worked with him since.

Katy Perry

Page Six reports that Dr. Luke had a falling out with Katy Perry just before the 2011 Grammys, because she was sick of essentially recording slightly different versions of the same songs over and over again. As a result, Dr. Luke quit promoting her singles. “He’s stopped the hype with her,” an associate of Dr. Luke said. “She got tired of his records, the same familiar sound, but mostly his attitude. Katy’s a star now, and she’s not going to be told what to do.” Another source close to Dr. Luke dished, “He checks all of his artists. He just curses them out. He thinks he owns them because he made them.”

Jessie J

Dr. Luke produced Jessie J’s breakout hit “Price Tag,” but it came with a price of its own—a lawsuit. New Old Music Group sued Dr. Luke for allegedly ripping off Black Heat’s song “Zimba Ku.” While Dr. Luke’s camp denied the allegations of deliberate copying, a judge side-eyed the producer, saying, “While many of the individual elements of 'Zimba Ku’ may be commonplace, Defendants have not shown that, as a matter of law, the combination of those elements in the drum part is so common as to preclude any reasonable inference of copying.” This is starting to become a trend.

Pebe Sebert

And finally Kesha’s own mom, singer and songwriter Pebe Sebert, has beef with Dr. Luke over his business practices. In early 2016, Sebert took to Twitter to air her frustrations over songwriting credits on Kesha and Pitbull’s hit “Timber.” “Dr. Luke is trying to blackmail me into taking my name off 'Timber’ as a songwriter by blocking all 16 writers from being paid,” she posted. “Now, two years since 'Timber’ was a hit, my punishment for telling the truth about him, is to be responsible for everyone not being paid! Or I can just agree to have my name removed as a songwriter, so he will pay the other 15 writers! I feel really bad for the other writers, but I am not going to keep being his victim! The truth is all I have.” Dr. Luke’s camp haven’t commented on these particular allegations, but is suing Sebert in a suit separate from the one against Kesha.

From Nicki Swift

what the signs want
  • aries:freedom for Kesha
  • taurus:freedom for Kesha
  • gemini:freedom for Kesha
  • cancer:freedom for Kesha
  • leo:freedom for Kesha
  • virgo:freedom for Kesha
  • libra:freedom for Kesha
  • scorpio:freedom for Kesha
  • sagittarius:freedom for Kesha
  • capricorn:freedom for Kesha
  • aquarius:freedom for Kesha
  • pisces:freedom for Kesha

We live in a world where: 

  • Chris Brown got away with the most minimal sentence after horrifically beating Rihanna. 
  • Roman Polanski raped a 13 year old girl but still won an oscar to a standing ovation. 
  • R Kelly raped several under-age girls but was acquitted on all charges. 
  • Woody Allen had an affair with his wife’s 17 year old daughter only to end up getting away with it and beginning a relationship with her shortly after. 
  • John Lennon is one of the most worshipped artists to have ever drawn breath but has admitted to battering the shit out of women. 

And in that world it’s no surprise that Kesha’s freedom was denied. That her psychological and sexual safety were reduced to nothing. That she’s been forced to produce six more albums with her abuser. That she’s been forced to remain the creative property of the man who drugged and raped her. Because in this world our courts and culture still have a hard enough time believing women’s accusations of sexual assault even in the most clear-cut of circumstances. And when a woman as powerful and high status as Kesha can’t win, the rest of us stand even less of a chance.