Charlotte Church slams ‘demeaning’ music industry

Charlotte Church has launched a scathing attack on the music industry, branding its depiction of women as “hyper-sexualised” and “cartoonish”.

Charlotte Church performing at Electric Circus in Edinburgh in 2012. Picture: Greg Macvean

The classical singer turned pop star said the industry had a “culture of demeaning women” and it increasingly wanted “sex objects that appear child-like”.

The 27-year-old said she was “pressurised” by male executives into wearing revealing outfits in videos when she was 19 or 20, and that young singers were “coerced into sexually demonstrative behaviour in order to hold on to their careers”.

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Church’s comments, in BBC 6 Music’s annual John Peel Lecture last night, came amid a heated debate over the sexual imagery used by pop stars such as Rihanna and Miley Cyrus, who appears naked in the video for new single Wrecking Ball.

Church told radio executives she now regretted giving in to pressure to promote her music in ever-more suggestive outfits, and now found it “difficult to promote my music in the places where it would be best suited because of my ‘history’”.

She backed calls for an age-ratings system for music videos and said executives needed to shoulder responsibility for playlisting artists who relied on “soft porn” to boost their profile.