Rebecca Ferguson spoke out last night about something many artists have hinted at, but few have talked about publicly – the culture of systematic abuse that is rife in the music industry.
Taking to twitlonger in a lengthy treatise entitled, ‘Statement Of Truth..’, Ferguson went into detail of how she had been subjected to bullying as a recording artist from the very start of her career, and was compelled, with no access to independent legal advice, to sign a contract she’d not had time to read properly, because she was told, she would have no career otherwise. This set into motion a cycle of abuse which resulted in her becoming ill, and the subsequent discovery of pre-cancerous cells.
The abuse continued, with Ferguson made to act as though nothing was wrong. She collapsed three times, including once while performing on Loose Women. This was brushed off at the time as her simply “feeling unwell”.
“Only very young and having dreamt of this my whole life I signed without any ‘independent’ legal advice feeling betrayed by my advisors! I wasn’t even given a moment to read through the document correctly before signing.
“I was given an accountant, and I was also given my solicitor who was not at all independent, and they all worked together as one.”
Ferguson went into detail of having to sign Non Disclosure Agreements, others who worked with her were threatened, and some of her music was blocked internationally, which limited her ability to make a living through her music.
As we said at the start of this, many artists have hinted at similar abuse. Most have not gone public, but those who have have almost invariably been painted as crazy, or liars. One such artist is Steve Brookstein, first winner of X Factor. Brookstein had a very successful career prior to entering the X Factor, but was subjected to much of the same abuse as outlined by Rebecca. You can find out more by reading his book, ‘Getting Over The X’, available from Amazon in Kindle or hardcover editions.
In light of what is happening in the Film and TV industry, it’s time for the Music industry to stand up and say with Rebecca, and Steve, #metoo – this can no longer keep happening.