Friendly Fires, Adele label boss criticises rise of ‘faux porn’ in pop music

Richard Russell says the over-sexualisation of female popstars has led to 'boring, crass and unoriginal' music

XL Recordings boss Richard Russell has slammed the rise of “faux porn” in the promotion of female artists in pop music.

Russell, speaking to The Guardian, said he believed the idea a new female pop star could be successful without being over-sexualised in promoting her work was “unbelievable” and that this problem had led to music that was “boring, crass and unoriginal.” He added that he believed this problem went “way beyond” the music industry.

He said that he had recently watched an MTV show which featured the top ten hits from female pop stars and he was shocked at “the faux porn imagery.”


Russell added that he believed that the success of Adele, who is signed to XL, was a “great thing” as it would make young girls choose better role models and the music industry change its ways. He said of the singer’s success: “What a great thing, how amazing. Not only are young girls going to see that, but [also] the business people who are behind all those videos. It’s going to make them rethink what they should be doing.”

He also said he believed Adele‘s achievements were “radical”, adding: “At the level it is at now, it is radical. It is clearly about the music and the talent and the things it is meant to be about. Adele is a good thing to be happening.”

Russell was speaking after Adele topped The Guardian’s poll of the most powerful people in music.


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