When Kesha first emerged in the spotlight, she was best known for waking up in the morning feeling like P. Diddy. Her 2009 single "Tik Tok" was a huge hit and made her a regular on the pop scene. Now, she's making headlines for an entirely different reason. In 2014, Kesha filed a lawsuit against producer Dr. Luke (real name: Lukasz Gottwald) alleging rape and years of sexual, physical, and emotional abuse. Gottwald has repeatedly denied these claims and filed a defamation suit in response. In Feb. 2016, a New York Supreme Court Justice denied Kesha's request for an injunction that would allow her to leave her contract with Dr. Luke and Sony. Since it's been a long road to get to this point, the timeline of Kesha's career below shows just how much things have changed and just how stalled Kesha's career has became since filing her lawsuit.
Loyal fans may remember the first time Kesha made her way onto TV screens, appearing in a 2005 episode of Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie's The Simple Life along with her mom Pebe Sebert. Around that same time, she was signed to Dr. Luke's label Kemosabe Records, which is housed by Sony.
It was in 2009 that the 29-year-old's career truly began to take off. She signed with RCA Records, which is owned by Sony, through Dr. Luke's imprint. That same year, she appeared on Flo Rida's song "Right Round," and in August, "Tik Tok" was released and became a party anthem everywhere.
Kesha's career went strong for several years, and in the fall of 2013 she collaborated with Pitbull on the hit song "Timber." This was the last single that she released.
In January 2014, Kesha checked into rehab for an eating disorder. When she left the facility in March, she tweeted that she was "feeling healthy and working on tons of new music." But instead of releasing any more music, she filed her lawsuit against Dr. Luke in October of that year.
The timeline below shows both Kesha's rise to stardom and how quickly things have changed in recent years.
Following the court's ruling on Kesha's injunction, Dr. Luke's attorney released a statement to Rolling Stone, which reads in part:
The New York County Supreme Court on Friday found that Kesha is already "free" to record and release music without working with Dr. Luke as a producer if she doesn’t want to. Any claim that she isn’t "free" is a myth ...
As Dr. Luke has said repeatedly, the allegations against him are outright lies that have been advanced to extort a contract renegotiation and money. Kesha and her counsel have cavalierly subjected Dr. Luke and his family to trial by Twitter, using a vicious smear campaign to ruin his reputation for financial gain while failing to support their claims… It will further be shown that the incidents alleged never happened.
Kesha's lawyer released the following statement to Billboard in October 2014 when she sued the producer:
This lawsuit is a wholehearted effort by Kesha to regain control of her music career and her personal freedom after suffering for ten years as a victim of mental manipulation, emotional abuse and sexual assault at the hands of Dr. Luke. The facts presented in our lawsuit paint a picture of a man who is controlling and willing to commit horrible acts of abuse in an attempt to intimidate an impressionable, talented, young female artist into submission for his personal gain. Kesha is focused on moving her life and her career beyond this terrible time.
As for Sony, an attorney for the company told the New York Times ,
Sony has made it possible for Kesha to record without any connection, involvement or interaction with Luke whatsoever, but Sony is not in a position to terminate the contractual relationship between Luke and Kesha. Sony is doing everything it can to support the artist in these circumstances, but is legally unable to terminate the contract to which it is not a party.