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Kelly Clarkson Says Her Label Forced Her To Work With Dr. Luke

“They were like, ‘we will not put your album out if you don’t do this.’”

March 07, 2016

Thank you so much Buffalo for a great night and thank you @ashleydonovan for the #hairdazzle #PieceByPieceTour

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In a recent interview with Australia's KIIS FM, Kelly Clarkson spoke about her time working with Dr. Luke, who is credited as a producer on two of her breakout singles, “Since U Been Gone”—which Luke also helped write—and “Behind These Hazel Eyes.” “The last time I worked with him I only worked with him because literally I got blackmailed by my label,” she said. “It was a really hard time for me. They were like, ‘We will not put your album out if you don't do this.’”


“We’ve clashed before,” she continued. “He’s difficult to work with, he’s kind of demeaning. Obviously he’s a talented dude but he’s lied a lot. Musically it’s been really hard for me because he will just lie to people and it makes the artist look bad.”

While Kesha's accusations against Luke include instances of drugging and sexual assault, Clarkson said he “never did anything like that to me.”


The singer’s unhappy situation working with Dr. Luke and Max Martin was also reported last year in John Seabrook’s book The Song Machine. In this account, Clarkson helped write the bridge to “Since U Been Gone,” but was not credited for her contribution. “When the sessions ended and Clarkson was back at home,” Seabrook writes, "she told [Clive] Davis [who executive-produced her album], ‘I’m never working with him again.’”

This did not sit well with Davis, a legendary record executive. Seabrook continues, “[Clarkson] began the meeting by saying, ‘I want to be direct and to the point. I hate ‘Since U Been Gone,’ and I hate ‘Behind These Hazel Eyes.’ I didn’t like working with Max Martin and Dr. Luke, and I don’t like the end product. I really want both songs off my album.’”

“You’re too new to the industry to understand the value of this,” Davis reportedly responded. “Every country throughout the world is going to make you their number-one artist… I can’t accede to your request.”


After picking her own songs for her My December album, Clarkson later worked with Luke and Martin again on “My Life Would Suck Without You,” which appeared on All I Ever Wanted. This was the last time she collaborated with Luke, and also the last time Clive Davis executive-produced one of her albums.

Kelly Clarkson Says Her Label Forced Her To Work With Dr. Luke