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Pop 'descending into pornography'

Pop music is on "a slow but unmistakable descent into pornography", according to hit songwriter Mike Stock.

Stock, who was responsible for dozens of hits as part of Stock, Aitken and Waterman and helped launch Kylie Minogue's pop career, put some of the blame on the rise of stars including Rihanna, Lady Gaga and Katy Perry.

He said they were among a wave of performers who "have taken sexualised imagery, dance moves and lyrical content way beyond the limits of decency".

Earlier this month, the Government-commissioned Bailey Report was published recommending a series of steps to counter the sexualisation and commercialisation of young people.

It proposed that steamy pop videos should be restricted to older teens and later television slots, magazines featuring sexualised images should be covered up on shelves, and parents should be given more say in the TV watershed guidelines.

But Stock said attempts to strengthen the watershed were "irrelevant".

In an open letter to broadcasters and the watchdog Ofcom, he said: "With the BBC iPlayer and the internet as your platform, you can watch last night's TV at this morning's breakfast. Young people all know how to use these features."

He said Ofcom did not have the power to enforce standards, which meant the music industry "felt they had an easy run at things".

He added: "As far as music is concerned, it has been a slow but unmistakable descent into pornography. Why? Because it's easy. Put some sexualised dancing and scantily-clad females in the video, and get it on the box. Job done."

Stock singled out Nicole Scherzinger's performance on Britain's Got Talent, which he said included "overtly sexual content on a family show", and called on broadcasters to refuse to play videos or songs "they deem unfit", saying it would force record companies to "to think again and clean up their act".

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