Shaunna Murphy
December 23, 2016 2:20 pm
Instagram/Kesha

As we all know, a whole lot of people have had a pretty crappy time in 2016. That’s why we need inspirational people like Kesha to get us through — because if the “Tik Tok” singer can make it through a bitter, nasty legal debate with a pissed off, possibly abusive producer and one of the biggest music conglomerates in the world and still smile, then we can, too.

Below, all of the times she reminded us to be better human beings in the past, pretty crappy calendar year.

1 When she plead her case to the New York Supreme Court.

Even though it ended in a judge denying her request to be freed from her contract, we’re still unbelievably proud of Kesha for taking her case in front the New York Supreme Court. Doing so took guts — not to mention, a willingness to lose a ton of money in legal fees, as well as for not recording music with her alleged abuser, Dr. Luke — and as a byproduct, she ended up opening up the public to some painful, powerful, and ultimately very necessary conversations about sexual assault.

2 When she refused to stop telling her truth.

In early April, roughly six weeks after Kesha lost her battle in New York, she took to Instagram to say that no matter what happens, she’ll never lie and say Dr. Luke did not rape her.

“I got offered my freedom if I were to lie,” she captioned a photo on Instagram. “I would have to apologize publicly and say that I never got raped. This is what happens behind closed doors. I will not take back the truth. I would rather let the truth ruin my career than lie for a monster ever again.”

We’re still not sure what exactly happened behind the scenes that led her to post this, but either way, it’s heartbreaking to know that Kesha’s been suffering — but inspiring, too, since she keeps on pushing through it.

3 When she returned to the stage.

After her devastating loss at court at the end of February, no one would have been shocked if Kesha needed time to lick her wounds and regroup. Instead, she started fighting right away, appearing on stage with Zedd at Coachella in mid-April. The duo released a song called “True Colors” soon after, giving all of us hope that the singer would continue to find ways to legally record music despite her legal woes.

4 When she sang at the Billboard Music Awards.

Though the Coachella thing was huge, it was the Billboard Music Awards on May 22nd that cemented Kesha’s return. Her cover of Bob Dylan’s “It Ain’t Me Babe” was stripped down, meditative, and haunting … but of course, it also left us wanting new, original Kesha music.

5 When she found a legal way to tour, despite the massive restrictions from her lawsuit.

Kesha kicked off her “Kesha and the Creepies” tour in July, playing rock and country versions of her own songs and covers of hits by her rock idols.

“This project and upcoming tour comes from my deep eternal love of dirty rock & roll and country music,” she wrote. “I thrive from making and performing music, and much like a flower with no sun, my soul slowly dies when I don’t get to create and perform. So, for a short ride and in mostly small intimate venues, I will be performing a new creepy creation. It’s been too long. Until I can release my own music I will be reinventing some of my old songs and some of my favorite songs from my musical idols. I’ve hand picked songs from artists that have helped shape who I am and the music I make today. I have missed you, all of you, so if you would like to boogie, come join us.”

6 When she recorded TONS of new music, not really knowing if she’d ever be able to release it.

After Kesha dropped her California lawsuit against Dr. Luke in August, her case remained at a standstill as she still pursued charges in New York. However, that didn’t stop her from writing and recording over 20 songs while she waited to figure out her legal situation, not really knowing if said songs would ever see the light of day.

That’s how much the girl loves music.

Lucky for us, it seems likely that we will hear at least some of those songs … we just don’t know when. Kesha is still required to work with Luke’s Kemosabe Records, and since their relationship isn’t exactly great, there have been public squabbles between both parties as they argue over issues like delays, budget, and the producers that Kesha wants to work with.

7 When she kept pushing through despite everything being garbage.

With all of the above being said — girl has had a hard year — it is so, so inspiring to see Kesha doing what she has to do to release her music. Working with her alleged abuser sounds like a freaking nightmare, so no one would be mad at her if she chose to never record again, but she loves her craft so much she’s choosing to stay in the game, all the while remaining very clear about the fact that she was raped.

Fight on, Kesha. We’ll be right there with you.

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