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14/12/2020 17:03 GMT | Updated 14/12/2020 17:14 GMT

Jesy Nelson Is Leaving Little Mix After Nine Years With The Band

The singer has said that being part of the group has been "taking a toll" on her mental health in recent times.

Little Mix singer Jesy Nelson has announced that she is leaving the band after nine years.

On Monday evening, Jesy confirmed that she was stepping down from the group, with the singer saying that being part of Little Mix had “taken a toll” on her mental health in recent times.

“The truth is recently being in the band has really taken a toll on my mental health,” she explained, in a statement posted on Instagram. “I find the constant pressure of being in a girl group and living up to expectations very hard.

“There comes a time in life when we need to reinvest in taking care of ourselves rather than focussing on making other people happy, and I feel like now is the time to begin that process.” 

Mike Marsland via Getty Images
Jesy Nelson at the National Television Awards earlier this year

“After much consideration and with a heavy heart, I’m announcing I’m leaving Little Mix,” Jesy continued.

“I need to spend some time with the people I love, doing things that make me happy. I’m ready to embark on a new chapter in my life – I’m not sure what it’s going to look like right now, but I hope you’ll still be there to support me.”

She ended her statement with a special message to bandmates Jade Thirlwall, Perrie Edwards and Leigh-Anne Pinnock.

“Thank you... for creating some of the most amazing memories I’ll never forget,” she said. “I hope that you’ll continue to fulfill all of your dreams and keep on making music that people love.” 

An additional statement was then posted on Little Mix’s Instagram page, in which the remaining members of the band affirmed their hopes to continue as a three-piece.

“This is an incredibly sad time for all of us but we are fully supportive of Jesy,” they said. “We love her very much and agree that it is so important that she does what is right for her mental health and well-being.

“We are still very much enjoying our Little Mix journey and the three of us are not ready for it to be over. We know that Jesy leaving the group is going to be really upsetting news for our fans. We love you guys so much and are so grateful for your loyalty and continued support of all of us.”

In recent times, Perrie, Leigh-Anne and Jade have made numerous public appearances as a trio, following the news last month that Jesy was taking an extended break from the band.

This included including hosting the MTV EMAs, judging the final of their reality show Little Mix The Search and performing their recent single Break Up Song on Strictly Come Dancing over the weekend.

HGL via Getty Images
The original four members of Little Mix

Little Mix were put together on The X Factor in 2011, having originally auditioned as solo artists, and went on to become the first ever band to win the ITV talent show.

Since then, they’ve topped the UK singles chart on four occasions – including with signature tracks like Black Magic and Shout Out To My Ex – and received two Brit Awards.

Last month, they released their sixth album Confetti, which peaked at number two in the UK, and was preceded by the singles Break Up Song, Holiday and their current hit Sweet Melody.

The band are currently scheduled to tour the UK in 2021, where they’ll be supported by boyband Since September, the winners of the talent show Little Mix The Search.

More to follow.

Useful websites and helplines

Mind, open Monday to Friday, 9am-6pm on 0300 123 3393.

Samaritans offers a listening service which is open 24 hours a day, on 116 123 (UK and ROI - this number is FREE to call and will not appear on your phone bill).

CALM (the Campaign Against Living Miserably) offer a helpline open 5pm-midnight, 365 days a year, on 0800 58 58 58, and a webchat service.

The Mix is a free support service for people under 25. Call 0808 808 4994 or email help@themix.org.uk

Rethink Mental Illness offers practical help through its advice line which can be reached on 0300 5000 927 (Monday to Friday 10am-4pm). More info can be found on rethink.org.