Ben Folds Opens Up About Kesha’s 2016 BBMAs Performance: “She’s dangerous. She’s a badass”

On Sunday (May 22), Kesha performed a haunting rendition of Bob Dylan classic “It Ain’t Me Babe” at the 2016 Billboard Music Awards. The performance – backed by Ben Folds and yMusic violinist Rob Moose – received a standing ovation and was regarded as one of the best moments of the evening. After the show, Folds sat down with Billboard to talk about their poignant musical arrangement and the entire experience in general.

“We gave her a radical amount of space and she didn’t buckle underneath it. There’s always some collaboration there, and I wrote one pause into the arrangement, but I didn’t write the others and we didn’t even rehearse them that way,” he said. “We were flying without a net — everything you see on those [awards] shows is computers, and all of sudden we’re in the middle of the stage with a couple of mics. And she took this giant pause that we never even discussed. I mean, I like danger like that — ‘Okay, where are we going?’ That’s real! I love that. So yeah, she’s dangerous. She’s a badass.”

He also shed some light on what she actually thought of her performance.

“I think she felt really good,” he revealed. “She is a perfectionist, and so her mind immediately … she came with me like, ‘Okay, wasn’t there a note or two [wrong]? What about this? What about this?’ And I was like, ‘Shhhh — you did great.” But that’s a real musician.”

Read the full interview here, and watch the performance below.

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