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09th Aug 2021

Alexandra Burke says she was “asked to bleach” her skin

One incident made her particularly upset.

X-Factor winner Alexandra Burke has revealed that she was asked to “bleach her skin” after winning the competition 12 years ago.

Opening up to The Guardian about Black Lives Matter and her experience with racism first hand, the singer admitted that she was asked to take the drastic measure in order to be more successful in the music industry.

“It only really hit me when I got asked to bleach my skin after X Factor,” Alexandra said, but refused to say who it was, only that it was “a certain person on the creative side who was working with me.”

She also recalled an incident that especially upset her with her ex record label, as she prepared for a show at the London Palladium.

“It was a beautiful show in honour of Sir Bruce Forsyth and I had my hair in a bun, with a couple of baby hairs. It was classic, classy; I had a black dress on. Half an hour before I was due on stage, my hair stylist came up to me and said: ‘I’ve just been told you look quite aggressive with this hairstyle. We need to change it.’ I said: ‘What?’ He said: ‘Your record label’s just told me you look aggressive, so we have to change it.’ I said: ‘What part of me looks aggressive?’ He said it was the baby hairs stuck to my head,” she recalled.

While racism is still so prevalent in the music industry, Alexandra is continuing to fight to make a change here, but doesn’t see it happening anytime soon.

“I’m hoping people are not just going to forget about it. I really pray that one day it changes completely – but it won’t be in our lifetime,” she said.