Kelly Clarkson: Dr. Luke is ‘just not a good guy…he’s difficult to work with’


When Kesha initially lost her injunction to break her contract with Dr. Luke and make music elsewhere, there was a surprising amount of public support from women in the music industry. Adele, Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga, Ariana Grande and Lorde all made public statements and more to show their support. Kelly Clarkson was one of the women tweeting about Kesha too, and I said at the time that Kelly’s cryptic tweets were some of the most interesting in the whole #FreeKesha movement. It felt like Kelly had some dirt on Dr. Luke. I said back then that I hoped she would reveal all. And guess what? Kelly isn’t revealing all, but she’s revealing more about her experiences with Dr. Luke.

Kelly Clarkson is opening up about her own experience with Dr. Luke.

“A lot of artists that have worked with him don’t work with him anymore for pretty good, solid reasons,” Clarkson said of Luke during an interview on Australia’s KIIS FM The Kyle & Jackie O Show. “He’s not a good person to me. We’ve clashed. I can’t really say anything other than that.”

While the “Piece By Piece” singer, 33, said she can’t comment directly on whether Kesha’s claims are true, she told the radio show that she “can remark on his character…Unfortunately, that poor of character – I mean so many artists don’t like you, don’t like working with you – that’s not normal,” the expectant mom explained. Clarkson alleged that the producer is “just not a good guy to me,” before contending, however, that “he’s a talented dude.”

“He’s a talented dude, but he’s just lied a lot,” Clarkson said of Luke. “I’ve run into a couple really bad situations. Musically, it’s been really hard for me because he will just lie to people. It’s like ‘What?’ It makes the artist look bad. He’s difficult to work with, kind of demeaning, it’s kind of unfortunate. People are like well you’ve worked with Max [Martin] and Luke, and I’m like Max and Luke are very different. Obviously the dude is a talented guy but character-wise, no.”

Clarkson said she chooses not to collaborate with the Kemosabe Records founder, but has in the past – notably, on hits like 2009’s “My Life Would Suck Without You” and 2004’s “Since U Been Gone.”

“Even the last time I worked with him I only worked with him because literally I got blackmailed by my label,” Clarkson said. “They were like, ‘We will not put your album out if you don’t do this.'”

However, source tells PEOPLE Clarkson’s team reached out to work with Dr. Luke in the past. (Reps for Dr. Luke, Clarkson and RCA did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s requests for comment. 19 Recordings could not be reached.) The pop star and American Idol winner said that while she’s never had Kesha’s “particular situation” happen to her, it’s not an uncommon scenario in the music industry.

“I’ve heard a lot of girls have had similar situations,” she said, stopping short of clarifying whether she was discussing a negative work environment in general or additional sexual allegations. She added: “If it’s true I can’t imagine working with somebody like that.”

[From People]

You know I love Kelly, right? I love her as a person, and I think if Kelly says you’re a creepy douchebag, then you are. Like, I believe her 100%. As for the “inconsistency” of whether or not her team reached out to Dr. Luke in the beginning, he’s a well-known producer and there are a lot of people who think he’s a hit machine. I could see how Kelly would work with him once, get a bad vibe (or worse) and not want to work with him again, but her label was like “you need to go back to him.” And I would love to see more artists come out and talk about their experiences with Dr. Luke, because I suspect that what Kelly is saying is true – that there are lots of people in the industry who don’t want to work with him, people who think he’s a liar, a manipulator, a creep.


Photos courtesy of WENN.

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49 Responses to “Kelly Clarkson: Dr. Luke is ‘just not a good guy…he’s difficult to work with’”

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  1. INeedANap says:

    It’s lose-lose for women.

    We can’t call out men on their creepiness because we’re supposed to be cool, and we can’t be “feminazis”, and we have to be tough. Or they tell us it’s all in our heads, we’re just overreacting, we’re being dramatic and emotional.

    But when we do finally come forward, it’s all “why didn’t you say something earlier? You must be lying.” And “if it was so bad you wouldn’t have worked with him again.”

    Once again, women shoulder the blame no matter what.

    • Hoopjumper says:

      This, exactly.

    • PinaColada says:

      +1 as the mother of 3 small daughters, I really worry about the situations they are going to encounter in school, university, work, and just trying to live their life like going out at night. And that’s with them living in a supposedly more pro women’s rights, “advanced” (ha!!!) society. What crap.

      • Steph says:

        Have you read Protecting the Gift? I highly recommend it. It is practical advice for protecting children and teenage girls.

    • Bria says:


    • kri says:

      You said it all^^

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:


    • Crumpet says:

      Well said!

    • Stacey says:

      Shut the thread down because this is the best comment.

      I don’t even have anything to add because you nailed it.

      • lucy2 says:

        All I would add is I’m glad Kelly is speaking out on her experience, I too completely trust her, and I’m glad she’s free of that label now. Let’s hope Kesha can do the same soon.

    • Shambles says:

      Yep, we’re done here.

      *slow clap, faster clap, thunderous applause*

    • Alex says:

      hmmm saw a bit of that on here just yesterday from some commenters about jlaw and DOR. To me this is a situation that happens over and over in the industry to where people like Kelly aren’t immune either. Luckily she didn’t have anything MORE happen to her but yes I believe her 100%. You have the business that caters to creepy asshats all the time so I’m no longer shocked by any of it. Also notice that kelly never said anything either because …Like you said lose lose for women.

    • chelsea says:

      Actually, you can’t call men on their creepiness when they are powerful and you need their goodwill. I wouldn’t count on that changing.

    • MC2 says:

      Exactly- you nailed it succinctly.

    • Aren says:

      This stated beautifully how I felt when my teacher harassed me and even hit me. I didn’t want to be that “crazy b*tch” who can’t take a joke, who’s too delicate, or can’t take things lightly. He constantly told me I was always too tense, too anxious, and to slow down.
      In the end I quit, but I never complained about anything.

      • INeedANap says:

        Your teacher sounds like an abuser. Abusers seek out people they know will not or can not fight back. I hope he gets terminal diarrhea, my favorite curse. And may his sauce never stick to his pasta.

      • Antonym says:

        @INeedANap – I love you for those curses and will begin using them immediately.

        On a more serious note, I absolutely agree with this thread. Your original comment concisely captured my thoughts.

    • hogtowngooner says:

      Nailed it (sadly)

      Happy International Women’s Day!

    • Luce says:

      This is an excellent comment. The sad thing is this is so not confined to the entertainment industry. The type of low-key sexism I face daily is more of a “polite” disregard. As the OP said here, it’s as if there is no middle room. To even be heard necessitates that I become very demanding, which in turn comes across as difficult. My boss has said things like “I really appreciate your passion” which translates to a very condescending “go away loud little girl” yet the men can just waltz in and casually ask for things and get them.

      On another end, you see how no matter how many times it has been called out, when people attack Hillary Clinton it always must have some added comment about her being a bitch (which she has NEVER acted like publicly and those who work with her all say she is extremely pleasant and polite) and often about her weight or her clothing choices.

      Conversely, for the men, you have to be as large as Chris Christie to get that particular insult lobbed at you. Bernie Sanders suits all look ill-fitting to me, but how often do you hear that? It’s just all so disheartening, and I unfortunately don’t see things changing soon.

    • Otaku Fairy says:


    • tback says:


  2. Liv says:

    He probably stays mum until the storm is over and then continues to work and creep around like Terry Richardson. Ugh.

    Happy international women’s day everyone!

  3. littlemissnaughty says:

    So she can’t say more or she won’t? I like Kelly a lot but I can’t imagine she’s allowed to say exactly this much and not more. Legally, I mean. Which means she’s what, afraid? I have very little patience for people dancing around serious topics.

    • Sam says:

      What is she supposed to say? She commented on the Kesha situation and said she can’t say anything about it because she wasn’t there HOWEVER she can comment on her own experience and her experience with him is that he’s not a good person.

      • I Choose Me says:

        I really wish she would have said more. But I understand she’s in a difficult spot. Good on her for speaking out. Especially since I’m sure she’s going to get blow back from this.

      • Mgsota says:

        I love Kelly, but I didn’t like the fact that she said “she wasn’t there” so she can comment about Kesha. We need to believe women whether we are witness to it or not.

      • littlemissnaughty says:

        No, that’s not what I meant. She can’t comment on Kesha’s situation if she wasn’t there but she could be more specific when she says he’s not a good person and they’ve clashed. So? I’ve clashed with people in various ways, there’s a lot of room for speculation when you put it like that.

        “He’s not a good person to me. We’ve clashed. I can’t really say anything other than that.” Really though? She can’t? She won’t because there might be negative consequences which is understandable but is she really helping anyone here? Not a good person can mean a lot of things.

    • Betti says:

      I imagine that she is afraid of being dragged into the court case plus he s the type to sue for defamation.

      • Maureen says:

        @Mgsota, Kelly has extended full support to Kesha and is saying the Dr. Luke is a piece of sh*t. She’s saying without saying that she fully believes Kesha. Read between the lines. She has to CYA in case she gets sued for defamation and slander.

    • Jayna says:

      How is she dancing around it? She said he wasn’t a nice person to work with, demeaning in tone, and she didn’t want to work with him but was forced to. She made clear though she had never experienced what Kesha says she experienced, the sexual abuse. I call that honesty. Pretty much stating her experience with him. A talented man who she felt treated her in a demeaning way in tone when working with her. I took from that he was condescending and demeaning in the way he spoke to her as far as not showing her the respect she felt she deserved when collaborating with him.

      She is stating her experience in support of Kesha.

      • Luce says:

        Exactly! Here we have a strong woman speaking out about a sensitive subject, yet for some, it’s still not enough. We have enough backlash from men. Why anyone is “disappointed” that she didn’t say anything more explicit is astounding. Her opinion is quite clear, and she has said far more than most would in her situation. She is still in an industry where she could face huge consequences, not just from Luke, but from others who don’t like how freely she has spoken.

      • Otaku Fairy says:

        True. The only problematic part about her comments on Dr. Luke was the other part where she said “I’ve never had that particular situation happen to me and I think because, let’s just put it bluntly, I’ve never been that sex kitten pop star [laughs]. I’ve never sold that part. So nobody, I don’t think anyone would do that to me.” The idea that sexual violence is something that men do because of women being too sexy and beautiful is something that women and girls are taught, but since Kelly has been supportive of Kesha, I think her comment just came from a place of ignorance instead of malice or deliberate victim-blaming.

    • Sam says:

      Kelly has stated that it has to do with the fact that he completely trashed her opinions in regards to Since You Been Gone and Behind These Hazel Eyes. She actually wrote the bridge to Since You Been Gone and made it
      have more a rock sound but wasn’t given a writing credit for it because of Dr. Luke and her label. So I’d say taking credit for something you didn’t do is an indication of what she’s talking about.

    • Pix says:

      What do you want her to say? She’s wasn’t there and she can’t confirm if he raped her. She’s been brave enough to speak up about her experiences, which can put her own career in jeopardy. The guy is obviously a creep. I have little patience for people who want others to put themselves on the line for some sort of general “justice”. She spoke her truth. I think that’s more than enough.

    • MC2 says:

      I think she has shown that she believes & supports Kesha (the tweet & speaking out now). She’s putting some stuff on the line by speaking out against him in support of what Kesha has said (and answering the question “why would you continue to work with him?!”) Kelly pointing out that she wasn’t sexually assaulted by him (I’m sure that was the 1st question on the interviewer’s mind) is not “dancing around the issue” in fact I think it’s the opposite. She says he never sexually assault her & she has no direct knowledge of that but she knows first hand that he is an abusive pos supported by Sony, etc. Kelly wasn’t sexually abused by him but was abused in other ways and she’s calling him (and Sony) out on it. She’s is saying that she has first hand knowledge of him being an abusive creep so this just gives credibility to Kesha that he is likely not just abusive in one way.

    • Bridget says:

      She is probably trying to walk a legal fine line. Most likely Luke would sue her for libel/slander/defamation. She can’t say anything that she wasn’t present for, that she doesn’t specifically, unequivocally know is true.

  4. Sam says:

    I love this woman. Slay him Kelly. She’s never been afraid to call out the industry for what it is. Unfortunately people are saying she’s only doing this to jump on the hate Dr. Luke bandwagon but in reality she has always stated he was a terrible person. Her, Pink and Avril have all said that.

    • thaliasghost says:

      What have Pink and Avril said?

      It really irked me when people were going around bashing female artists for not speaking out about him while risking their careers, few people asked the powerful men in the top ranks of the industry who’ve kept Dr. Luke’s business afloat for years. Which includes forcing Kelly Clarkson to work with him.

      Happy international women’s day everyone! May we fight for bread and roses!

      • Sam says:

        They’ve both said that they enjoyed working with Max Martin but that they’d never work with Dr. Luke again because he is very deamoning. So everything that Kelly has stated they have as well. And Kelly has said that a lot of people within the industry who have worked with him will say the same thing. Three artists both worked with Dr. Luke and Max Martin and all 3 artists had nothing but great things to say about Max Martin and nothing but bad things to say about Dr. Luke.

      • lunchcoma says:

        Interesting. I hadn’t heard that, Sam. I think that makes the accusations more damning. These women aren’t part of a clique or one group of former bandmates, and some of them seem like they have quite different personalities and might naturally gravitate toward enjoying working with different people.

        If they all have the same account of working with Dr. Luke, I think that says a lot about how consistently terrible his behavior is.

    • Carol says:

      I like Kelly a lot too. I can’t stand her music, or at least her popular tunes, but she comes off pretty grounded and tough in interviews. I’m glad so many women musical artists are coming out and backing Kesha.

  5. kri says:

    I don’t think we have heard the last of this. I hope others come forward, a la the ladies who were targets of Bill Cosby. The only way this type of thing can be stopped is if these a-holes are outed for their behavior.

  6. JaneDoesWork says:

    I totally believe this, and the timeline makes sense too. My life would suck without you was the first single off her album AFTER December. December was a bomb and Kelly got into a public spat with Clive Davis over it. She needed a hit to get back on the scene, so she wasn’t in a position to argue with the label over it. Good for her for speaking out. There are plenty of women who have these stories I’m sure, and I’m sad that his behavior has been allowed to continue for so long.

    • Tiffany says:

      My December was a great album, too. It and she got a unnecessary rep.

      • JaneDoesWork says:

        I agree, I own it, but the reality is it didn’t sell well. Her label was not going to invest in another My December. It 100% makes sense to me that at that moment they made her work with him. I don’t agree with it, but it makes sense.

      • lucy2 says:

        I love that album too, it’s probably my favorite of hers. It always bothered me that the label disliked it because she dared to write so much herself, and did little to promote it.

  7. OTHER RENEE says:

    Every time I hear this guy referred to as “Dr.” I shudder.

  8. Bridget says:

    I love that Kelly is speaking out publicly.

  9. lunchcoma says:

    I appreciate that she said something, and especially that she said something when her experience is that he’s a bad person who’s difficult to work with, something it’s easy to stay quiet about. It seems like lots of these powerful men have a group of women they’ve abused severely and then a bunch of other people who know they’re bad news, just avoid them, and allow them to avoid criticism for years or decades.