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Fiona Apple criticises the Grammys

Fiona Apple criticises the Grammys for nominating Dr. Luke’s pseudonym

Dr. Luke produced Record of the Year nominee Doja Cat’s ‘Say So’ under his moniker Tyson Trax

Fiona Apple has criticised the Grammys for nominating Dr. Luke under his pseudonym Tyson Trax, despite the allegations of abuse levelled against him by Kesha.

In a new interview with The Guardian, the musician described the awards ceremony as “bullshit”, in a nod to her 1997 VMA speech. She said: “I’m bringing up the Grammys and that’s something that I shouldn’t be doing, but really, Dr. Luke is nominated? They had (Kesha) up there singing “Praying” (a song about her alleged experience of abuse at the hands of the producer) and now they’re gonna go: ‘Oh but it’s Tyson Trax!’” Dr. Luke is nominated at the 2021 ceremony for producing Record of the Year nominee Doja Cat’s “Say So”.

Kesha filed a lawsuit against Dr. Luke (real name Lukasz Gottwald) in 2014, accusing him of prolonged sexual abuse. In 2016, a judge denied the singer an injunction to end her contract with Dr. Luke and Sony, a decision which resulted in the #FreeKesha movement, led by a group of supporters fighting for her release. The following year, Sony cut ties with the producer. Dr. Luke has consistently denied the accusations against him.

In 2018, Kesha performed “Praying” at the Grammys, in one of the most personal and emotional performances of the night. “I keep going back to them putting Kesha on stage like, ‘We believe you’ – and I believe her,” continued Apple. “Then two years later, fucking Tyson Trax.”

Apple is also nominated at this year’s Grammys for her phenomenal fifth album, Fetch the Bolt Cutters, and one of its tracks, “Shameika”. Along with Best Rock Song, the latter is up for Best Rock Performance, a category with all-female nominees, including Phoebe Bridgers and HAIM.

Addressing this in her Guardian interview, Apple said: “I immediately had this feeling: ‘I wish I was in a room with these ladies and we could celebrate.’ It felt really nice for a second. Every week I send a selfie to Simon, who runs the Tumblr site on me. I thought, for that week’s selfie, I’m gonna make a t-shirt with (every nominee’s) names in little hearts. But then I threw it away.”

“I felt like this is exactly what they want me to do: ‘It’s better now! I got nominated! And it’s all women this year, and the Grammys are great!’ Not to go back to that word, but it’s bullshit. The feeling of wanting to celebrate with these women was genuine. But I should have that feeling anyway. I don’t know if anybody who’s nominated can help having the thought: ‘What would I do if I won?’”

“My vision was that I would just get up there with a sledgehammer and I wouldn’t say anything, I would take the Grammy and smash it into enough pieces to share and I would invite all the ladies up. My second thought was, ‘I wonder if I can get all these ladies to boycott this shit because of Dr. Luke’.”

Read Fiona Apple’s full interview with The Guardian here.