Kesha Sings the Bob Dylan Cover She Planned for the BBMAs at a Ben Folds Concert Instead

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Kesha joined “good friend” Ben Folds (who knew?!) onstage in L.A. last night to sing the song she’d originally planned for the Billboard Music Awards this Sunday, Bob Dylan’s “It Ain’t Me, Babe.” The pop star took the Orpheum Theatre by storm last night instead, backed up by Folds on the piano, who rose to bow down to her and give her a hug after the song concluded.

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awwwww @murkanpianist

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A brief recap: Kesha was set to sing at the BBMAs, but Dr. Luke’s Kemosabe Records uninvited her on Tuesday, after TMZ reported that she was planning a “statement performance” on the live broadcast. As you may remember if you have ever read the Internet, Kesha accused Dr. Luke of rape, but the case was dismissed a month ago. Though everyone was expecting some sort of blowout this weekend, Dr. Luke and Kemosabe nipped that one right in the bud, pulling the plug altogether.

Kesha claimed that her plan was totally innocent in an Instagram post yesterday: “I just wanted to make very clear that this performance was about me honoring one of my favorite songwriters of all time and has never had anything at all to do with Dr. Luke. I was never going to use a picture of him, speak of him or allude to my legal situation in any way,” she wrote. “I simply wanted to sing a song I love to honor an artist I have always looked up to. thank u all for the continued support.” Look, Kesha just really, really loves Bob Dylan, OK?

Honor she did last night, albeit in a more intimate venue than the BBMAs. She also took to IG in the wee hours after the show to thank Folds alongside a photo of him polishing a wineglass with a pair of “old man panties”: “thanks for letting me share your stage, your band, your audience, your humor, your songs,” she wrote. “thanks for believing in me. … thanks for ur records that got me through high school. … thanKs for being a good friend in this scary business.” She also sang Folds’ “Still Fighting It” and “Rock This Bitch” with him, mixing in a bit of her “Sleazy” into the latter.

For his part, today Folds posted a color image of the black-and-white shot Kesha posted of the pair and his band onstage, captioning it, “Hear what a Free @KeshaRose really sounds like …” He may be a bit confused about this whole newfangled technology thing, as Kesha’s Instahandle is @iiswhoiis, and @KeshaRose is some weird bot page, but—details, details. The whole thing is really sweet, and we’ll give a high-five to anyone who wants to stick it to the man—in this case, Dr. Luke. Brava!

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