In 2013, the songwriter and producer Dr. Luke had accomplished his 16th No. 1 with “Dark Horse” of Katy Perry, solidifying his position as a prince of pop music, a throne that could only be challenged by a person: his mentor Max Martin. It seemed unstoppable.
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But the hits came to a halt when Dr. Luke was entangled in a bitter legal battle with his former partner Kesha, who accused him of abuse, se*ual during the years of the society, that began when he became her mentor and she was 17 years old. Dr. Luke has firmly denied their accusations.
His career died down while the case took on a leading role even before the growing movement #MeToo; female artists sympathized with Kesha, including Kelly Clarkson, Taylor Swift, Adele and Lady Gaga. With the pressure, Perry even launched his first album with a major record label without a single song from Dr. Luke. While Dr. Luke’s continued writing songs for artists such as Ne-Yo, Big Boi, Trey Songz and Tyga, the successes pop that became synonymous with what escaped.
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Until now. Dr. Luke, whose real name is Lukasz Gottwald, is back with the success of funky Doja Cat “Say So”, which topped the list Hot 100 of Billboard this week thanks to a remix with rapper Nicki Minaj. The song, produced and written by Dr. Luke, is the second studio album from Doja Cat, “Hot Pink”, released in November under the record label of Dr. Luke, Kemosabe Records.
Instead of using his stage name, Dr. Luke used the pseudonym of Trevor Trax in the credit as producer of the song, which reached new heights after the star of TikTok Haley Sharpe did a dance with her on the popular video platform.
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Pitbull, who has collaborated with Dr. Luke on hits like “Timber”, featuring Kesha, and “Time of Our Lives”, he said that I didn’t even know Dr. Luke produced “Say So”.
“No, I did not know. Don’t lie,” said the cuban singer the winner of the Grammy award. “I thought, ‘man, what a crazy’. But I loved the song. To all the children around me love the song.”
“It was very ready to get it out under another name,” added Pitbull. “Let’s call it a recharge, a reimpulso, a reboot and resuscitation. He was disconnected, of desprogramó and rescheduled it”.
Dr. Luke and Doja Cat declined to be interviewed for this story. RCA Records of Sony, owner of Kemosabe, also made statements.
Doja Cat signed with RCA and Kemosabe in 2014, and that August he released his single debut “Purrr!”, two months before that Kesha filed her lawsuit against Dr. Luke.
The press material of Doja Cat does not mention Dr. Luke as the master mind behind the “Say So” and four other songs from their album, including “Juicy” with Tyga, which reached No. 41 on the Hot 100.
When asked if he was surprised that Dr. Luke had a success There. 1, the reporter music Evelyn McDonnell said: “I Guess in the sense that he in some way slipped away to the Not. 1, yes”.
“The cynical in me is not surprised because the money talks and he is a doer of success,” added McDonnell, a professor of journalism at Loyola Marymount University. “I think that if it had been announced as a song of Dr. Luke from the beginning that would have generated headlines immediately.”
McDonnell said that the success of the song TikTok helped Dr. Luke take a backseat: “If it had been brought to the radio stations… in a normal way, the radio stations would have been more reluctant”.
Dr. Luke broke into the music scene as an apprentice of Max Martin, the master of the pop music behind the first successes of Britney Spears, N Sync and the Backstreet Boys. The streak of successes of Martin has continued since then: this year, pointed his 23er Not. 1 in the list Hot 100.
Together, the Swedish producers helped to create big hits like “Since U Been Gone” by Clarkson and “I Kissed a Girl” Perry. In 2010, the debut of Kesha “Animal”, with Dr. Luke as executive producer, was released under his label and topped the charts of popularity, making Kesha the revelation of the year. The heady hymn of the holidays, “TiK ToK” held the first place for nine weeks and it is followed by other successes.
But the former employees have been battling in court since 2014. Kesha alleges that Dr. Luke, the drugged and raped her in 2005 and that he abused psychologically from it for years. He alleges that she smeared her with lies with the hope to get out of her recording contract.
A court in New York dismissed the lawsuit from Kesha sexual abuse in 2016 due to legal issues, without ruling whether the allegations were true.
Kesha lost another round in February when a judge in New York said that the singer made a defamatory statement about Dr. Luke on another occasion, a text message in 2016, saying that the producer of Gaga also had raped Perry. Both he and Perry have been denied, and the judge said “no evidence whatsoever” to support your version.
The lawyers Kesha has filed a notice that they plan to appeal the ruling, which also found that the singer owed it to Dr. Luke more than 373.000 dollars in interest on royalties that she’s paid for with years of delay.
But it did not resolve other aspects of your claim of defamation and breach of contract, including the crucial question of whether it is true that the producer raped Kesha. The judge said that decision belonged to the jury in an eventual trial.
“Look, he was involved in a public scandal,” said Larry Rudolph, the manager of Spears, who has worked with Dr. Luke for years. “Is the court of public opinion and the court of the real opinion. The public opinion is often based on very few facts, or none, is more driven by emotion. The system of courts is based on real events. If you look at what happened in the court system, I think you will find a very different outcome than what I got caught up a bit in.”
Kesha has released two albums since she filed the complaint, under the seal of Dr. Luke but if your creative participation.
“Six years in a long time,” said McDonnell of the period that Dr. Luke went on without throwing a successful pop. “Do enough for the redemption? I don’t think so. Not when he is still fighting the lawsuit. That is what I find really disturbing”.
Theron Thomas, who has co-written hits for Miley Cyrus, Beyoncé, Lizzo and Rihanna and frequently collaborates with Dr. Luke, said that he was advised not to work with Dr. Luke, but decided to do it anyway.
“I feel that if you are going to work with someone and be with someone… you have to be with them in good times and in bad,” he said.
Thomas admits that when she met Dr. Luke, it was not pleasant: “Our relationship was a bit rugged. I hated it. I thought that was the maximum (rudeness) that has ever existed”.
But “the more we work together, the more I understood your reasoning,” added Thomas. “That’s what justified it for me. I am not lying. He was right almost always.”
Thomas said that prior to the pandemic of the coronavirus came to the united States, was in Hawaii working on new music with Dr. Luke and Doja Cat.
Pitbull, who is also working with Dr. Luke, he said that he never hesitated to collaborate with him.
“I deal with the people that work for the business side. If I’m dealing with you on a personal level and do something that I think is disrespectful on a personal level, that is a different story. But I’m not there to see what happens, so guess what, we’re going to continue to live with three parts of the story: he says, she says, and the truth,” said Pitbull. “I only know what he does musically, what gifted is and how amazing it is to work together. That is what is my problem at the end of the day.”