Jesy Nelson has announced that she is leaving Little Mix after nine years.
The singer, 29, took to Instagram on Monday night to share a heartfelt statement where she revealed she wants to focus on things that make her ‘happy’.
Jesy also emotionally said that being in the band has taken a ‘toll on her mental health’ and that she finds the ‘constant pressure very hard’.
Announcement: Jesy Nelson has announced that she is leaving Little Mix after nine years (pictured earlier this year)
Little Mix also took to Instagram to share the news as they admitted it was an ‘incredibly sad time’ for the band but they ‘fully support’ Jesy’s decision.
In November, Little Mix’s representative announced Jesy would be taking an ‘extended break’ from the band due to ‘private medical reasons.’ Jesy has been a member of the band since their formation on the X-Factor in 2011.
Jesy penned on Monday night: ‘To all my Mixers, the past nine years in Little Mix has been the most incredible time of my life. We have achieved things I never thought possible. From winning our first Brit Award to our sold out shows at the O2.
‘Making friends and fans all over the world I can’t thank you all enough from the bottom of my heart for making me fee like the luckiest girl in the world. You have always been there to support and encourage me and I will never ever forget it.
Emotional: The singer, 29, took to Instagram on Monday night to share a heartfelt statement where she revealed she wants to focus on things that make her ‘happy’
‘Very hard’: Jesy also emotionally said that being in the band has taken a ‘toll on her mental health’ and that she finds the ‘constant pressure very hard’ (pictured with bandmates Leigh-Anne Pinnock, Perrie Edwards and Jade Thirlwall L-R in September)
Support: Little Mix also took to Instagram to share the news as they admitted it was an ‘incredibly sad time’ for the band but they ‘fully support’ Jesy’s decision
‘The truth is recently being in the band has really taken a toll on my mental health. 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 focusing on making other people happy, and I feel like now is the time to begin that process.
‘So after much consideration and with a heavy heart, I’m announcing I’m leaving Little Mix.’
Jesy emotionally added: ‘I need to spend some time with the people I love, doing things that make me happy.
Trio: The band – made up of Leigh-Anne Pinnock, Perrie Edwards and Jade Thirlwall (L-R) – also confirmed that they would be remaining as a trio (pictured in November)
‘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.
‘I want to say thank you to everyone involved in our journey. All the hard work and dedication that went into making us a success.
‘To every single fan who came to see us in concert, who listened to our songs and sung their hearts out, sent me messages and supported me along the way I want you to know I love you all so much and I could never have done this without you and I appreciate it endlessly.
‘Most of all I want to say thank you to Jade, Perrie and Leigh-Anne for creating some of the most amazing memories I’ll never forget. I hope that you’ll continue to fulfil all of your dreams and keep on making music that people love. Love Jesy x.’
Time off: Last month, the band’s representative confirmed the singer, 29, would be taking an ‘extended break’ due to ‘private medical reasons’
Little Mix also took to Instagram to share a statement over the news where they confirmed they would continue as a trio.
They wrote: ‘After an amazing 9 years together Jesy has made the decision to leave Little Mix. This is an incredibly sad time for all of us but we are fully supportive of Jesy.
‘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 3 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. We’re looking forward to seeing so many of you on tour.’
Fan support: Fans were left devastated over the news as they sent their best wishes to both Jesy and the band in emotional messages
Fans were left devastated over the news as they sent their best wishes to both Jesy and the band in emotional messages.
One person said: ‘I’m in tears rn… But I wish the best for jesy and the girls… No words can express the pain I’m feeling right now… I’m devastated.’
A different fan put: ‘Oh no Jess ❤️ we love you.’
Another follower commented: ‘We’ll miss her… Take care Jesy,’ followed by a broken heart emoji.
A different account put: ‘We’re gonna miss her so so much ❤️ I’m sending her so much love that she needs rn. Of course her mental health is the most important thing.’
Sad: It comes after Strictly Come Dancing fans claimed Little Mix ‘aren’t the same’ without Jesy as her bandmates appeared on Sunday’s Strictly Come Dancing semi-final
Another user penned: ‘All the best to jesy!! we love u queen ❤️.’
It comes after Strictly Come Dancing fans claimed Little Mix ‘aren’t the same’ without Jesy as the three bandmates appeared on Sunday’s Strictly Come Dancing semi-final.
Jade, Perrie and Leigh-Anne captivated audiences as they sang their hit track Break Up Song shortly before GMB presenter Ranvir Singh became the seventh contestant to be eliminated from the competition series.
While viewers praised the three musicians for putting on an impressive set, they admitted they missed songstress Jesy.
Throwback: The artists last performed on the BBC programme as a group of four in December 2018 (pictured)
One fan focused on their passionate show as they wrote on Twitter: ‘Just watched @littlemix on the telly. They killed that break up song performance. The UK hasn’t seen vocal talent like these lasses #strictly.’
‘#StrictlyComeDancing #Strictly #LittleMix did a fantastic performance of #BreakUpSong. But I really want #JesyNelson to come back soon. I hope the reasons she is missing from the group are not serious’, another added.
Other social media users agreed, with one writing: ‘Love seeing @LittleMix on #Strictly, beautiful performance. Just need Jesy back soon, isnt the same without her!’
Another added: ‘Loving @LittleMix on #strictly but sending love to @iamjesylouise hope you are looking after yourself you lovely lady xxx #StrictlyComeDancing #Strictly2020 #JesyNelson xxxxx’
A third posted: ‘It ain’t #LittleMix without #JesyNelson #Strictly…. Still so weird seeing @LittleMix as a 3, it’s usually only for one performance then whoever was sick is back. Hope Jesy is ok. #Strictly’
Bittersweet: The trio were complimented by fans, who admitted their session wasn’t the same without their beloved bandmate
While a fourth commented: ‘@LittleMix my 6 year old says she misses Jesy and hopes she’s better soon! Told her she’s under the weather #Strictly.’ (sic)’
The artists last performed on the BBC programme as a group of four in December 2018.
Last month, Little Mix’s representative announced Jesy would be taking an ‘extended break’ from the band due to ‘private medical reasons.’
Earlier this month, Jesy was pictured for the first time since the announcement as she headed into a waiting car while running some errands.
The singer had admitted she ‘needed time off’ from the band just one week before announcing she was taking ‘an extended break.’
Last posted: Jesy last posted on her Instagram page on October 31 where she shared a snap of herself dressed up for Halloween
In an interview with the Mail On Sunday’s YOU magazine published on November 8, she told how the band ‘needed’ some time apart because they are together all day, every day.
She said: ‘It was needed. We’re never not with each other and we’re always busy. Our mornings start early, we finish really late.’
Bandmate Jade recently gave her support to her close friend after the big news was revealed, insisting that Little Mix will always be ‘family’.
Speaking to The Mirror, the Geordie said: ‘We’ve always been about lifting each other up – I think that translates. People aren’t stupid, they can tell when you’re on stage if you aren’t getting along.
‘Maybe that’s why people have warmed to us for nearly 10 years. We’re family now.’
Love life: The media personality confirmed her romance with boyfriend Sean Sagar, 30, after first being linked in July earlier this year (pictured with Sean)
Jade also dismissed claims that the award-winning group are splitting up but admitted they ‘might’ do their own projects at some point in the future.
Jesy’s break comes following great success for Little Mix, with both their brand new album Confetti as well as their talent show Little Mix: The Search.
The series saw them put together a number of bands who competed against one another to win a place support the girl group on their UK and Ireland tour next year.
There have since been reports that Little Mix are reportedly planning to pursue solo careers.
The Sun reported that Perrie and Jade are both looking at music projects while Leigh-Anne is eyeing up TV opportunities.
A source said: ‘The girls have been open and honest with each other, and with their current management team.
Heartbreaking: Elsewhere, Jesy won praise for her groundbreaking TV documentary Odd One Out, which addressed her struggles with online bullying and body image
‘They have started discussions with some prospective managers and agents about what their solo careers might look like.
‘Some of the girls might end up taking on solo projects with their current management team too. But this isn’t about ending the band, it’s about looking to the future.’
The source added that the group still have a tour to complete next April and will see it through, even if it is delayed due to COVID-19.
Little Mix were crowned the winners of the X Factor in 2011 when they become the first band to ever win the show in its history.
The girls shot to stardom with their first single Wings, before topping the charts with Black Magic and Shout Out To My Ex.
Heartache: At the start of the show, Jesy’s mum Janice said: ‘I know it might seem strange to say but if I could have back my Jess as I had her before I would change it like that’
They recently released their sixth studio album, Confetti, which includes current hit Sweet Melody.
Elsewhere, Jesy has won praise for her groundbreaking TV documentary Odd One Out, which addressed her struggles with online bullying and body image.
Jesy left viewers in tears as she bravely spoke about her battle with depression in her BBC documentary.
She talked in depth for the first time about how trolls, who mocked her over her looks and weight, triggered her into attempting to take her own life in 2013.
After the documentary aired, social media was awash with demands from fans to have the programme shown in schools to help educate youths.
Brave: The singer went onto tearfully reveal at the height of her bullying in 2013 that she attempted to commit suicide after being trolled for her looks (pictured December 2011)
Fans took to Twitter: ‘Jesy Nelson’s ‘Odd One Out’ – show it in schools, tell your mates, watch it. Let’s knock this shit on the head. #JesyNelson…
‘This Jesy Nelson documentary needs to be shown in every single school and college up and down the country to show that words can break even the most strongest looking people and ruin so many lives. Just be kind…
‘Amazing woman, this documentary should be shown in schools all over the world, well done #Jesy Nelson…. Jesy Nelson’s documentary #OddOneOut needs to be seen far and wide, in every school, household, youth group…
‘By children and adults alike. What an inspirational, brave woman. Everyone (including schools) should watch Odd One Out and learn the importance of just being bloody NICE to other people what is wrong with the world man…
‘Crying buckets over #OddOneOut . Jesy, @LittleMix, you are so brave, so powerful, so talented, so beautiful. I am insanely proud of you. This docu should be shown in every school, parents, teachers… everyone should watch this’.
Self-hatred: Footage showed Jesy being self critical of her looks while filming the Woman Like Me video. She told Perrie Edwards: ‘I look like a fat ugly rat’
At the start of the show, Jesy’s mum Janice said: ‘I know it might seem strange to say but if I could have back my Jess as I had her before I would change it like that.
‘I miss her. I just feel like I’ve lost Jess to social media and she’s addicted to what people are saying.’
Jesy then described how trolling over her looks began on The X Factor, where they labelled her the ‘fat one’ in the band.
The singer went onto tearfully reveal at the height of her bullying in 2013 that she starved herself for four days as she prepared to return to the show.
‘When I had lost quite a bit of weight we were going back on the X Factor and I didn’t give a s**t about whether our performance would be good,’ she said.
‘All I cared about was people seeing me and saying ‘she’s lost weight’.’
But Jesy was left heartbroken after she was inundated with taunts over her weight, saying her ‘face was deformed’ or comparing her looks to ET and Miss Piggy following the performance.
It was then, Jesy tried to commit suicide.
Breaking down in tears, Jesy said: ‘I just remember thinking, ‘I just need this to go away, I’m going to end this’.
‘I remember going to the kitchen and just took as many tablets as I could. Then I laid in bed for ages and kept thinking, ‘Let it happen. Hurry up”.’
To try to heal the deep mental wounds inflicted by online bullies, the Wings hitmaker met with others who had experienced cyber bullying as well as receiving therapy.
During the therapy, Jesy watched a clip from the X Factor for the first time in a bid to help accept herself.
Facing her fears: During the therapy, Jesy watched for the first time a clip from the X Factor in a bid to help accept herself and also looked at old photos
‘I have shut away the old Jesy away for such a long time because I just felt like I needed to be this new Jesy because everyone hated the old Jesy.
‘My trauma runs deep and I may not ever really recover properly. I don’t think I will be ever the same again but i do think I’m getting better.’
‘One day I think it will click. She is beautiful and she is unbelievable. And she doesn’t see that when she takes her make-up off,’ he said in the documentary.
‘When I first started spending a lot more time with her, especially staying round her house, I noticed that she had insecurities.
‘There’d be times she wouldn’t let me see her physically without make-up, especially for the first four or five times where I’d come round here and we’d go on dates and stuff.
‘She’d get up in the morning almost before crack of dawn to make sure she was out of bed and putting make-up on and got back in bed with a full face of make-up on.
Traumatised: She said: ‘My trauma runs deep and I may not ever really recover properly. I don’t think I will be ever the same again but i do think I’m getting better’
Discussing the impact the trolling had on her, Jesy told Glamour : ‘I just wanted to be Jesy. I didn’t want to be Jesy the fat one. I wanted people to see me as normal, so I punished myself. I starved myself.
‘If I did eat, I hated myself, I’d punish myself and make sure I didn’t eat for four days. It was horrible, a vicious circle.’
Jesy also confessed that the negative comments about her face hurt more than the fat jibes.
She admitted: ‘I got used to people calling me fat because I was like whatever I’ve seen it so much.
‘People started going in on what my face looked like with memes and people would chop my head off in group photos and replace it with a monster or ET or a sloth.
‘I became a joke to everyone, and it really knocked my confidence. I never experienced anything like it in my life.’
Stars: The girl group, consisting of Jesy, Jade, Perrie and Leigh-Anne, were mentored by Tulisa Contostavlos on The X Factor (pictured in 2011)
Jesy’s online bullying ordeal began when she shot to fame in 2011 when Little Mix became the first group to win the show.
The girl group, consisting of Jesy, Jade, Perrie and Leigh-Anne, were mentored by Tulisa Contostavlos.
Following their win, Jesy told how the girls were forced to get social media, with the star admitting the move had ‘completely changed my life’.
She went on to say that once the comments came rolling in, it became one of the ‘worst times’ of her life.
She said that being labelled the ‘fat, ugly one’ completely ‘consumed every part of me’ as the trolling took its toll.
Speaking further about reading comments about herself, Jesy revealed to the Guardian that at the time, she had become obsessed with reading the cruel taunts online.
Songstress: Jesy’s online bullying ordeal began when she shot to fame in 2011 when Little Mix became the first group to win the show (pictured 2012)
‘I had a routine of waking up, going on Twitter, searching for the worst things I could about myself,’ she explained. ‘I’d type in the search bar: ‘Jesy fat’, or ‘Jesy ugly’, and see what would come up.
‘Sometimes I didn’t even need to do that, I’d just write ‘Jesy’ and then I’d see all the horrible things. Everyone told me to ignore it – but it was like an addiction.’
In the interview, she went on to say that as Little Mix’s fame soared, the pressure for her to look good affected her health, causing her to starve herself.
Jesy said: ‘I’d starve myself… I’d drink Diet Coke for a solid four days and then, when I felt a bit dizzy, I’d eat a pack of ham because I knew it had no calories. Then I’d binge eat, then hate myself.’
The starlet went on to recall how she’d avoid events that she’s be photographed and dreaded photo shoots, adding that on one occasion where the stylist had bought the wrong sized clothes, caused her to have a tearful ‘meltdown’.
Heartbreaking: Discussing the impact the trolling had on her, Jesy told Glamour: ‘I just wanted to be Jesy. I didn’t want to be Jesy the fat one. I wanted people to see me as normal, so I punished myself. I starved myself.’
Jesy has long been candid about her experience with body shaming and trolling over the years, after being viciously targeted when she was a contestant on The X Factor 2011.
She memorably broke down during the competition as she discussed how hard it had been dealing with negative comments from complete strangers.
Speaking in the VT at the time, she said: ‘People are writing a few nasty comments and it has just got to me a little bit.
‘When you’ve got your own insecurities and then when people go and tell you and write them on websites for everyone to see it just makes you feel really rubbish.
Rise to fame: Following their win, Jesy told how the girls were forced to get social media, with the star admitting the move had ‘completely changed my life’ (pictured 2011)
‘Being in a girl group with three beautiful girls who are a lot slimmer and smaller than me… and obviously I know I’m a lot bigger. I find it really hard when people publicise it on Twitter.’
The turning point came in February 2014 when, while on Devi Lovato’s tour where the band where a supporting act, Demi’s dancers advised her to delete Twitter, likening it to a book filled with ‘loads of nasty things’.
Little Mix have since gone on to become one of the biggest ever girl group’s in the UK, scoring number one hits including Wings, Black Magic and Shout Out To My Ex.
For confidential 24/7 support in the UK, call Samaritans on 116 123 or visit a local Samaritans branch, see www.samaritans.org for details.