In 2014, songmaster Dr. Luke had logged his 16th No. 1 with Katy Perry’s “Dark Horse,” solidifying his place as pop music’s reigning prince of hits, a throne that could only be challenged by one another person — his mentor Max Martin. He seemed unstoppable.
But the hits came to a halt as Dr. Luke became entangled in a bitter lawsuit with former collaborator Kesha, who accused him of sexual assault during their yearslong partnership, which began when he became her mentor when she was 17. Dr. Luke has vigorously denied the allegations.
His career waned as the case took center stage even before the growing #MeToo movement; female acts stood in solidarity with Kesha, including Kelly Clarkson, Taylor Swift, Adele and Lady Gaga. Feeling the pressure, Perry even released her first major-label album without a Dr. Luke song on it. While Dr. Luke still crafted songs for artists including Ne-Yo, Big Boi, Trey Songz and Tyga, the pop smashes that he had become synonymous with eluded him.
Dr. Luke, born Lukasz Gottwald, is marking a comeback with the funky Doja Cat hit “Say So,” which topped this week’s Billboard Hot 100 chart thanks to its remix featuring Nicki Minaj. The song, produced and co-written by Dr. Luke, is on Doja Cat’s sophomore album “Hot Pink,” released last November on Dr. Luke’s Kemosabe Records.
Instead of using his known stage name, Dr. Luke used the moniker Tyson Trax when credited as the producer of the song, which found major success after TikToker Haley Sharpe performed a dance to the tune on the uber-popular video-sharing platform.
“No, I didn’t. I wouldn’t lie to you,” the Grammy winner said. “I thought, ‘Oh man, that’s crazy.’ But I love the record. All the kids that I’m around, they love the record.”
“It was very clever to put it under another name,” Pitbull said. “Let’s call it a re-charge, re-boost, restart and refresh. He disconnected, deprogrammed and reprogrammed.”
Dr. Luke and Doja Cat declined to be interviewed for this story. Sony’s RCA Records, which owns Kemosabe, had no comment.
Source: Associated Press – MESFIN FEKADU