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Luan Parle: ‘MeToo has made the music business take a long hard look at itself’

Encouraged to lose weight early in her pop career, Luan Parle - who has released her fourth album after a successful crowdfunding drive - says the #MeToo movement has helped boost body positivity and is making the music industry take a long, hard look at itself

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Lengthy gap: Never Say Goodbye is Luan Parle’s first album in a decade. Photo by Mark Condren

Lengthy gap: Never Say Goodbye is Luan Parle’s first album in a decade. Photo by Mark Condren

Lengthy gap: Never Say Goodbye is Luan Parle’s first album in a decade. Photo by Mark Condren

Luan Parle does not look like a veteran of the music industry. She's 39, but could pass for someone in their early 30s. At a guess, one might imagine she's been making music for 10 years - 15 at a push. But the Wicklow native signed her first recording contract 27 years ago, when she was just 12, and she has been making music ever since.

It's fair to say she knows more than most about what can be a notoriously rough and fickle business. And she's had more ups and downs than the Cú Chulainn roller coaster at Tayto Park. Right now, she's on an up - she's just released a new album and is touring the highways and byways of Ireland - but, when she looks back, there were dark days.

At one stage, in her early 20s, she was actively encouraged to lose weight and get really thin. Not for health purposes - she had a perfectly normal physique - but to satisfy the notion of what some thought a pop star should look like: the skinnier the better.