Kelly Clarkson Says 'I Got Blackmailed By My Label' to Work with Dr. Luke

Illustration for article titled Kelly Clarkson Says 'I Got Blackmailed By My Label' to Work with Dr. Luke

During an interview on the Australian radio station KIIS 106.5, Kelly Clarkson expanded on her previous assertion that producer Dr. Luke, who has been accused of sexual assault by Kesha, is not someone she thinks particularly highly of. Clarkson called him a liar, and cast further aspersions on his character.


Clarkson has been one of the women in the entertainment industry who has expressed distaste for Dr. Luke, tweeting a few weeks ago about the case, “Trying 2 not say anything since I can’t say anything nice about a person... so this is me not talking about Dr. Luke,” in response to a Best Coast tweet that included the hashtag #FreeKesha.

But her dislike for Luke had been noted earlier; when Clive Davis’s memoir was released in 2013, he wrote that Clarkson told him she hated the work that she produced with Dr. Luke and the entire experience of working with him.

Kelly began the meeting by saying, “I want to be direct and to the point. I hate ‘Since U Been Gone,’ and I hate ‘Behind These Hazel Eyes.’ I didn’t like working with Max Martin and Dr. Luke, and I don’t like the end product. I really want both songs off my album.”

In response to that version of those events, Clarkson didn’t address working with Martin or Luke, but did write of “Since You’ve Been Gone”: “I did want more guitars added to the original demo and Clive did not. Max, Luke and I still fought for the bigger sound and we prevailed and I couldn’t be more proud of the life of that song.” Recently, Clarkson appeared to respond to those accusations again on Twitter.

At around 1:23:30 during the new interview on The Kyle and Jackie O Show, Clarkson says that she’s heard from a lot of Kesha’s fans who want her to speak specifically to what Kesha might have experienced, vis-á-vis Clarkson’s own time spent with Dr. Luke:

I think her fans are wanting a lot of artists that have worked with him before that don’t work with him anymore [to talk about him] for pretty good solid reasons. He’s not a good person to me. We’ve clashed. But I can’t really say anything other than that. Her fans are like, oh why didn’t you stand up for her? And I’m like, well I wasn’t there, I don’t know specifically what happened in their situation. obviously I wasn’t in the room.


Clarkson does go on, however, to say that she can talk about what he’s like as a person. In her opinion, he’s not good.

But I can remark on his character and unfortunately when you have that poor of character, like so many artists don’t like you, don’t like working with you, that’s not normal. Most of us—I get along with everybody I work with, I love everyone I work with, and he’s just not a good guy for me, to me.


After being asked specifically by the hosts what makes Dr. Luke difficult to work with, she said that Luke “will just lie to me,” and clarified that, while people often lump Max Martin and Dr. Luke together, the two are very different to work with:

Honestly, he’s a talented dude, but he’s just lied a lot and just his character kind of—I’ve ran into a couple really bad situations like musically it’s been really hard for me, because he will just lie to me. So it’s just like, what? And it makes the artist looks bad. And he’s kind of difficult to work with, kind of demeaning, and it’s just kind of unfortunate. Because people are like, oh you’ve worked with Max and Luke. And I’m like, Max and Luke are very different. Obviously the dude is a talented guy. But character wise, oh no, we don’t... I only worked with him— even the last time I worked with him, I only worked with him because literally I got blackmailed by my label. Like they will like, we will not put your album out if you don’t do this. And I was like, okay!


Clarkson also expanded on the difficulty of Kesha’s situation in respect to artist contracts:

Yeah, it was a really hard time for me. And I tried to make the best of the situation. And that’s the unfortunate thing, like I see in the lawsuit situation, a contract is a contract at the end of the day and a lot of us artists, y’all don’t see how much behind the scenes you just get... it’s hard. And we have a whole crew to support and we have our whole touring crew to support and people that depend on us. Sometimes you have to make decisions that you have to swallow that pill.


That being said, throughout the interview, Clarkson made it clear that her experience with Luke was very different from what Kesha is alleging happened to her:

But her situation is very different from mine, apparently. He never did anything like that with me. I don’t know that part. People are like, why don’t you defend her? And I’m like, I’ll be really honest about the guy but I don’t know that situation. But if it’s true, I can’t imagine like working with somebody that had done something that hard on me. Especially at a young age, she was really young when she started working with him.


Lastly, Clarkson specifically attributed the reason she might have avoided that treatment in general to the way her music is marketed, and that she was never particularly sexualized as an artist.

I’ve never had that particular situation happen to me and I think because, let’s just put it bluntly, I’ve never been that sex kitten pop star [laughs]. I’ve never sold that part. So nobody, I don’t think anyone would do that to me. All the other women in the industry I have heard that that kind of stuff has happened. But I didn’t really come into the industry a normal way either. I had some leverage from this TV show I was on. I didn’t really come in a normal way. I have heard a lot of girls have had similar situations and that’s—I mean, I’m totally Texan too, I’d just hit someone with my car [laughs]. If I woke up somewhere and I was like what? I would do some damage. I wouldn’t handle that well at all. I don’t think anyone does.


Dr. Luke still claims he did not sexually assault Kesha. Over the weekend, Kesha thanked her supporters while being honored by the Human Rights Campaign.

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My heart dropped towards the end.

“I’ve never had that particular situation happen to me and I think because, let’s just put it bluntly, I’ve never been that sex kitten pop star [laughs]. I’ve never sold that part. So nobody, I don’t think anyone would do that to me.”

I really, really admire Kelly, and I truly think she is being genuine, but this reeks of victim blaming.