Kesha Joins Ben Folds to Sing Bob Dylan's 'It Ain't Me Babe' in Los Angeles

Michael Kovac/Getty Images for The Humane Society Of The United States
 Kesha performs onstage during The Humane Society of the United States' to the Rescue Gala at Paramount Studios on May 7, 2016 in Hollywood, Calif.

As of today (May 19), Kesha isn't slated to perform at Sunday night's 2016 Billboard Music Awards due to Dr. Luke's Kemosabe Records rescinding its permission for her to appear on the show. But the legally beleaguered pop star made up for it on Wednesday (May 18) night when she took the stage at the Orpheum Theater in Los Angeles to perform the Bob Dylan cover she was preparing for the BBMAs broadcast.

Kesha's 2016 Billboard Music Awards Performance Uncertain After Dr. Luke's Record Label 'Rescinded Its Approval'

The singer had previously revealed that she wanted to cover 's Dylan's "It Ain't Me, Babe" at the BBMAs, not to make a statement about her ongoing battle with former mentor/producer Luke, but to honor "one of my favorite songwriters of all time." 

Kesha Planned to Cover Bob Dylan at Billboard Music Awards

As fans shouted their approval, Kesha took a seat next to Folds on his piano bench for the hushed, dramatic performance of the 1964 Dylan tune. "You say you're lookin' for someone/ Who's never weak but always strong," Kesha sang in a folky style as the arrangement swelled to include a haunting cello and flute accompaniment. "To protect you and defend you/ Whether you are right or wrong."


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According to dick clark productions, which produces the Billboard Music Awards, Dr. Luke's label Kemosabe Records had initially approved Kesha's performance at the awards show but later rescinded that approval. Kesha appreciated the opportunity to play the song with Folds, writing in an Instagram post, "dear Mr. ben folds, thank u for tonight. thanks for letting me share your stage, your band, your audience, your humor, your songs. thanks for believing in me. thanks for being a positive and encouraging human in my life... thanKs for being a good friend in this scary business." 




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The owner of The Hollywood Reporter and Billboard has an ownership stake in dick clark productions, which produces the Billboard Music Awards.

Billboard Music Awards 2016