Alexandra Burke says she was told to “bleach” her skin to be more successful

"I got told: 'Right, because you're black, you are gonna have to work ten times harder than a white artist because of the colour of your skin"

Alexandra Burke has shared a stark new message about her experiences in the music industry.

Taking to Instagram, Burke spoke of how she was told she was “gonna have to work ten times harder than a white artist because of the colour of your skin.”

Stating that she “experienced micro-aggression so many times,” Burke said: “This isn’t a video to bash anyone, this isn’t a negative video, this isn’t that kind of thing at all.

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“This is simply me speaking about what I’ve been through in the past 11 years and finally feeling like… no I’m nervous about it, but feeling like I’m not ashamed to speak about it.”

In the 15-minute video, Burke said: “It’s only right that I share my experiences in order to help other people speak up, too.

“The music industry is such a funny little place. I love singing, I love what I do, but if it wasn’t for the love that I have for music, I definitely wouldn’t be in this industry.

“A few reasons are, when I first won The X Factor at 19, I got told: ‘Right, because you’re black, you are gonna have to work ten times harder than a white artist because of the colour of your skin’.

Alexandra Burke
Alexandra Burke performs at BT London Live at Hyde Park in London, England. Credit: Joseph Okpako/WireImage

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“‘You can’t have braids, you can’t have an afro, you can’t have anything that, basically, is my identity. You have to have hair, for example, that appeals to white people, so white people can understand you better.’ I mean, I was only 19 years old. There’s only so much you can understand at 19 when your life is completely changed overnight.”

Adding that the comments were “quite hard to digest,” Burke added: “I got told to bleach my skin, and that was something I refused to do because it is absurd to me that someone can even remotely say to someone: ‘Bleach your skin so that you can look whiter’. Still to this moment it breaks my heart that I was told that.

“I’m really trying my hardest to hold back tears because it’s really, heartbreaking the shit that went on,” she added.

The video comes as a host of Black Lives Matter and anti-racism protests continue to sweep the globe following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis last month.

Yesterday (June 19), Beyoncé shared new song ‘Black Parade’ to mark unofficial US holiday Juneteenth, which marks the end of slavery in the country.

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