At the tender age of 23, British singer Adele has become an international music sensation, won numerous awards, and topped charts in the U.K. and the U.S. – and the great thing, according to one record label boss, is that she hasn’t used sex to sell.
Richard Russell, founder of her record label, XL Recordings, is hoping Adele’s success will change the way female artists make music.
He said the highly sexualized image of some female artists was “boring, crass and unoriginal.”
Adele, on the other hand, is all about the music.
“The whole message with [Adele] is that it’s just music, it’s just really good music,” he told U.K. newspaper, the Guardian.
“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.”
Adele’s 2008 debut album, 19, has gone platinum in the U.K. and the U.S., followed up by her second album release this year, 21, which debuted at No. 1 in more than 10 countries, including the U.K. and the U.S.
Russell said the “faux porn” imagery of some female artists had left him feeling “a bit queasy.”
With Adele topping charts, he thinks record companies will think again about how they market female artists and suggests that will have a positive influence on young girls.
He said: “Now you 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.”
Adele said in a recent interview with Q magazine that she did not sexualize her image because it did not fit with her music.
“Even if I had Rihanna’s body, I’d still be making the music I make and that don’t go together,” she said.
Rihanna has drawn criticism for her raunchy style, appearing onstage at the Billboard Music Awards earlier this month dressed in bondage gear for a performance of her new song S&M. The lyrics to the song include: “Sticks and stones may break my bones but chains and whips excite me.”
Russell said that with Adele it was “clearly about the music and the talent.”
“And that’s what it is meant to be about,” he continued. “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.”