She tragically lost her mother Melissa Bell in August 2017, after a hard-fought battle with kidney failure and the hereditary condition diabetes mellitus.
And Alexandra Burke, 29, opened up about the grief she has endured in the long months since her parent’s death, looking visibly emotional as she performed her new track, The Truth Is, which is dedicated to her mother, on ITV’s Loose Women.
Tearing up, she told the show’s co-hosts during her appearance on Wednesday afternoon: ‘I don’t want her spirit to go away. I wrote that song before she passed, so she heard it at least. She made so many sacrifices for all of us, all the kids.
Living on in her heart: Alexandra Burke has unveiled her new track, The Truth Is, which is dedicated to the memory of her late mother Melissa Bell. Pictured together in April 2012
‘She made sure that food was on the table, clothes were on our back. She never stopped working.’
Speaking of her mother suffering kidney failure for more than nine years, she said: ‘She was so positive, so strong and gave everything to life and everything to the family. I always say to myself, if she can, I have no excuse to stop. I love to work, it comes from her. I do enjoy what I do.’
She added: ‘I just think, I’m a girl that had a big dream and still do have big dreams. I won The X Factor 10 years ago. There’s so much more I’d like to accomplish, I just like to keep going.’
Emotional: During her appearance on ITV’s Loose Women on Wednesday afternoon, the star was seen getting teary-eyed as she opened up about losing her beloved mother
So emotional: She struggled to hold back her emotions as she spoke with (L-R) Ruth Langsford, Kelly Brook, Janet Street-Porter and Linda Robson
Tearing up: The erstwhile X Factor victor wiped away tears as she listened to Kelly Brook
Strong: She praised her late mother for the strength and positivity she exuded throughout life
Asked about being criticised for being emotional during her stint on Strictly Come Dancing late last year, Alexandra said: ‘It was really difficult. That’s what I miss about Strictly, feeling the carefree part of it.
‘For those 90 seconds on stage you can’t think of anything else and I miss being that carefree. It was a blessing at the right time, a massive distraction for me.
‘I’ve thrown myself into work since Strictly. Some may say it’s not healthy and I know that literally everyday I have been doing something towards the album or in the studio. I’m frightened to stop. I’m not going to lie. I am.’
And on being dubbed a fake and a diva while on the ballroom show, she said: ‘Reading all of that, it was hurtful. It was just there. In all my mentions, I then had people trolling me on Twitter, Instagram comments… you can’t kind of escape it.
Hurtful: The singing beauty admitted that reading critical comments about herself online have been ‘hurtful’ over the past several months
Trolls: She spoke about trolls often writing mean comments under her posts on Instagram
A dignified silence: Alexandra opted to stay silent amid the criticism, rather than fight back
Health battle: Her mother died in August after suffering kidney failure for more than nine years
‘I did keep my silence for a very long time, for 11 weeks on the show. I’m not going to fight fire with fire. I was having a great time.
‘Everyone around all of us in Strictly, they’re so supportive. Not just contestants, the production company, everyone backstage, they get everyone through week by week. I can’t thank them enough.
‘I just remember the day we did the red carpet reveal, that was the day mum passed. Early hours that morning. No one knew, I went on stage, smile on my face and I left everything for behind the scenes. That’s the way mum’s always taught me to be.
‘Maybe that’s not the right way. She’s always said to me, had me in training, when the camera’s on, you’re ready, you put that smile on your face.
The show must go on: In the months since her mother’s tragic death, Alexandra has admitted that she’s thrown herself into work, revealing her mother taught her to keep things going
‘That’s why the lyrics are, “I’m going to stand up straight and put the smile on my face and pull back my shoulders,” because that’s how I’ve been trained to be.’
She continued: ‘Finally, with this album and finally moving on with my life from X Factor 10 years later, I’m going, that’s not how I want to be.
‘If I’m not alright, I’m going to say it. If I feel like it will inspire someone else to be open and talk about things that they are afraid to talk about, talk about it, because I hid it for so long. Not just mum, other things. And it’s not healthy.’
Of rumours that she was locked in a feud with fellow Strictly star Gemma Atkinson over her romance with Alexandra’s dance partner Gorka Marquez, she said: ‘No feud.
‘As you know. I find it bizarre how stories can be made up with no truth and printed and permission to be printed with no truth. It blows my mind.
Dancing queen: Alexandra also hit back at accusations that she was ‘fake’ or a ‘diva’ during her stint on Strictly Come Dancing last year. Pictured with Gorka Marquez in December
No feud: She also shot down speculation that she was locked in a feud with Gemma Atkinson as they competed against each other on Strictly Come Dancing
‘We [Alexandra and Gorka] never saw anyone. You’re in your own bubble. It was nonsense, he was always with me in the rehearsal studio, ten hours a day.’
On a happier note, she also spoke about her recently announced engagement to her boyfriend of two years, Josh Ginnelly.
She said of the moment he popped the big question: ‘That came as a massive shock. He woke me up at 4am and said, “We’re going to Paris,” and I thought, “You bugger! I haven’t had any time to do my hair or anything!”
‘He was so lovely with it and when we went to Paris he said it was just an exploring trip, but he had a 1950s Rolls Royce waiting for me. I thought someone had nicked our taxi! I’m very lucky.’
Loose Women airs weekdays on ITV from 12:30pm.
Popping the big question: She also spoke about the moment that her fiancé Josh Ginnelly whisked her off to Paris earlier this year – and popped the big question