Ryan Adams: Are claims against the singer the start of #MeToo in music?


Almost 18 months after the #MeToo movement was born, attention is turning to misogyny and harassment in the music industry.

Veteran singer Ryan Adams is the latest star facing misconduct allegations, with at least seven women this week saying he subjected them to emotional abuse and manipulative behaviour.

Singers levelling accusations at Adams include Liz Phair, Karen Elson, Phoebe Bridgers and his ex-wife Mandy Moore.

Bridgers, for example, says Adams offered to help kickstart her career when she was a young singer-songwriter. The two embarked on a relationship but when things got messy and Bridgers attempted to break up with him, she claims he subjected her to bouts of verbal abuse before dropping her from a tour and holding back on the release of her music.

In a statement Bridgers laid into Adams and those around him who knew what was going on but did nothing. She wrote: “They told him, by what they said or by what they didn’t, that what he was doing was okay. They validated him. He couldn’t have done this without them.”

Meanwhile singer and model Karen Elson said: “I also had a traumatizing experience with Ryan Adams. While I’m not quite brave enough yet to speak about my specifics, I’m encouraged that many women have bonded and helped each other heal.”

Adams, also under investigation for sexting an underage girl, denies all the allegations and describes the charges laid at him as “upsettingly inaccurate”.

Nevertheless, many are predicting the claims against him (and separate allegations against Michael Jackson and R Kelly) are the start of a new chapter in the #MeToo movement, one which lifts the lid on the music industry.

Help and support for those affected by sexual harassment

For singers in the UK, it’s important to know that support is available to anyone – regardless of their gender – affected by sexual harassment or discrimination. Help Musicians UK runs a support service CLICK HERE.

The national Rape Crisis hotline is 0808 802 9999

Victim Support – 08 08 16 89 111

Galop (LGBT+) – 0207 704 2040

Survivors UK (men) – 07467 144346

Our mission is to empower the singer through their voice, performance, health, understanding of the biz, and mindset so they can go out and create to their heart’s content.