Leigh-Anne Pinnock surprised by flash mob before collecting honorary doctorate

Leigh-Anne Pinnock was left in a state of shock before collecting her honorary doctorate, when a flash mob appeared and danced to one of her songs.

The Little Mix star had been back in her hometown of High Wycombe visiting the Buckinghamshire New University, BNU, where she was collecting the doctorate to celebrate her work in music and racial equality.

Leigh-Anne founded a charity called The Black Fund which helps to improve equality.

But the day was not without a little chaos – on her way to the ceremony, Leigh-Anne and The Repair Shop's Jay Blades, who is Chancellor of the university, were approached by a dance troupe who danced their rendition of Leigh Anne's debut single Don’t Say Love.

During the ceremony, Leigh-Anne said: “Growing up, I must have walked past BNU’s High Wycombe campus a million times, curious about what was being studied and taught there. But in all that time I never imagined I’d be stood here today with an honorary doctorate in the arts.

“It’s such a privilege to be recognised by such a credible, creative, and supportive university so I am extremely happy and proud to be here today.”

Throughout the speech, Leigh-Anne told the students to believe in themselves, and said that with hard work, their goals are achievable.

She said: “In many ways, my story is one that I think mirrors many of the students’ experiences here today. It’s a story of a woman who had a passion, who had a goal that she thought might just be achievable.

“But it’s also a story of a woman who thanks to the support of her mentors and believers, along with a lot of hard work and dedication, eventually got where she wanted to be.

“And while I am blessed to have had a successful recording career, it is so rewarding that it’s my work as a campaigner for racial equality and anti-racism that is being recognised today.

“Alongside my music, this is a role that becomes more important to me every single day.”

Leigh-Anne was especially thankful of Jay Blades who had been her mentor during her teenage years in her hometown.

In response, Jay Blades said: "Leigh-Anne couldn’t deserve this more.

“Not only is she an incredible talent, but she also uses her platform for the good of society and has never forgotten her roots.

“I am so proud of all that she’s achieved and was thrilled to be here today to see her recognised for her work.

“I mentor a few people so this is definitely a real full-circle moment for the both of us.”

Vice Chancellor Professor Nick Braisby was also very appreciative of the work Leigh-Anne has done for her community and said: "Her journey serves as an inspiring example for our students and the wider community, encouraging us to pursue passions, challenge societal norms, and effect meaningful change.

“By embracing Leigh-Anne’s story, BNU reaffirms its commitment to nurturing future generations of compassionate leaders who will shape a more inclusive and equitable world."

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