Jesy Nelson has left girl group Little Mix after nine years in the band, which formed on the ‘X Factor’ in 2011.
Taking to Instagram to announce the news, Nelson cited high pressure and the need to look after her mental health as her main reasons for quitting the quartet.
“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 focussing on making other people happy, and I feel like now is the time to begin that process,” said Nelson, 29.
“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 added.
Nelson also thanked her fans and her band mates, Jade Thirlwall, Perrie Edwards and Leigh-Anne Pinnock.
“I hope that you’ll continue to fulfill all your dreams and keep on making music that people love,” she wrote.
Little Mix have gone to No 1 in the UK four times, including for 2015’s ‘Black Magic’ and 2016’s ‘Shout Out to my Ex’.
The band released their own statement on Twitter.
“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,” they wrote.
“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.”
Nelson took an extended break from the band last month for “private medical reasons”. Last year, she launched the BBC Three documentary ‘Odd One Out’ talking about her experiences with disordered eating, depression and cyber bullying.