Adele's record boss slams rise of 'faux porn' music

The Know How - The XL Records Story
Over sexualised female pop stars have left Adele’s record label boss feeling ‘queasy’, and he has slammed the ‘faux porn’ music.

Singers such as Rihanna and Christina Aguilera, who have both channelled bondage themes in recent work, have focused on their sexuality over music, he feels.

Leading record executive Richard Russell, who is the founder of label XL Records, says their sexuality has led to ‘boring, crass and unoriginal music’.

Russell told the Guardian: ‘The whole message with [Adele] is that it’s just music, it’s just really good music.

‘There is nothing else. There are no gimmicks, no selling of sexuality. I think in the American market, particularly, they have come to the conclusion that is what you have to do.’


And Adele’s classic style hasn’t hindered her record sales at all, considering her second album, 21, has spent 15 of the last 17 weeks at No 1.

In comparison to Adele’s hits, such as Rolling in the Deep, Rihanna’s lyrics include such lines as: ‘Sticks and stones may break my bones but chains and whips excite me’, from her single S&M.

Even at last week’s Billboard Music Awards Rihanna and Britney Spears sparked complaints after putting on a raunchy performance in bondage gear.

The two pop stars were chained together while in matching black and white bodysuits and kissed on stage in front of millions of viewers as they sang S&M.

The Parents Television Council called the performance in Nevada a ‘Vegas stripper show’ and said it was totally unsuitable for young children.

A spokesman for the council said: ‘The overtly sexualised performance by Rihanna and Britney Spears was no accident or mishap, but a deliberate effort to target teens with images and lyrics that glamorize whips, chains and other sexual fantasies.’

Mr Russell also said he was shocked while watching a recent MTV show featuring female artists, as each video used ‘faux porn’ imagery.

‘I felt a bit queasy’, he said. ‘But now you can see that Adele is No 1. 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.’


The record executive, who worked with Prodigy in the 1990s, added: ‘I think there has been a certain amount of confusion, and it’s resulting in garbage being sold and marketing with little real value to it…

‘Adele is a good thing to be happening.’


Meanwhile, 23-year-old Adele recently told Q Magazine that a sexualised image didn’t fit in with her music.

But added: ‘If you’ve got it, flaunt it, if it works with your music. But I can’t imagine having guns and whipped cream coming out of my tits.

‘Even if I had Rihanna’s body, I’d still be making the music I make and that don’t go together.’


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