Kesha: A Rainbow

Kesha’s battle against her abuser and producer, Dr. Luke, may be one of the largest feuds in Hollywood this decade. Since Dr. Luke signed Kesha in 2005, she endured emotional, verbal, and sexual abuse and manipulation.

She was driven almost to death by starving herself, which her mother claims stemmed from Dr. Luke always pushing Kesha to be skinnier (even comparing her to a refrigerator). In October 2014, Kesha finally filed a lawsuit against Dr. Luke, claiming he raped her and abused her, which lead to her many mental issues.

“The singer accuses Gottwald of sexual assault and battery, sexual harassment, gender violence, civil harassment, unfair business, and intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress in a lawsuit. The suit, filed by Kesha's lawyer Mark Geragos portrays a violent and emotionally manipulative relationship between Kesha and the hit-maker, and claims that Gottwald would "intimidate and torment" her. 

Distressingly, the suit also claims that Gottwald twice drugged and raped Kesha, once after she was forced to take "sober pills", which the singer claims she later realised was date rape drug GHB. 

The suit claims that Kesha was left suffering from "severe depression, post-traumatic stress, social isolation, and panic attacks". She hadn't previously reported the abuse because Gottwald threatened to "shut her career down" and take away "all her publishing and recording rights."”                         

– The Telegraph

In February 2015, Kesha filed an injunction request so that she would be released from her contract with Dr. Luke as well as Sony, whom she claims “turned a blind eye” towards the abuse Dr. Luke inflicted on her as well as many other female singers, such as Lady Gaga.

The request was denied a year later, under the grounds that Sony would allow her to record without Dr. Luke’s involvement. Kesha eventually dropped charges towards the end of 2016 and wanted to change her claims saying “You can get a divorce from an abusive spouse. You can dissolve a partnership if the relationship becomes irreconcilable. The same opportunity – to be liberated from the physical, emotional, and financial bondage of a destructive relationship – should be available to a recording artist.”

The overclaim was denied in March 2017, with the judge stating that Kesha was already aware of Dr. Luke’s abusive personality before signing a contract with him.

Despite all of this, Kesha released her first single in four years, titled “Praying,” off of her then upcoming album Rainbow.

According to NPR, she describes the song as her accepting that she can’t control everything and to find peace with that.

“It's about learning to let go and realize that the universe is in control of my fate, not me,” she says.  

In the song, she sings:

“’Cause you brought the flames and you put me through hell

I had to learn how to fight for myself

And we both know all the truth I could tell

I'll just say this is I wish you farewell

I hope you’re somewhere prayin’, prayin’”

The song references her horrendous struggle in the past years against Dr. Luke.

Kesha also expressed that the message of the song is about self-pride and to still have it even when you hit low points.

The song later became an anthem for the #MeToo movement, a hashtag that went viral to help demonstrate the prevalence of sexual harassment and assault, particularly towards women.

In addition to this, “Praying” was performed by Kesha at the 2018 60th Grammy Awards along with other women, such as Cyndi Lauper and Camilla Cabello.

“Praying” is an amazing song with an equally amazing message of hope and self-love. This is the entire purpose of her most recent album, “Rainbow.” Aside from the powerful messages, the album includes a mix of songs with messages similar to “Praying,” as well as some more “pop”-like songs that you can just dance to and have a good time with.

"This whole album, for me, really is a healing album," she says. "It's healing from so many things from my past and just trying to get back to the most childlike, naive, purest version of myself that I can find — the most free-spirited, un-jaded version of myself." The album tells a story of recovery through songs like “Hymn,” “Rainbow,” and of course, “Praying.”

“"Rainbow" was the first song I wrote for this record. I was in rehab for my eating disorder. I was sitting on the floor, and I had begged the head of the rehab to let me have a keyboard for one hour a day, and finally she relented. And for that one hour a day I played and wrote "Rainbow." "Rainbow" was just my promise, my letter to myself that things would get better. It was my mantra, because at the end of a storm comes a rainbow. It's also the eighth song on Rainbow, a nod to "God Only Knows" on Pet Sounds.” -NPR

––Breanna Rife