Little Mix star Leigh-Anne Pinnock praises ‘incredible’ Meghan Markle for speaking out on racism
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Leigh-Anne Pinnock lauded Meghan Markle for speaking out about racism in her Oprah interview after admitting to “not feeling good enough” due to industry racism.
The Little Mix singer told MailOnline that she’s spent years “not feeling good enough” as a result of industry racism and said Meghan discussing her experiences publicly was “brave”.
Leigh-Anne praised The Duchess of Sussex ahead of new BBC Three documentary Race, Pop & Power, where she opens up about the racism she has experienced in the music industry.
When asked about Meghan’s interview she said: “I mean what a brave and an incredible thing to do to speak out like that. I think she's amazing. It just shows racism doesn't exclude you.
"If you're a black person it's going to affect you at some point in your life. I think she really showed that and I hope people could see that it doesn't matter how much money you have or how successful you are it still affects you.”
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The pop beauty also voiced doubts over whether she would have been picked for Little Mix if her skin was “darker” and concerns over feeling “held back” by her race.
She was catapulted into the spotlight with bandmates Perrie Edwards, Jade Thirwall and Jesy Nelson in 2011 when they won The X factor and she was just 20 years old.
Leigh-Anne has previously showed her support for Meghan, writing on her Instagram in March: "I praise her strength and determination for speaking out on her experiences showing the underlying racism lying within the royal establishment.
"I praise Harry for standing by his wife and child and being brave enough to say enough is enough, we're out.”
Another reflection the mother-to-be made was that she realised years later that she was being turned into the “Rihanna” of the band and this made her feel different to the others.
She explained: “It's so mad that I look back on that now and think ‘wow,’ because at the time it was like 'ah you want to shave my head, okay!
"Obviously petrified but I'll do it, if I have to. But when I look back on it I'm like, well of course they were going to dye my hair red and shave it to look like the 'Rihanna'… of course they were going to do that.”
The singer is on a mission to improve diversity in the music industry but has been left saddened by the refusal of any big Sony bosses to speak on camera for her documentary, which she made with support of other artists including fellow X Factor winner Alexandra Burke and Keisha Buchanan of the Sugababes.
Leigh-Anne also lamented not being nominated for Capital FM’s Sexiest Femal e whilst her bandmates were.
She finally received a nomination in 2018 after wondering why she wasn’t nominated and thinking that “something’s not right here”.
Leigh-Anne hopes to make a difference and has set up The Black Fund to support black communities and vows to teach her child, with fiancé Andre Grey, “about black history and black rights”.
You can watch Leigh-Anne: Race, Pop & Power on BBC Three on iPlayer at 6am and BBC One at 9pm on Thursday 13 May
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