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“You Don’t Own Me” Was Made For Kesha To Cover

Radar
Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images for David Lynch Foundation

“Don’t ever give some other motherf*cker the keys to your happiness”

Kesha's ongoing legal battle with Dr. Luke prevents her from releasing new music and even performing her old material live. For nearly three years, Kesha has been at odds with Sony Music Entertainment over her record deal under Dr. Luke's imprint, Kemosabe Records, and allegations of abuse from the producer. The label has, essentially, put Kesha's career at a standstill, but it hasn't stopped Kesha from making and performing music. Her latest live set found the pop singer-songwriter covering Lesley Gore's "You Don't Own Me." Excuse us while we boink our heads with a collective "Duh!"

"Because I can't play you new music yet," she told the audience at the Firefly Music Festival, "I'm going to play you the ones you know." She added that they'd be playing them "all kind of fucked up" because, well, legal reasons. Before the hits, though, Kesha launched into Gore's "You Don't Own Me," saying she felt "like the words were taken out of my mouth." And, honestly, they could have been.

Gore's independent woman anthem has empowered listeners since its debut in 1963. Its defiance encapsulates the legal frustrations that follow Kesha. "You don't own me," she sings. "I'm not just one of your many toys." Preach! She stopped the song before the finale to remind the audience that no one can own anyone because, in her words, to "own you means they can control your happiness and don't ever give some other motherfucker the keys to your happiness." Amen, sister. 

The cover begins around the 3:28 mark below.