Kesha appeared onstage at the Humane Society Gala in Los Angeles Saturday night to deliver an emotional, bare rendition of Lady Gaga's Oscar-nominated song "Til It Happens to You." "I want to dedicate this song to every man, woman, child and animal that has ever been abused," Kesha said before her performance.
Kesha is still involved in a legal battle against Lukasz "Dr. Luke" Gottwald, the producer she has accused of sexual and verbal abuse. "Til It Happens to You," written by Diane Warren, was penned for the campus rape documentary The Hunting Ground.
Kesha barely made it through the opening line – "Tell me it gets better" – before being overcome with emotion, forcing her to step back from the microphone. After quickly pulling herself back together, Kesha continued with the powerful piano ballad.
"The very reason women don't speak up for years is the fear that no one will believe them or their abuser has threatened their life or life of their loved ones/livelihood in order to keep their victim quiet and under control," Gaga wrote. "What happened to Kesha has happened to many female artists, including myself, and it will affect her for the rest of her life.
"No one needs to validate Kesha," she continued. "Why is victim always the 'liar'? Why do we let people in a position of power get away with behaving inhumanely? These guys hide behind the legal system and it's their litigious behavior that is precisely what they use to rape these girls. 'Give me what I want or else I will come after you' and they have all the money and the resources to do it."
Following Kesha's cover, Lady Gaga tweeted:
Killed it @KeshaRose. I could feel your pain. Girl these boys won't be in charge forever. The wisdom of women is rising. Let's get louder