Kesha performed new music for one of the first times in years on Thursday night. Her two powerful new singles, “Praying” and “Woman,” follow a lengthy legal battle against her producer and alleged sexual assaulter, Dr. Luke — and the milestone was not without its emotions.
“This could suck really, really bad,” the 30-year-old singer warned the crowd in Council Bluffs, Iowa before playing the anthemic “Woman” for the first time live: “But we’re probably gonna do it.”
The crowd began cheering her name, and Kesha faltered. “I just wanna say thank you guys,” she said, before turning around, suddenly overcome with emotion. She took a moment to gather herself together, drying her tears with a towel and pacing on the stage.
After a few moments, she smiled into her chanting audience, flinging the towel into the crowd.
“I’m a motherf–king woman!” she shouted. Her live rendition of the song, incidentally, does not “suck” as she swivels her hips and delivers the sassy lyrics on-stage.
Watch the full fan-captured video below.
“It’s the first time we’ve ever performed it. Ever,” she later told the Omaha World-Herald, “I know that it seems silly I cried… This is a very special night for us.”
Considering all that she’s been through to release new music, it doesn’t seem so silly at all.