Soprano Charlotte Church: ‘Demeaning Women in Pop Music’ is ‘Routine’ – ‘Get Her T--- Out’

By Barbara Boland | October 23, 2013 | 4:49 PM EDT

Charlotte Church, soprano singer from Britain. (AP)

( -- World famous soprano Charlotte Church, who gained international acclaim as a teenage singer, said that some industry executives in today's pop-music business exploit young women and encourage female stars to just "get her tits out" to sell the product. As a teenager, the Welsh-born Charlotte Church sold an estimated 10 million records worldwide, including over 5 million in the United States.

"The women generally filling these roles [in pop music] are very young,  often previous child stars or Disney tweens, who are simply interested in getting along in an industry glamourized to be the most desirable career for young women,” Church said in delivering the annual John Peel Lecture on BBC 6 on Oct. 15.

Church herself has been involved in the pop-music business since she hit her 20s in 2006; she was born in 1986. She has released six CDs since 1998 and worked as a presenter on British television. She also had a cameo role in the American show “Touched By an Angel.”

“They are encouraged to present themselves as hypersexualized, unrealistic, cartoonish, as objects, reducing female sexuality to a prize you can win,” she said. “When I was 19 or 20, I found myself in this position, being pressured into wearing more and more revealing outfits, and the line I had spun at me, again and again, generally by middle-aged men, was ‘You look great, you’ve got a great body, why not show it off?’ or, ‘Don’t worry, it’ll look classy, it’ll look artistic.’”

“I felt deeply uncomfortable about the whole thing,” said Church, “but I was often reminded by record label executives just whose money was being spent.”

She continued, “The consequence of this betrayal of me is that now I am frequently abused on social media, being called slut, whore, and a catalog of other indignities that I’m sure you’re also sadly familiar with.”

Pop-music singer Rhianna. (AP)

“The culture of demeaning women in pop-music is so engrained as to become routine,” said Church.  “You can trace this back to Madonna, although it probably does go back further in time. She was a template-setter. … The statement she was making is, ‘I’m in control of me and my sexuality.’ This idea has had its corners rounded off over the years, and it’s become ‘take your clothes off! Show you’re an adult!”

Church said that one of pop-star Rhianna’s recent videos, “Pour it Up,” has had nearly 40 million hits on YouTube (now over 56 million) and will, with her other hits over time, generate billions of dollars for the people who work in the industry.

“It is a multi-billion-dollar business that relies on short-burst messaging to sell product, and there is no easier way to sell something than to get some chick to get her tits out, right?” said Church.

Charlotte Church won the “British Artist of the Year” award in 2000, the “Solo Artist of the Year” Glamour Award in 2006, and was nominated for “Best Entertainer” in the 2008 Rose d’Or Awards.