Beverley Knight has said that implicit racism might’ve stunted her success in the music industry.

Speaking to HELLO! about her career, the 46-year-old suggested her skin was “maybe too dark”, adding: “It was easier to market someone who was much lighter, with more ‘European’ features.”

Knight, whose music career began when she was aged 21, recalled feeling like a “square peg in a round hole” in the music industry, which she remembers as being full of “young white lads playing guitars, looking at their shoes” when she entered the business.

The singer added: “I’ve always been an optimistic, happy and driven person, and I was very secure about myself in my music.

“But I was a boffin. And I was insecure about how I looked.”

Knight remembers putting on weight in her mid 20s, which she says made her feel “sluggish” and “terrible” about her appearance.

“I felt I had all the things that were needed – strong music and vocals – except what a star was meant to look like,” she added.

However, the musician explained that she feels secure now that she has reached her late 40s.

“If people try to tell you what you should be doing, at this age, you can slap them down very quickly,” she said. “There’s a respect that’s naturally afforded to you.”