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Kesha delivers stirring rendition of “It Ain’t Me, Babe” with Ben Folds at Billboard Music Awards — watch

on May 22, 2016, 10:50pm

For a while there, it looked like Kesha might not actually get to make her scheduled appearance at the 2016 Billboard Music Awards. Kemosabe Records originally blocked the performance when it was believed the singer was going to use the gig to bash Dr. Luke, the label owner/producer with whom Kesha’s currently embroiled in a messy legal battle. Thankfully, reason and truth prevailed, and Kesha took the stage on Sunday evening.

Accompanied by Ben Folds, Kesha performed a stirring cover of the Bob Dylan classic “It Ain’t Me, Babe”. Known largely for radio-friendly pop, Kesha’s delivery was stunning in its power. Slowed down and turned into a ballad, the pop singer’s version of the song kept the audience rapt. They cheered more than once — especially during the powerful transition into the final chorus — and stood for their ovation at the end.

To say Kesha has had a rough road as of late would be putting it mildly to the point of injustice. Though she’s barred from speaking out about her troubles on such a public stage, a strong performance like this one says plenty.