Katherine Jenkins warns rising female stars

Classical chart star Katherine Jenkins has warned up-and-coming female artists to know their boundaries and think hard about raunchy videos and images which they might live to regret.

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The singer - who is celebrating a decade in the music business by signing a new deal - advised rising stars to make a stand if they feel they are being pushed too far.

Jenkins, 33, also told how she hoped to be able to use her experiences in the music industry to help a younger generation one day, with a return to teaching.

Her comments come amid concerns about young performers willing to exploit their sexuality to boost their careers, with the singer Miley Cyrus recently appearing naked in the video for her single Wrecking Ball.

Another classical crossover star, Charlotte Church, has already delivered a withering verdict on the sexism of the music industry with a lecture for the BBC late last year.

Jenkins said today: "I've been on photoshoots where they've been, 'Okay, let's try something different for this shoot' - sometimes it's fun to experiment but sometimes it's really not what you are. And I think you've got to know, in that scenario, to say, 'Actually I'm game for this, but this is too far'. It's about knowing the boundaries."

She went on: "I think that you need to know who you are. I think that's the most important thing and that somehow comes with age and experience. I feel quite lucky that I've always had a sense of who I am and people may try to change you but you have to try and stick to what you know, what you want to be.

"These images are going to be around for a very long time. You can't pretend you're something that you're not."

Jenkins - who has signed a new deal with Decca, part of the Universal group of companies which gave her a break by releasing her debut in 2004 - has also unveiled a minor change of image, ditching the bleached look she has sported throughout her years in the public eye.

She said she was pleased with the results: "I've gone back to my natural colour which is such a big change. Last week was quite a thing but now it's done and I'm really happy - and my mum is really happy."

The singer also talked about her desire to return to teaching, which she pursued briefly after studying at the Royal Academy of Music.

"I know no one ever believes me but I would love to at some point be a teacher again. I really enjoyed it. I find it inspiring to be around the young kids because it reminds you why you wanted to do it in the first place because you can see the excitement in them.

"I'm very lucky that where I grew up in Wales there were so many musical opportunities. In my school we had a great music teacher, we had a school choir, I had my church choir, we had the National Youth Choir of Wales, I had Eisteddfods to compete in - without that I wouldn't be here today.

"And I think it's really sad if these things get taken away. I understand we need have to have doctors and scientists and all this kind of thing, but if you don't have arts, then it also becomes a really uninteresting world."

Jenkins, who will release a new album later this year which she promised would be more of a return to the classical repertoire she pursued earlier in her career, said she had a greater understanding of the industry than when she started a decade ago.

"Nobody teaches you for the music industry - you can't go on a course to learn these things - so it has been a learning curve. And In my life I have made mistakes, but it has all been a great experience. I understand the business better," she added.

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