Emeli Sande struggled with being bi-racial as a teenager.

The 'Heaven' singer found it difficult being the only mixed-race family growing up in a small village and says she felt like a ''spectacle'' to her peers.

Emeli told The Sunday Times magazine: ''Apart from my sister, Lucy, there was nobody else there who looked like me...

''People knew you in The Village. But any surrounding place you'd go to, you became a spectacle. People would stare, and it felt like a big thing.''

The 24-year-old BRIT Award winner - who performed at the London 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony - claims she wasn't bullied, but felt isolated because of the name-calling and constant reminders that she was different.

Emeli confessed: ''We didn't experience racism or bullying, or anything like that, but I was aware of my difference and it took me a long time to work out where I fitted in.

''And I think I found a lot of my identity in music.''

The singer revealed music became her coping mechanism after her parents showed her she couldn't keeping dwelling on the negative comments.

Emeli added: ''If I ever said to my parents, 'Ooh someone called me this at school', or 'Someone asked me all these stupid questions' they'd get frustrated and say, 'Just tell them they're an idiot'.

''They didn't want to fight my Battles; they wanted me to be strong and find my own way to deal with it.''