Grammy-nominated singer Elle Varner’s diverse background has made her the strong multicultural woman she is today.

The talent behind the smash hit “Don’t Wanna Dance,” Elle grew up with a Cape Verdean Mother, and a half-Swedish half-black father, both of whom are singers.

With her mixed background, Elle realized early on that it was hard to fit in, especially at school where she felt she wasn’t black enough to befriend the black kids or, white enough to hang out with the white kids.

Despite this, her parents made sure she understood the value and power in representing many cultures. As she got older she learned a lot from her grandfather, president of his local NAACP chapter, who helped her embrace her African-American side.

Elle’s grandfather shared important stories from their rich cultural heritage, helping her expand her mind to be more accepting and loving of everyone.

Misunderstandings about Elle and her cultural background provided a unique springboard for her music, and ultimately shaped her sense of self, evident in the title of her 2012 debut album, Perfectly Imperfect, which reached number 4 on the Billboard Hot 200.

Watch Elle Varner’s Untold Story above.

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