Kesha fought back tears at a star-studded gala on Saturday as she performed Lady Gaga’s powerful abuse song Til It Happens To You.
The embattled singer is currently locked in a bitter legal battle with her former mentor and producer Dr. Luke, real name Lukasz Gottwald, after claiming he physically and emotionally abused her during their 10-year musical partnership.
The legal woes prompted Kesha to put her career on hold, but she made her live comeback at the Coachella music festival in California in early April, and recently teamed up with DJ Zedd to release True Colors, her first single in three years.
On Saturday, Kesha returned to the stage to deliver her emotionally-charged rendition of the Oscar-nominated song at The Humane Society of the United States Los Angeles Gala, where guests included Ian Somerhalder, Nikki Reed, Riley Keough, and Kate Mara.
Before the music started playing, Kesha became visibly pained and took several deep breaths before Diane Warren, the evening’s honoree and one of the song’s co-writers, started to play the piano.
“I want to dedicate this song to every man, woman, child (and) animal that has ever been abused,” the Tik Tok star declared.
During the performance, photos and video footage of caged animals were displayed on a big screen on the stage, and Kesha received a standing ovation from the celebrity crowd as she completed the track.
“That was so beautiful,” Zendaya said as she hugged Kesha at the end of the song.
The tune was first featured in The Hunting Ground, a documentary about sexual assaults on college campuses across the nation.0