Lukasz Gottwald (Dr. Luke) has been named Pop Songwriter of the Year by the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP). His win was “based on the radio airplay and number of streams for such hits as Latto’s ‘Big Energy,’ Nicki Minaj’s ‘Super Freaky Girl,’ and a string of hits for Doja Cat, including ’Need to Know,’ ‘Woman,’ and ‘You Right,’” Billboard reports. It marks his third Songwriter of the Year win, with the other’s coming in 2010 and 2011 — the latter split with Max Martin, the winningest pop songwriter in ASCAP history.
2023 marks Gottwald’s first ASCAP award, however, since Kesha Rose Sebert sued him in 2014 for sexual assault and battery, sexual harassment, gender violence, civil harassment, violation of California’s laws against unfair business practices, infliction of emotional distress (both intentional and negligent), and negligent retention and supervision. Gottwald denied the allegations and countersued Sebert for defamation and breach of contract. A trial date in the defamation case is set for July 26 in New York. The irony of Gottwald’s win in light of his claim that Kesha’s public accusations have cost him $40 million in profits was not lost on Twitter user @KeshaLegion:
Supposedly defamed music producer Dr Luke is named ASCAP’s 2023 Pop Music Songwriter of the Year.— Kɘshɐ Legion (@KeshaLegion) May 19, 2023
He is currently suing Kesha $40,000,000 for “ruining his career.”#FreeKesha #GagOrder #MuteDrLuke pic.twitter.com/Z2B33zDRlz
According to Billboard, the 2023 ASCAP Pop Music Awards were delivered at a private party this year rather than a public ceremony. The Kid LAROI and Justin Bieber’s “Stay” won Song of the Year, and the Publisher of the Year Award went to Sony Music Publishing.
The FADER has reached out to ASCAP’s press office for further comment on their decision to give Gottwald this year’s highest award in light of the serious allegations leveled against him and his ongoing litigation with Sebert.