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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Janine Yaqoob & Laura Armstrong

Fury at Radio One as female singers 'too old for listeners' fight for airplay

Radio 1 bosses have sparked a war with some of the biggest female names in pop after refusing to include their music on playlists.

Some of the stars who have had tracks left off the A, B and C rosters are Rita Ora, Ellie Goulding, Katy Perry, Shakira and Pink – who all fall outside the station’s target listener age of 15 to 29.

Industry insiders say the “discriminatory” snubs are “unacceptable”.

Hot Right Now star Rita, 32, saw her much-anticipated comeback single, You Only Love Me, fail to make the Radio 1 C playlist last month, despite her team meeting with bosses.

US singer Katy Perry has also been snubbed on the airwaves (ABC via Getty Images)
Pink's latest song Trustfall reached number 14 in the charts (FilmMagic)

Instead, the track – which was heavily promoted with an expensive Spotify ad campaign – was given just a handful of spot plays in its first week.

It went on to peak at No.57 in the charts before dropping out of the top 100 after just three weeks.

Rita, who jetted to Los Angeles to work on new music soon after the release, is expected to release her next album later this year.

Love Me Like You Do singer Ellie, 36, has also seen her first four singles from her new album Higher Than Heaven miss out on radio play.

It comes as Miracle, her latest collab with Calvin Harris, 39, sailed its way onto the A playlist.

Calvin Harris' song Miracle featuring Ellie shot to number two in the charts (FilmMagic)
Shakira falls outside the station's target listener age despite her latest track going viral on TikTok (Getty Images)

US singers Pink, Shakira and Katy Perry have also been snubbed on the airwaves.

An industry source last night told us: “The Radio 1 senior executive team try to justify their discrimination against any female artist over 30 by attributing their behaviour to their audiences’ taste.

“In fact, the audience is far less discriminatory – that’s supported by Spotify and Apple data. For an institution like Radio 1, which holds such power in determining chart success, it’s not acceptable to have such bias.

“They’ll cite female artists they play, but many feature on male artists’ records, like Bebe Rexha and David Guetta, or Ellie Goulding and Calvin Harris.

“It’s forcing women in their 30s to feature on records they wouldn’t ordinarily do to ensure Radio 1 coverage.“

A second source says: “There’s a real storm brewing… there’s a lot of ill-feeling about this.

“It’s not impossible to have a hit without Radio 1, but there’s no denying it’s a hell of a lot harder.”

A spokesman for the BBC said: "Each track is considered for the playlist based on its musical merit and whether it is right for our target audience, with decisions made on a case-by-case basis."

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