Singer also hails Adele, Lady Gaga and Annie Lennox
The Pop Idol winner said Ri-Ri’s lyrics also lacked any power, despite the fact he thinks she’s a great pop star.
Young told OMG.com:
I don’t think Rihanna is a massively great role model for women, her lyrics aren’t empowering. She’s a brilliant pop star and recording artist but her lyrics are not empowering – young girls have to listen to those lyrics.
He added: “I saw Rihanna kissing a girl in one of her videos [‘S&M’] and I thought who is this for? If you’re going to do it just go the whole way like Madonna did and have sex on a bed.
“Women in a patriarchal society should be empowering and owning their bodies, I don’t think Rihanna is. I feel quite strongly about this.”
He added: “Image wise Lady Gaga is empowering. I’m more interested in women like Annie Lennox or Grace Jones, people who have challenged the female form who have owned it and brought it forward.”
Rihanna has been criticised on several occasions over her image. The video for her single ‘We Found Love’ was described as a “disgrace” by anti-rape campaigners after it showed her being spanked by male model Dudley O’Shaughnessy.
And US pressure groups called for the video for her single ‘Man Down’ to be banned after they claimed it promoted murder, although she insisted it could help “give a voice to victims”. The video portrayed her shooting an attacker after being raped.
Rihanna returns to the UK this summer to headline Wireless Festival.