In EW’s Fall Music Preview issue, Kelly Clarkson opens up about why she decided to leave longtime label RCA Records for her new home of Atlantic Records. One reason? She says she didn’t always get final say over her collaborators — including embattled producer Dr. Luke.
Clarkson has long been open about her feelings toward the hitmaker, saying she found him demeaning and difficult to work with in the studio. Following the making of her Breakway album — which featured two hit Dr. Luke collaborations, “Since U Been Gone” and “Behind These Hazel Eyes” — Clarkson says she asked RCA Records not to work with him again. Yet the singer says her label forced her to reunite with him for her 2009 single “My Life Would Suck Without You,” so in an act of protest, she refused a writing credit so her name wouldn’t appear next to his, even though she says she was instrumental in developing the eventual No. 1 hit. “If you heard the original version, you wouldn’t have wanted to record it either,” she says. “But I made it work because I didn’t want the rest of the album to suffer for that.”
In 2016, Clarkson said she was told by RCA that the label wouldn’t release her fourth album, All I Ever Wanted, if she didn’t work with him. In a recent interview with Z100, Clarkson says taking her name off “My Life Would Suck Without You” meant losing out on “hundreds of thousands of dollars,” if not “millions.”
Of Dr. Luke’s current legal battle with Kesha, Clarkson tells EW she has no insight but adds, “There are many people in the world to befriend, and he is not one of them.” Last year, when the Kesha-Luke battle intensified in February 2016, Clarkson tweeted, “Trying 2 not say anything since I can’t say anything nice about a person… so this is me not talking about Dr. Luke.”
RCA Records declined to comment; representatives for Dr. Luke have not yet returned EW’s request for comment.