Legendary crooner Tony Bennett has dismissed modern songwriting as "mostly terrible''.

Bennett is dismayed by the state of popular music and believes record label executives are obsessed with ensuring their releases make money quickly rather than backing records that will stand the test of time.

He's also accused music corporations of dumbing down the industry by refusing to release music that will engage listeners on an intellectual level.

The 87-year-old star tells BBC Radio 4's Today Program, "The songs that are written today, most of them are terrible. It's a very bad period musically throughout the world for popular music. The corporations took it over and they want to make so much money and they don't care whether the public likes it or not".


"They think the public is ignorant so their attitude is don't give them anything intelligent as it won't sell,'' Bennett added.

He's also convinced that labels are struggling at the moment because they are only concerned with selling records to a younger audience.

"I grew up in an era where the record companies just sold records to everybody, and the whole family bought songs. Today record companies are failing because they're putting their eggs just on the young, and I think it's rather silly."