Alexandra Burke says being told to bleach skin to sell records destroyed her confidence

·Contributor
·2-min read
LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 09: Alexandra Burke attends the Commonwealth Day Service 2020 at Westminster Abbey on March 9, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images)
Alexandra Burke says she was told to bleach her skin to sell records. (Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images)

Alexandra Burke has said being told she needed to bleach her skin to sell records robbed her of her confidence and made her feel like she didn’t want to be in the music industry.

The X Factor winner said when she was younger she was told the colour of her skin was a drawback because she was "too dark" for the music world.

She revealed such comments destroyed her confidence and made her feel she couldn’t be herself.

Watch: Alexandra Burke praises inspirational Duchess Meghan

Read more: Keisha Buchanan still in therapy 12 years after being asked to leave Sugababes

Opening up on Little Mix star Leigh-Anne Pinnock’s documentary Race, Pop And Power, she said: “One thing that actually comes to my head right now is being told to bleach my skin. Being told that I'm ‘too dark’ to be in the industry.”

Burke said it made her go “cold” to talk about how she was once told: “You need to bleach your skin because you won't sell any records.”

“That’s what is so f***** up about this industry and that is what makes me feel, at times, where I go, ‘I don't want to be in this industry’,” she said.

“They took my confidence away so much that I couldn't be me.”

Read more: Leigh-Anne Pinnock feared she'd lose career by speaking about racism

The documentary sees the singer discussing her experiences of the music industry as a black woman with stars including Pinnock, Sugababes' Keisha Buchanan and Secrets singer Raye.

Alexandra Burke performs during The X Factor Live Tour at Wembley Arena, London.
Alexandra Burke won 'The X Factor' in 2008. (PA)

Burke, 32, found fame when she won The X Factor in 2008.

She has since gone on to enjoy success with a raft of singles such as Hallelujah, Start Without You and Elephant.

Watch: Alexandra Burke: I was told to bleach my skin

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