Little Mix singer Leigh-Anne Pinnock has said she used to feel "scared" to speak out about racism.

The music star made her comments ahead of the broadcast of a new BBC documentary, Leigh-Anne: Race, Pop & Power, this week.

The programme - airing on BBC One on Thursday at 9:00pm and on BBC Three and iPlayer from 6:00am that day - looks at discrimination in the music business.

The Press Association reports that Pinnock believes she has found her "purpose" talking about race - "to use my voice, take action and try and make a change".

"I was really scared, actually, about speaking out, which is why I feel like I didn't for so many years," the 29-year-old said.

She explained that she 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: Race, Pop & Power airs on BBC One on Thursday at 9:00pm

"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 continued.

"I literally just wanted to address how I felt."

Since speaking out, Pinnock said she has "never felt so empowered, and 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," she said.

"I'm having it with my white friends, who I would never have had [the conversation with] before.

"It's amazing to know that things are going in the right direction."

Pinnock said there is not enough diversity in the pop music industry.

"When I walk into work and I see a predominantly white room, I'm like, 'But why?'" she said.

"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."

"I definitely don't see it as a pressure. I want to do this and I'm so, so proud and happy that I have made this film," she added.

"I definitely feel like I'm owning who I am so much more.

"I feel like I'm a different person, the confidence I have in myself."

Last week, Pinnock announced that she is expecting her first child with footballer fiancé Andre Gray.

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