British singer Alexandra Burke says she was once told to bleach her skin in order to find success.

The star broke down during a new interview with Little Mix star Leigh-Anne Pinnock for her BBC documentary Race, Pop And Power, which aired on Thursday, as she recalled a manager telling her to look whiter when she was a 15-year-old hopeful.

"It's very British though," she said, holding back tears. "We're taught not to talk about it. It's a very taboo subject.

"People are afraid to admit that they have done something that is considered racist...

"I remember when my mum used to take me to certain management companies... I won't name them now because they're still friends and that's good, and it's all love (sic).

"But when I was 15, they told me, 'We've got one black person, we can't have another'. And I got that a couple of times... One thing that actually comes to my head right now... is being told to bleach my skin."

The star then started to cry as she added: "Being told that I'm 'too dark' to be in the industry. I'm going cold talking about it because I really actually don't like talking about it."

Alexandra says she was once told told to bleach her skin or "you won't sell any records", and the 32-year-old star says there have been times she has regretted pursuing a music career because comments about her appearance have taken their toll on her inner confidence.

"That's what is so f**ked up about this industry and that is what makes me feel, at times, where I go: 'I don't want to be in this industry (sic)'... They took my confidence away so much that I couldn't be me," she admitted.