Jesy Nelson leaving Little Mix after nine years

National Television Awards 2020 - Press Room - London

Singer Jesy Nelson has thanked fans as she explained her decision to leave Little Mix, saying "recently being in the band has really taken a toll on my mental health".

Nelson, 29, is stepping away after being a part of the group for nine years and said in a long Instagram post that it had been "the most incredible time of of my life".

The band – Jade Thirlwall, Leigh-Anne Pinnock and Perrie Edwards – also announced the news in a string of tweets.

Nelson's Instagram post said: "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 02. Making friends and fans all over the world I can't thank you all enough from the bottom of my heart for making me feel like the luckiest girl in the world.

"You have always been there to support and encourage me and I will never ever forget it. 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.

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British girl band member of Little Mix, Jesy Nelson, poses for photographs during a photo call to unveil their make up range, at a hotel in London, Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013. (Photo by Joel Ryan/Invision/AP)
Band members Leigh-Anne Pinnock, Jesy Nelson, Jade Thirlwall, Perrie Edwards, of Little Mix, pose for photographers upon arrival at the Global Gift Gala in London, Thursday, March 7, 2019. (Photo by Joel C Ryan/Invision/AP)
Jesy Nelson of Little Mix poses for photographers upon arrival at the Brit Awards in London, Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2019. (Photo by Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP)
Photo by: KGC-130/STAR MAX/IPx 2018 10/11/18 Leigh-Anne Pinnock, Jesy Nelson, Jade Thirlwall, Perrie Edwards of Little Mix visits BBC Radio One Studios to promote their new single in London, England.
Jesy Nelson of Little Mix poses for photographers upon arrival at the Brit Awards in London, Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2019. (Photo by Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP)
Photo by: KGC-130/STAR MAX/IPx 2018 10/11/18 Leigh-Anne Pinnock, Jesy Nelson, Jade Thirlwall, Perrie Edwards of Little Mix visits BBC Radio One Studios to promote their new single in London, England.
Jesy Nelson of Little Mix poses for photographers upon arrival at the Brit Awards 2018 in London, Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018. (Photo by Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP)
Photo by: KGC-201/STAR MAX/IPx 2017 9/30/17 Jesy Nelson of Little Mix is seen in London, England (UK)
Photo by: KGC-182/STAR MAX/IPx 2017 4/19/17 Jesy Nelson of Little Mix is seen outside Cirque Le Soir Nightclub following dinner at Mews Of Mayfair Restaurant. (London, England, UK)
Perrie Edwards, from left, Jesy Nelson, Jade Thirlwall, and Leigh-Anne Pinnock, of Little Mix, perform at the Kids' Choice Awards at the Galen Center on Saturday, March 11, 2017, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
Members of the group Little Mix from left, Perry Edwards, Jesy Nelson, Jade Thirwall and Leigh-Ann Pinnock accept the award for Best British Single on stage at the Brit Awards 2017 in London, Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017. (Photo by Joel Ryan/Invision/AP)
Photo by: KGC-03/STAR MAX/IPx 2017 2/22/17 Perrie Edwards, Leigh-Anne Pinnock, Jesy Nelson and Jade Thirlwall of Little Mix at the 2017 BRIT Awards. (O2 Arena, London, England, UK)
Band member of music group Little Mix, Jesy Nelson poses for photographers during a photo call before signing copies of their book ‘Our World’, in London, Saturday, Oct. 22, 2016. (Photo by Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP)
Jesy Nelson of British band Little Mix performs on the Virgin Media Stage as part of the V Festival at Hylands Parks, Chelmsford, Sunday, Aug 21, 2016. (Photo by Joel Ryan/Invision/Ap)
Jade Thirlwall, from left, Jesy Nelson and Perrie Edwards of British band Little Mix perform as part of the V Festival at Hylands Parks, Chelmsford, Sunday, Aug 21, 2016. (Photo by Joel Ryan/Invision/AP)
Jade Thirlwall, from left to right, Leigh Anne Pinnock, Perrie Edwards and Jesy Nelson of British band Little Mix perform on the Virgin Media Stage as part of the V Festival at Hylands Parks, Chelmsford, Sunday, Aug 21, 2016. (Photo by Joel Ryan/Invision/AP)
Band members of music group Little Mix, from left, Leigh-Anne Pinnock, Jesy Nelson, Jade Thirlwall and Perrie Edwards pose for photographers before performing on stage at the Capital FM Summertime Ball, in London, Saturday June 11, 2016. (Photo by Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP)
Leigh-Anne Pinnock, from left, Perrie Edwards, Jesy Nelson and Jade Thirlwall of the group Little Mix visit the Q102 Performance Theater on Thursday, Sept. 10, 2015, in Philadelphia. (Photo by Owen Sweeney/Invision/AP)
Jesy Nelson of the group Little Mix visits the Q102 Performance Theater on Thursday, Sept. 10, 2015, in Philadelphia. (Photo by Owen Sweeney/Invision/AP)
Jesy Nelson of Little Mix participates in a global live-streamed fan event, hosted by NBCUniversal and AOL, at the Peacock Lounge at 30 Rockefeller Plaza on Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2015, in New York. (Photo by Greg Allen/Invision/AP)
Jesy Nelson of Little Mix participates in a global live-streamed fan event, hosted by NBCUniversal and AOL, at the Peacock Lounge at 30 Rockefeller Plaza on Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2015, in New York. (Photo by Greg Allen/Invision/AP)
Little Mix members, from left, Leigh-Anne Pinnock, Perrie Edwards, Jesy Nelson and Jade Thirlwall perform on NBC's "Today" show on Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2015, in New York. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)
Leigh-Anne Pinnock, from left, Jade Thirlwall, Perrie Edwards and Jesy Nelson, of Little Mix, winner of the award for choice music: breakout artist, pose in the press room at the Teen Choice Awards at the Galen Center on Sunday, Aug. 16, 2015, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
Liegh-Anne Pinnock, Jade Thirlwall, Perrie Edwards and Jesy Nelson of Little Mix pose for photographers for a photo call after performing at Isle of Wight Festival in Newport on the Isle of Wight on Saturday, June 15, 2013. Thousands of people are to attend the three day event with headliners, the Stone Roses, the Killers and Bon Jovi.(Photo by Jim Ross/Invision/AP)
From left, Jesy Nelson, Leigh-Anne Pinnock and Jade Thirlwall of Little Mix arrive for the Jingle Bell Ball on Saturday, Dec. 8, 2012, in London. (Photo by Jonathan Short/Invision/AP)
Girl band Little Mix, from left, Perrie Edwards, Jesy Nelson, Leigh-Anne Pinnock and Jade Thirlwall are seen backstage at BBC's Children in Need at Television Centre on Friday, Nov. 16, 2012, in London. (Photo by Jon Furniss/Invision for Children in Need/AP Images)
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"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.

"So after much consideration and with a heavy heart, I'm announcing I'm leaving Little Mix.

"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."

Nelson ended her message by thanking the remaining three band members, writing: "Most of all I want to soy 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."

Tweets from Little Mix's official account said: "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."

The band, who found fame on The X Factor, 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 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. Love always, Jade, Perrie and Leigh-Anne xxx."

The news followed an announcement in November that Nelson would be taking an "extended" break for private medical reasons.

She had previously been absent from the final of Little Mix's BBC One talent show The Search and also a performance at the MTV European Music Awards.

A statement from the band's publicist Simon Jones said: "Jesy is having extended time off from Little Mix for private medical reasons. We will not be issuing any further comment currently and ask media to please respect her privacy at this time."

The band had recently released their sixth studio album titled Confetti, their first since departing Simon Cowell's label Syco.

Fusion Festival - Liverpool
Little Mix formed on The X Factor (Peter Byrne/PA)

Little Mix formed on The X Factor in 2011 and have become one of the country's biggest-selling girl bands.

They auditioned on the ITV singing show as soloists, but were placed into a group by the judges in the show's later stages.

They left Syco Music for RCA in November 2018.

Cowell later launched another version of The X Factor, called The Band, to rival the girl group's The Search.

Nelson has previously spoken openly about her battle with anxiety and revealed in a BBC documentary called Odd One Out that abuse on social media got so bad she attempted to take her own life.

The programme won her the award for best factual entertainment at the 2020 National Television Awards.

The band are scheduled to embark on a UK tour next year.

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