Kelly Clarkson claimed in a new interview that she was "blackmailed" by her record label into working with Dr. Luke, the producer currently engaged in a legal battle with Kesha, prior to the release of her 2004 album Breakaway. Speaking to Australia's KIIS, Clarkson said she only worked with Luke "because literally I got blackmailed by my label. They were like, 'We will not put your album out if you don't do this.'"
While Clarkson criticized the circumstances that led to her working with Luke, the alleged forced collaboration did yield Breakaway's smash "Since U Been Gone," the single co-written by Luke and Max Martin that gave Luke his first hit as producer. Luke and Martin also served as producers and co-writers on Breakaway's second single "Behind These Hazel Eyes." Clarkson would later reunite with Luke for her 2009 single "My Life Would Suck Without You," which was also pushed by her label.
Kesha has accused Luke of raping and abusing her, charges the producer has vehemently denied. A New York judge declined to allow an injunction that would have let Kesha sever herself from her contract with Sony Music and Luke's Kemosabe Records. Since the ruling, artists like Lady Gaga, Adele, Taylor Swift and Clarkson have spoken out in support of Kesha.
In the same interview, the singer said she was displeased with the producer's character. "Unfortunately, when you have that poor of character – so many artists don't like you and don't like working with you – that's not normal. I get along with everyone I work with, but he's just not a good guy for me," Clarkson said of Luke. "Obviously, he’s a talented dude. He just lied a lot. I've run into a couple of really bad situations. Musically, it's been really hard for me because he will just lie to people. And it's like, 'What?' And it makes the artist look bad." Clarkson continued, "He's kind of difficult to work with; kind of demeaning."
After the Kesha injunction was denied, Clarkson tweeted, "Trying 2 not say anything since I can't say anything nice about a person ... so this is me not talking about Dr. Luke ."