Sheryl Crow has hit out at the music industry for throwing record deals at attractive young women - because their lack of talent is undermining the "credibility" of serious female musicians.

The IF IT MAKES YOU HAPPY singer, 42, is amazed at how many talentless female wannabes are securing recording contracts due to their appearance rather than musical ability.

Crow says, "The images that women are now portraying really undermines our credibility. But I do believe that people still rely on art to help us understand and that's what keeps me going.

"When I started, it was different. When I wanted a record deal, they weren't just handing them out to any girl."

The GRAMMY-winning performer feels music producers like American Idol's Simon Cowell are responsible for the proliferation of chart acts who have "no wisdom or knowledge in their songwriting".

Crow adds, "I haven't met Simon, but I don't feel the need to tell him what is obvious already.

"The unfortunate thing is that now we're so easily sold things, everything is a commercial."

28/05/2004 14:02