British pop star Will Young was made to re-record tracks by music executives because his voice sounded “too gay”.
Young told The Telegraph he only found out when he was in the studio to lay down his hit single Leave Right Now, which went to number one and sold more than half a million copies in the UK.
“I didn’t know at the time, but when I was recording Leave Right Now, someone at the record company said I ‘sounded gay’ and kept making me re-record the track,” he said.
“There’s a real flavour to homophobia and bigotry. It’s really shaming. People don’t understand the power of language.”
Young won Pop Idol in 2002. He’s previously said that his record company didn’t attempt to dissuade him from going public with his sexuality, but that during his run to the Pop Idol crown in 2002, people tried to persuade him not to come out.
He also recently admitted that he decided not to kiss a man in his music video for All Time Love as he was “thinking of my career”, a decision he now regrets.
Alongside his music career, Young hosts podcast Homo Sapiens, an interview-based program that sets out to tackle a diverse mix of subjects and issues within the LGBT+ community.