Last summer, Leigh-Anne made headlines when she posted a five-minute video on Instagram, speaking candidly about how she’d personally been affected by systemic racism.
She also said that over the years she’d been made to feel like the “least favoured” member of the band, because of racism.
Ahead of the release of her new documentary, Leigh-Anne: Race, Pop & Power, the chart-topping singer explained why racism was a theme she’d previously shied away from discussing.
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“I was really scared, actually, about speaking out, which is why I feel like I didn’t for so many years,” she said.
“[I was] scared that people wouldn’t understand, because I feel like with racism, if you don’t experience it, how are you ever going to really get it and feel it and understand it?”
Leigh-Anne continued: “Also I was scared to lose fans, I was scared of offending fans, because that’s not what I’m trying to do at all.”
“I literally just wanted to address how I felt.”
Having now spoken out, Leigh-Anne revealed she has “never felt so empowered”, adding: “It just makes me feel so much better knowing the whole world is having this conversation.
“It’s not just behind closed doors with my family. I’m having it with my white friends who I would never have had before. It’s amazing to know that things are going in the right direction.”
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Leigh-Anne noted she now feels her “purpose” is to “use my voice, take action and try and make a change”.
Calling for change within the music industry, Leigh-Anne added: “When I walk into work and I see a predominantly white room, I’m like, ‘But why?’. It doesn’t need to be like this. There are Black people that can do these jobs and should be having these opportunities as well.
“For me, diversity is just so important and I want my children to be able to watch TV and see themselves. And at the minute it’s not good enough.”
Last week, Leigh-Anne revealed that she and her fiancé Andre Gray were expecting their first child.
Since then, bandmate Perrie Edwards has announced she’s also pregnant for the first time.
Leigh-Anne: Race, Pop & Power airs on Monday night at 9pm on BBC One. It will also be on BBC Three and iPlayer from 6am on 13 May.