Chart star Will.i.am has praised talent show rival Simon Cowell for giving a generation of new stars a platform for their skills.
While many musicians including Sir Elton John have blasted programmes such as The X Factor for their adverse effect on the industry, Will.i.am said Cowell should be applauded.
The Black Eyed Peas star - who is also a coach on BBC1 singing competition The Voice - said Cowell had given performers a new outlet.
In an interview for CNBC Meets, Will.i.am said: "If you want to get known put your songs on the SoundCloud and YouTube, or join a talent show.
"I am pleased that there is an outlet for people to go on TV. Thank you Simon for having the programme, thanks for thinking of it because the record company didn't. Thank you.
"So how about applaud Simon for having a platform, instead of putting him down for having a platform. Simon's doing a create thing and so is John De Mol with The Voice.
"Thanks guys, that is amazing. Thank you record companies for still putting out records, I don't know where you are selling them, but thanks for doing it."
In the interview with presenter Tania Bryer, to be screened on the CNBC network in the UK and Europe on September 11, Will.i.am also talked about his teenage experiences with drugs and said dabbling with marijuana was a low point of his life.
He said he succumbed to peer pressure by smoking dope but became depressed that he had let his family down.
"It was the lowest I've ever felt in my life, when I was 17 years old. And it was hard because all your friends are doing it ... so I remember when I wanted to stop, I told my friends, 'Hey guys check this out, we should stop smoking. Like we should stop doing this'. And they were like, 'We ain't stopping'.
"I was like, 'What? Don't you guys, you're not gonna quit?' So anyways, I just felt alone."
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