Alexandra Burke would ''lie awake crying'' before she spoke out about the racism she experienced throughout her life.

The 'Bad Boys' hitmaker admits she was left in tears when she thought about speaking out about what she went through, but ultimately decided it was the right thing to do and felt ''relieved'' when she had done.

She shared: ''Initially I didn't want to say anything, I guess I was still scared. But then I'd lie awake at night crying, thinking about my brothers, my mum, about myself. Then one day I was sitting in front of this photo of Mum, chatting with a songwriter when I felt my mum very strongly telling me to speak up. I stopped the conversation and told him I had something I needed to do. Then I went on to my phone, pressed record and just started to talk. I didn't prepare, I didn't think, I just spoke. I tried to upload it, but it just wouldn't upload. Part of me felt so anxious but part of me felt relieved. So I put on music, got out two bottles of wine and danced with a friend until it finally went online and then I just went to bed thinking, 'What will be, will be.'''

And the 32-year-old singer was ''100 per cent focused'' on pleasing people, especially at the start of her music career.

Speaking to Stellar magazine, she added: ''All I'd ever thought since I got into the music industry was that I was so lucky to be given the chance to sing and that I had to just suck it up and smile, and do what I was told. I was 100 per cent focused on pleasing people. I was terrified that if I said something the door would slam in my face. I am embarrassed that I went along with it for so long, but I was just 20 and it made me feel I had to be more grateful, and that somehow I was less. When it was suggested I bleach my skin, I knew I would never do that - but just the fact that someone has said that to you doesn't make you feel good about yourself. I always felt anxious. If tickets went on sale for a tour I'd think, no one will buy them.''