Singer experienced racist jibes

Singing sensation Leona Lewis has revealed how her striking mixed-race looks made her a target for bullying classmates at school.

‘I was the only one at stage school who wasn’t white’, she explains. ‘Some kids would come up to me and say “Oh, you’re mixed-race”, making it a big deal when it wasn’t.

‘I later went to a school where the majority of the kids were black and because I used to wear my hair out, I’d get teased for not wearing it in braids and for being different there too.’

Leona, 22, who shot to fame after winning last year’s X Factor, explains that it was ultimately the support of her family that got her through the experience.

‘I’d go crying home to Mum and she would say to me, “You’re a beautiful girl and you’re a part of me and a part of your dad”,’ Leona tells the Daily Mail. ‘You don’t have to do anything but carry yourself with pride’.’

Jennifer Harrison