Kesha Sang Lady Gaga’s “Til It Happens to You,” Standing With Her On Sexual Assault
During a stirring performance Saturday at a Humane Society gala in Los Angeles, Kesha sang Lady Gaga’s “Til It Happens To You.” The song was widely lauded after its debut at the Academy Awards this past February, when Lady Gaga played the collaboration between her and Diane Warren on a stage filled with 52 rape survivors. Flooding the stage, the survivors reinforced the lyrics, which explore the rampancy and effects of campus violence and sexual assault in general. Given the last few months of legal hell Kesha’s been through after a court ruled she must continue working with her allegedly abusive producer Dr. Luke, her cover of this Lady Gaga song was beyond perfect.
Only in the past few weeks has Kesha returned to actively recording and making music, so it’s wonderful to see her not only out there performing, but actively advocating for other women and men who have been through some of the same shit. Seeing her cover the Lady Gaga song is even more fitting considering how outspoken Gaga has been about her sexual assault and her desire to use that trauma as a catalyst for advocacy, bringing issues of sexual violence into the light. Because both music sensations have personally dealt with sexual assault, it only makes sense that they would stand together and share their music on the subject.
As you can see here, Kesha herself had a hard time containing her feelings during the performance.
The co-writer of the song, Diane Warren, was one of the guests honored at the Humane Society gala, so when Kesha started playing “Til It Happens To You,” it not only spoke of a solidarity with other sexual assault victims, but a nod to Warren’s songwriting chops.
She started her performance by explicitly telling the crowd, “I want to dedicate this song to every man, woman, child, animal, that has ever been abused,” before launching into the intense dedication. Afterwards she shared a warm hug with Warren, who seemed to thoroughly approve of the cover.
Lady Gaga also tweeted her support and appreciation after witnessing the performance.
One can hope this might open the door to a possible collaboration in the future.
Can you imagine the potential music and activism that could come about if the two women linked up and created some collaborative work that bridged their pop ballads with the darker issues of violence they’ve both recently addressed? It’s not outlandish to imagine, especially given Gaga’s positive reception towards Kesha’s cover (and obviously Kesha’s ability to pull it off). Fingers crossed!