Katy Perry worked with Dr. Luke on her new album, despite Kesha's allegations of sexual abuse

katy perry dr luke
Dr. Luke, Katy Perry, and Cirkut attend the 2014 Grammys.Lester Cohen/WireImage
  • Katy Perry worked with Dr. Luke to create her new album, a label source confirmed to Rolling Stone.

  • Dr. Luke coproduced many of Perry's early hits, but they haven't collaborated since 2013.

  • In 2014, Kesha sued Dr. Luke for sexual abuse. They reached a settlement last year.

Katy Perry has teamed up with Dr. Luke to create her forthcoming album, reconnecting with the embattled pop producer for the first time in a decade.

Perry launched her new era on Monday by announcing the album's lead single, "Woman's World." After sharing a snippet on TikTok, rumored song credits began circulating on social media, which listed Dr. Luke as a producer.

Rolling Stone confirmed his reunion with Perry on Wednesday, citing a source from Perry's label, Capitol Records.

"Katy knew exactly the album she wanted to make and put together the team to make it happen," the source said. "And that includes previous collaborators including Luke, Stargate, Max Martin, and Sarah Hudson."

Dr. Luke, born Lukasz Gottwald, coproduced many of Perry's early hits, including diamond-certified tracks like "California Gurls," "Roar," and "Dark Horse."

However, Perry seemed to sever ties with Gottwald after she released "Prism," her third album with Capitol, in 2013.

The following year, Perry's former friend and fellow pop star Kesha filed a lawsuit against Gottwald, her former mentor, alleging a decadelong period of sexual, physical, and emotional abuse. Kesha said Gottwald had drugged her, raped her, and subjected her to psychological torment while she was signed to his label, Kemosabe Records, causing her to starve herself. "I tried to and almost killed myself in the process," she told The New York Times.

Gottwald denied all of Kesha's claims and countersued for defamation.

Over the course of their lengthy court battle, Perry's name was dragged into the mix. Texts between Kesha and Lady Gaga revealed that Kesha had called Perry "mean" and believed that she, too, had been "raped by the same man," meaning Gottwald. Perry testified that this wasn't true. She also said she felt "pressured" to support Kesha amid the legal battle, but preferred to stay out of it.

Meanwhile, Perry released her fourth album with Capitol, "Witness," in 2017 and her fifth, "Smile," in 2020. Neither included production credits from Gottwald.

In 2021, unsealed court records showed that Gottwald asked to testify about losing business opportunities as a result of Kesha's accusations — namely, high-profile pop collaborations worth about $46 million in lost income. He estimated that $11.65 million of that sum would've come from working with Perry specifically.

Kesha and Gottwald reached an undisclosed settlement last year, though Kesha has never walked back her allegations.

In fact, Kesha seemed to react to Perry's announcement on Monday, posting a message on X that simply reads, "lol."

But Perry's rollout of "Woman's World" has been met with far more explicit backlash from fans.

Despite Gottwald's lost revenue estimates, he has found steady work with pop stars since Kesha's allegations went public, producing multiple top-10 hits like Doja Cat's "Say So," Latto's "Big Energy," and Nicki Minaj's "Super Freaky Girl." Still, many of Perry's followers were shocked to learn of their collaboration, flooding social media with disappointed and angry messages.

A representative for Perry did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Business Insider.

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