Kelly Clarkson was one of the prominent women who came out in support of Kesha in her allegations of sexual misconduct and bullying against music producer Dr. Luke. Kelly’s support spoke volumes because it stemmed from her own experience of having worked with him. In a recent radio interview she admitted her situation was different from Kesha’s in that there wasn’t sexual harassment but claimed that Dr. Luke “just lied a lot,” and that, “he’s difficult to work with, kind of demeaning.” Kelly admitted to Z100 radio show that she was so disgusted at being forced by her record label to work with Luke, she refused a song writing credit for her song My Life Would Suck Without You because she didn’t even want her name next to his. It’s a powerful statement made even more so by the fact that without a writing credit, she can’t get royalties. Given that song’s popularity, Kelly’s act of defiance cost her millions.
Kelly Clarkson has revealed she willingly lost “hundreds of thousands of dollars,” “or millions,” in royalties for refusing to associate herself with Dr. Luke as a co-writer on her 2009 single ”My Life Would Suck Without You.”
In a new interview with Z100, the singer said, ”I was making a point to the people working with me, going, ‘This is how much I didn’t want to do this.’ I don’t care about the money. I don’t care about, oh, ‘You’re going to be the most famous person ever if you do this.’ That’s not what holds weight in my life.”
Last year, Clarkson alleged that those who worked at her record label at the time, RCA (owned by parent company Sony), said they would not release her album if she did not work with Dr. Luke.
“Basically, they were gonna sit on my record unless I did what they wanted. I was so frustrated because I literally said, ‘Anyone in the world but this one person. I will work with anyone you want to put in my path.’ I love people. I think that’s apparent. I think I’m a nice person, that’s apparent. It was just this one thing, and I asked not to work with Dr. Luke just because I had not a good experience with him,” said Clarkson. “If an artist like me, I generally love everyone. You have to really be a special kind of … for me not to like you.”
“They brought up writing credit at the end,” she went on. ”They were like, ‘Well, you changed the song.’ And I was like, ‘I don’t want my name near his. I want to pretend this didn’t happen in my life and I want to forget it.’”
I admit ignorance to how sleazy entertainment deals can be. I still get shocked by how bad it gets. Kelly also appeared on the Elvis Duran radio show and spoke more about saying ‘no’ to label’s demands. When one of the DJs asked if labels really did that, Kelly’s response was “are you kidding me?” And let’s remember that Kelly has the money, clout and family support to make these demands. Think about the starving artist who has to choose between not being able to pay rent or working with a known predator. Good for Kelly for pulling back the curtain on these sketchy dealings. Let’s hope it helps those who feel they can’t say no.
Kelly recognizes Dr. Luke’s talent, even though she reviles him as a human. I think he crosses the “separate the artist from their art” line for me. I can’t condone this reprobate and will make a conscious effort to avoid music from which he profits. I will, however, consider my judgement for those that work with him because it doesn’t sound like they have a choice.
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