Cheryl Reckons The Music Biz Could Be Getting Worse For Women
Ms Fernandez-Versini gives her damning verdict on the industry...
Cheryl Fernandez-Versini has been talking about the music biz - and she doesn't paint a very pretty picture of what it's like for female artists.
Speaking to The Telegraph, she was asked if the industry was still a man's world - despite the proliferation of female stars.
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"Yeah, because the music industry is dominated by men behind the scenes," she replied. "And older men, too.
"You shouldn't have to... I mean, sexy and all that is great to an extent, but you shouldn't have to sexualise yourself to be selling music."
Asked if she thought performing with skimpy clothes was actually empowering, she responded: "I don't know what's happened. I'm sure some women are naturally like that.
"They objectify themselves because they want to be like that. Which is fine. No judgment at all. But sometimes it's just unnecessary.
"If you're dressing sexy, there's a way to do it. If you are going to be explicit with your lyrics, dress differently. It's a bit much at the moment, I feel.
"And I get women who say, 'Why should men objectify me? Why can't I go naked?'
"Yeah. Do whatever you want. I just feel some of it is insincere, which is a little bit sad."
On whether things have got better for female artists, she said: "No. I think it's kind of the same, if not worse. The majority of it (the business) is men."
She's not optimistic for the music biz as a whole either.
"The music industry is f**ked to be honest with you. With streaming and the internet, and you can buy singles now instead of an album, a body of work.
"It's a different world to the one it was 13 years ago."
However she does admit that she's learned some valuable business lessons from being in such a cut-throat trade.
"I've learnt from the best," she declared. "I've learnt from sharks. This industry can be vicious so you have to toughen up.
"When people ask my advice on how to get into the industry I say, 'Learn about it'.
"But people just see the shiny lights and the glamour and they're deluded by it. I couldn't imagine going into the industry now, at this stage of my life."
Chezza was reluctant to discuss her marriage to Frenchman Jean-Bernard Fernandez-Versini, and made no apologies for keeping her private life private this time around.
"I'm aware that everybody wants to know what the eff is going on, but I'm not going to say anything, for my sanity."
And on her whirlwind romance, she commented: "You hear so many stories, don't you?
"People who have known each other two weeks and they're together for 75 years, people who have been together six months and they break up. So there's no right or wrong."