Dr. Luke responds.
On Sunday, Clarkson came to Kesha's defense in the on-going legal trouble between Kesha and Dr. Luke, recalling her own poor experience working with the defamed producer. She told Australian radio show hosts Kyle and Jackie O: "he's not a good person, to me. We've clashed." She added, "I only worked with him because literally I was blackmailed by my label." Clarkson added if she didn't work with him, the label threatened they wouldn't release her album. "He'll just lie to people and it makes the artist look bad. He's difficult to work with. When so many artists don't like you, that says something."
Dr. Luke is now hitting Clarkson back. Digital Spy reached out for comment from Dr Luke's spokesperson, whose response was an excerpt from Sony Music chief Clive Davis's 2013 memoir The Soundtrack of My Life - detailing how Clarkson and Luke came to work together.
“As Kelly was beginning to work on her second album, a song came in for her to do for the soundtrack of the 2004 film The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement, which Whitney Houston had co-produced.
The song was ‘Breakaway’, written by Avril Lavigne, Bridget Benenate and Matthew Gerrard. At first, Kelly didn’t like it and didn’t want to record it, but eventually she relented, and the song became a Top 10 hit for her.
As we were gathering material for the album, however, I met with the songwriter-producer Max Martin, who had some songs he had written with his partner Luke Gottwald, better known as Dr Luke, that he wanted to play for me. He told me that because of his extensive work with the likes of Britney Spears and the Backstreet Boys, he had somewhat gotten a reputation for softer pop artists, and he wanted these songs to be done by rock artists because he was tired of being typecast.
The songs were ‘Since U Been Gone’ and ‘Behind These Hazel Eyes’. I heard them, and told him that I really loved them both. Then I told him that I wanted them for Kelly Clarkson. He instantly lost his cool. ‘Are you crazy?’ he said. ‘Didn’t I tell you that I wanted these songs to go to rock artists? That I didn’t want to be typecast? Now you want to give them to an American Idol winner!’
The fact is that I wanted Kelly to have those songs for the very reason he had written them. Both songs had a sharp rock edge, but were still capable of being pop hits. They would push Kelly in a promising direction for her, while maintaining and even growing her audience. I had a long relationship with Max dating back to Ace of Base, so I was able to calm him down and try to reason with him. ‘You don’t understand,’ I said. ‘Kelly’s got a great voice, she’s got real potential, and she likes edge. Look, you’ll produce it. You’ll get the right performance. If you don’t get the right performance, I’ll understand if you don’t want to let the songs be used. But you’ve really got to give this a shot. I believe so firmly that this will be great for her. And for you.’ We spent a long time discussing it, and finally, based totally on my relationship with him, he said yes.
Max and Luke are very strong, hands-on producers in the studio. They are intent on getting perfect vocal performances, and are relentless in that pursuit. It was hard for Kelly, who had come from the high of winning American Idol and then having a double platinum album. You’re young, everybody recognizes you everywhere you go. It’s heady, and all that attention affects all Idol winners.
But then suddenly you’re in an entirely different world of making records in a studio, and you have to take direction. Kelly didn’t like it. Max and Luke were relentless in getting the right performance of their song. Kelly got her back up, and from her perspective, she had a horrible experience in the studio. She’d never work with them again, she said. Then, after all the work was done, I listened to the performances. They were terrific. I could not have been more thrilled. This was a whole new direction for Kelly, so far away from ‘A Moment Like This’, which defined her first year’s experience.
Obviously, ‘Miss Independent’ was different as well, but this really was a strong pop-rock departure, and showed real depth and creativity. Everyone loved the end result, and I could just feel the momentum building.
With the air cleared, I did work on Kelly’s 2009 album All I Ever Wanted. One track I brought in was ‘My Life Would Suck Without You’, written and produced by, lo and behold, Max Martin and Dr Luke.