In an interview with The Sydney Morning Herald on Friday morning, the chocolate-skinned beauty described Tina as her "bonus mother" and told of how she forced her to appreciate her looks.
"She would literally get me in front of the mirror and tell me how beautiful my chocolate skin was," said Kelly. "She had all this artwork up and it was all these beautiful African-American or African artists. She said, 'Look at your skin colour, your skin colour looks like that'," she said.
With her new-found confidence, Kelly made it her responsibility to share her experiences to empower other young women, especially African-Americans and make them confident in themselves. She is in the middle of recording an album which she said will remind women how incredible they are.
"I wasn't just a face for myself, I was a face for other girls who looked like me and I don't want them to see themselves and not see how incredible they are in their own skin," she offered.