Leigh-Anne Pinnock of Little Mix awarded honorary doctorate

Leigh-Anne Pinnock, the talented singer of Little Mix and accomplished solo artist, has received an esteemed honorary doctorate in the arts from Buckinghamshire New University.

The star hailing from High Wycombe was honored with the award in acknowledgment of her significant efforts and contributions to anti-racism and promoting racial equality.

Expressing her gratitude, she stated that although she felt “blessed” to have achieved a successful music career, the recognition of her campaigning efforts was “incredibly rewarding.”

She further added, “I am immensely proud to be standing here today.”

At the age of 31, the singer rose to prominence as a member of Little Mix after their victory in the eighth series of X Factor in 2011.

The group swiftly attained global recognition and became one of the top-selling girl groups worldwide, achieving chart-topping success with hit singles like “Shout Out to My Ex” and “Woman Like Me.”

During 2021, the group made an announcement that they would be “taking a brief break” but emphasized that they were “not disbanding” or splitting up.

Presently, Pinnock is engrossed in her solo ventures and has recently unveiled her debut solo single titled “Don’t Say Love.”

The doctorate recognizes her exceptional contributions as a co-founder of The Black Fund charity, which dedicates its efforts to bolstering organizations that actively shape, transform, and uplift the lives of the black community in the UK.

In her 2021 TV documentary titled “Leigh Anne: Race, Pop & Power,” the star candidly shared her personal encounters with racism, recounting experiences from her upbringing and addressing the challenges she faced as the only black member of the band.

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On Wednesday, she joined a gathering of graduating students, numbering in the hundreds, to receive her award in the esteemed presence of her mentor and the university’s chancellor, the well-known TV presenter, Jay Blades.

She expressed her deep gratitude, stating, “Being acknowledged by such an esteemed, innovative, and encouraging university is a tremendous privilege. I am genuinely overjoyed and filled with pride to be here today.”

Additionally, she remarked that she believes her journey resonates with the experiences of many students.

She described it as a tale of a woman fueled by passion, pursuing a goal that she believed could indeed be attainable.

However, it is also a narrative of a woman who, with the unwavering support of her mentors and believers, coupled with immense hard work and unwavering dedication, ultimately achieved her desired destination.

While I feel blessed to have enjoyed a successful recording career, what truly fills my heart with fulfillment is the recognition bestowed upon my endeavors as a campaigner for racial equality and anti-racism.

“As I continue with my music, this role gains even more significance with each passing day.”

Addressing the students, she emphasized that regardless of their aspirations, “the utmost crucial step you can take is to believe in yourself and ensure you surround yourself with others who share that belief in you.”

Having known the singer for nearly two decades, Blades commended her for consistently utilizing her platform to benefit society and never losing sight of her roots.

Vice Chancellor Prof Nick Braisby expressed that the doctorate serves as a celebration of her “remarkable accomplishments and her embodiment of the principles of equality, community, and compassion, values that perfectly align with our institution’s ethos.”

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He conveyed that she serves as a potent reminder of the importance of our voices, highlighting that we hold the potential to effect positive change within our communities.

Source : bbc.com