Emeli Sande has revealed that witnessing racism towards her parents Joel and Diane as a young child helped make her a ''stronger person''.
Emeli Sande says overcoming racism has made her a ''stronger person''.
The 'My Kind of Love' singer was one of the performers who graciously lent their time to Unity: A Concert for Stephen Lawrence - which marked the 20th anniversary of the death of race attack victim Stephen Lawrence - at The O2 arena in London last night (29.09.13) and she admits witnessing abuse towards her parents Joel and Diane Sande, who are an interracial couple, at a young age helped shape her morals as an adult.
Speaking at the event, she told BANG Showbiz: ''My parents suffered from racism being a black man and a white woman in the '80s. It's always been part of our lives in some way. Luckily, we haven't suffered or it hasn't affected our lives too severely. But it's who I represent, it's who I am, and it's made me a much stronger person.''
Having experienced racism firsthand, the 26-year-old songbird feels a kinship with Stephen's family, especially his mother Doreen, who has tirelessly campaigned to end racism and street violence in the wake of her son's death in 1993.
She said: ''To be asked to perform and to bring my music here was a big deal for me. The Lawrence family have been part of my life from a distance from when I was very young. To be here now feels really incredible.''
Other stars who performed at the benefit concert include Jessie J, Ed Sheeran, Rita Ora, Tinie Tempah, Ellie Goulding and Rizzle Kicks.
Many ticket-holders couldn't get into the O2 Arena show on Tuesday night (September 19th) because they didn't bring photo ID to match their booking.
An album re-release, a new song and a documentary mark the singer's legacy this year.
The actor plays the titular hero in the forthcoming adaptation.