Kesha has released her first solo single in four years after spending the last three locked in a court battle with producer Dr Luke, who she claims sexually assaulted her in his studio.
New track “Praying” came as a surprise to fans, with the 30-year-old singer announcing the news yesterday in a series of emotional Instagram videos.
Writing in a letter published on Lena Dunham’s Lenny, Kesha says “Praying” was written with Ryan Lewis about “that moment when the sun starts peeking through the darkest storm clouds, creating the most beautiful rainbow” and is about “learning to let go”:
“This song is about coming to feel empathy for someone else even if they hurt you or scare you. It’s a song about learning to be proud of the person you are even during low moments when you feel alone. It’s also about hoping everyone, even someone who hurt you, can heal.
“This song is about me finding peace in t peace in the fact that I can’t control everything — because trying to control everyone was killing me. It’s about learning to let go and realize that the universe is in control of my fate, not me.
“I hope this song reaches people who are in the midst of struggles, to let them know that no matter how bad it seems now, you can get through it. If you have love and truth on your side, you will never be defeated. Don’t give up on yourself.”
Kesha has struggled with “intense anxiety and depression and a relentless eating disorder” throughout her music career.
The “Tik Tok” singer’s long legal dispute with Dr Luke (real name Lukasz Gottwald) began when she filed a lawsuit against him in October 2014, citing “mental manipulation, emotional abuse and sexual assault” and seeking a termination of her contract with Sony.
Dr Luke counter-sued for defamation and in August 2016 it was announced that Kesha’s original case had been dropped so that she could focus on the new defamation lawsuit.
The lyrics to“Praying” seem to directly reference the court case:
“You brought the flames and you put me through hell/ I had to learn how to fight for myself/ And we both know all the truth I could tell/ I’ll just say this: I wish you farewell.”
Kesha’s new album Rainbow is due for release on 11 August, featuring the likes of Eagles of Death Metal and Dolly Parton.
She released the song “True Colors” with Zedd last year but before that, her last solo release was the Deconstructed EP in 2012.