Elton John warns over music's future

Sir Elton John has issued a sombre assessment of the music industry's future, saying it is "disappearing", lamenting the fall of artists such as Duffy and Kate Nash, and criticising the cut-throat nature of recording contracts, leading musicians to be dropped from labels if they do not immediately win smash-hit success.

In an interview on website musicweek.com, Sir Elton said: "A record company can drop an artist after one or two albums. My first record was Empty Sky, which didn't sell that many. I was getting known as a live artist so the record company knew there was something there. It's essential we have live artists."

Last month the singer announced he was setting up Rocket Music Entertainment Group, focused on "artist management".

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