‘I wanted to be on the same level and nothing I did got me there’: Little Mix’s Leigh-Anne Pinnock says racism ‘ruined’ her career because it made her feel ‘lost and invisible’ in the band
Little Mix star Leigh-Anne Pinnock has claimed racism ‘ruined’ her career as it made her feel ‘lost and invisible’ in the band.
Speaking in a new BBC documentary about racism in the music industry, the singer, 29, admits she constantly feels pressured to work harder in the group as she feels less popular than her bandmates.
Leigh-Anne, who meets with various stars to discuss their experiences with racism, even questions her own position in Little Mix after fearing she was only placed in the group as ‘the token black girl.’
Speaking out: Little Mix star Leigh-Anne Pinnock has claimed racism ‘ruined’ her career as it made her feel ‘lost and invisible’ in the band
According to The Sun, Leigh-Anne breaks down in tears while discussing her experineces with racism with her mum Deborah, who is half Bajan, and her dad John, who is half Jamaican.
She says she constantly felt less popular than her bandmate Perrie Edwards, Jade Thirlwall and Jesy Nelson because of her race, and was even ignored by fans who appeared to favour the other girls.
She says: ‘All of these little feelings just built up, built up, built up. It was something I could never fully explain.
‘And you can’t pretend it’s not happening, feeling invisible, feeling that people would just look past me…
Views: Speaking in a new BBC documentary about racism in the music industry, the singer admits she constantly feels pressured to work harder in the group (pictured)
Regrets: The programme also sees the star talk with her fiancé Andre Gray about racist tweets he’d shared in 2012
‘All these questions. Pushing myself constantly to do better. I just wanted to be on the same level and nothing I did would get me there.’
For the documentary Leigh-Anne meets with celebrities such as Alexandra Burke and Sugababes’ Keisha Buchanan, who implies she may have been offered a place in Little Mix due to her ‘blackness.’
Leigh-Anne was brought being told she should be proud of her Caribbean hertiage, but also details a moment she did experience racism at primary school, being handed a note by another child stating she was from ‘the jungle.’
The programme also sees the star talk with her fiancé Andre Gray about racist tweets he’d shared in 2012, with the Watford FC player suspended for four matches and fined £25,000 over the comments.
‘I feel invisible and overlooked’: In an interview with The Observer, Leigh-Anne also claimed she has to ‘work 10 times harder and longer to mark her place in the band
In an interview with The Observer, Leigh-Anne claimed she has to ‘work 10 times harder and longer to mark her place in the band because her talent alone is not enough,’ due to her race.
The singer also said that there was only ‘so much’ she can take of being the ‘invisible one’ or of being overlooked by people.
She added: ‘There’s only so much you can take of feeling like you are the invisible one, or you’re being overlooked.
‘There had to come a point where I see this as my power and I now do. It is. Being Black is my power. And I want young Black girls around the world to see that.’
Trio: Leigh-Anne admitted she always feels like she’s the ‘least favoured’ of the girl group because of her race (pictured on April 30)
Leigh-Anne admits she always feels like she’s the ‘least favoured’ of the girl group because of her race.
She shared: ‘I sing to fans who don’t see me or hear me or cheer me on. My reality is feeling anxious before fan events or signings because I always feel like I’m the least favoured. My reality is constantly feeling like I have to work 10 times harder and longer to mark my place in the group.’
She added that she didn’t feel like she was able to earn her place in the band on purely her talent alone.
Leigh-Anne’s comments come after Little Mix admitted they hadn’t yet listened to bandmate Jesy Nelson’s new music, as they kicked off promotions as a trio for their new single.
The group said that they ‘couldn’t force’ Jesy to stay when she decided to leave last year and admitted it had been ‘a shift’ getting a grips to performing without her.
During a guest appearance on Capital FM, Perrie, Jade and Leigh-Anne discussed how they’ve adjusted to being a trio since Jesy’s departure.
Jade said: ‘Yeah. I think, you know, if someone’s heart isn’t in it anymore and they don’t want to do it, we would never… we’re never going to force each other to do anything we don’t want to do, and we supported that decision.’
‘And yeah, it is, it was very strange thinking about doing this as a three but we weren’t ready to give it up. Yeah, so we support whatever Jesy’s decision is, and that’s that really.’
Roman Kemp then asked whether they had listened to any of Jesy’s new music, after the singer shared social media snaps revealed she was back in the studio.
Perrie added: ‘We haven’t! We actually haven’t!’
Performer: She said that ‘being black’ is her superpower and that she wants other girls of colour around the world to be able to see that
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