Kesha Talks Battle with Anxiety and Depression: 'I Can Help Someone Else Going Through Tough Times'

Billboard will honor the singer as a "Trailblazer" at their annual Woman of the Year awards amid her ongoing legal battle with megaproducer Dr. Luke

Photo: Olivia Bee

Kesha has previously opened up about her struggles with disordered eating — and now she’s talking about her battle with mental illness.

“I’ve battled a lot of things, including anxiety and depression,” Kesha says in Billboard‘s new Woman of the Year issue, in which she’s honored with the “Trailblazer” title. “Finding the strength to come forward about those things is not easy. But maybe, by telling my story, I can help someone else going through tough times.”

Indeed, the singer, 29, has seen her fair share of tough times over the last two years. In 2014, she sued her longtime producer and label executive Lukasz “Dr. Luke” Gottwald, accusing him of drugging and raping her, as well as physically, emotionally and verbally abusing her for years. Luke, 43, vehemently denies the allegations and is countersuing for defamation and breach of contract.


Since a dramatic courtroom appearance in February, pop stars from Kelly Clarkson and Demi Lovato to Lady Gaga have reached out to Kesha to show their support, and British powerhouse Adele even used her platform at a U.K. awards show to speak out in solidarity.

“Adele is nothing but class,” Kesha said. “She reached out to me privately and publicly in the middle of winning her own award [at the BRIT Awards]. What a beautiful soul.”

The performer hasn’t released a solo album since 2012’s Warrior, but, as PEOPLE exclusively reported in October, she’s writing and recording new music, and her team hopes to drop a new full length early next year.

The “TiK ToK” singer told Billboard she’s working with her pal Wrabel, and the new tunes are inspired by her ups and downs and “showcase my vulnerabilities as a strength and not as a weakness.”

“In the past, I always felt like I was trying to prove something. Now, I’m writing what I want to share with the world, rather than trying to give the world what it wants. For better or worse, I’m just me,” Kesha told the trade publication. “I’ve grown into an adult woman who realizes the power of my voice.”

Olivia Bee

As for her legal troubles, a New York Supreme Court judge dismissed Kesha’s abuse claims in April; however, Kesha and her legal team are working on appealing the order.

Kesha, Madonna, Shania Twain, Andra Day and more will be honored at Bilboard‘s Woman of the Year luncheon Friday in New York City.

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