Kesha Dr. Luke Torpedoes Billboard Gig

5/17/2016 1:02 PM PDT

Kesha: Dr. Luke Torpedoes Billboard Music Awards Gig

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4:30 PM PT -- Kesha now denies she was going to take a shot at Dr. Luke at the BMAs ... insisting she was merely going to perform a tribute to Bob Dylan by singing a cover of his, "It Ain't Me, Babe."

She says she was never going to "allude to my legal situation in any way. I simply wanted to sing a song I love to honor an artist I have always looked up to."

Production sources on the award show tell us the Dylan classic includes several lines that could easily refer to Kesha's situation with Luke ... and that was not a coincidence.Dr. Luke is putting the kibosh on Kesha performing at the Billboard Music Awards ... where she was planning to make a "statement" about her war with Luke and Sony.

A rep for Dick Clark Productions -- which is producing the award show on Sunday -- says Dr. Luke's label, Kemosabe Records, has been unable to reach an agreement with Kesha for her to take the stage.

TMZ broke the story ... production sources told us the singer was going to reference her epic legal battle during her live BMAs performance. Problem for her is Kemosabe holds all the power, since it still controls her music rights.

We're told Dr. Luke had signed off, but pulled the plug once he got wind of what Kesha was planning.

Of course, she could still get onstage, and just not sing her own songs -- but we're told producers are still holding out hope for an 11th hour deal.