Little Mix’s Leigh-Anne Pinnock was ‘excluded from sexiest female lists due to her skin colour’

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Leigh-Anne Pinnock has suggested she was excluded from a 'sexiest female' list because of the colour of her skin and racism in the music industry.

After her other bandmates were nominated but she wasn’t, she said she felt something was “not right.”

“There was one time when a radio station, they were doing 'sexiest female'. They'd do it every year and all the other girls had been nominated every single year except for me," she said.

“And it got to maybe 2017 or something and I finally got nominated. It's these little things that you look back on and you think, 'There's something not right here'."


Leigh-Anne was speaking ahead of the release of Leigh-Anne: Race, Pop & Power, a new BBC documentary about racism she has experienced in the music industry, to be shown on BBC and iPlayer this Thursday May 13.

The singer didn’t name the radio station she was referring to, although The Sun has reported that Leigh-Anne was referring to Capital FM.

Leigh-Anne won the “sexiest female” title given by the radio station in 2018 but failed to make the top 10 in 2017, when her band mate Perrie Edwards took the top spot.

Global, the media company which owns Capital FM, declined to comment on what Leigh-Anne said when approached by OK!.

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Leigh-Anne, 29, who is expecting a child with Watford footballer Andre Gray, also shared how she fears some people may not understand how widespread racism is.

“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,” she said ahead of the launch of the BBC Three documentary.

"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," she added.

“Racism is in every single industry. There needs to be more diversity in every workplace."

Leigh-Anne won the 2011 series of The X Factor as a part of girl band Little Mix, which also features Jade Thirlwall and Perrie Edwards.

The fourth member, Jesy Nelson, quit the band in 2020 after nine years due to concerns for her health. In a post shared on Instagram, the 29-year-old said: “The truth is recently being in the band has really taken a toll on my mental health.”

Little Mix have released six albums, and sold over 60 million records worldwide, meaning they are one of the best-selling girl groups of all time.

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