Why did Jesy Nelson leave Little Mix?

Jesy left the band back in December. (Picture: Getty)

Five number ones in the UK and 30 Top 40 singles. Six albums in the top 10. The only girl group to spend 100 weeks in the UK Top 10.

From the outside, being one-quarter of Little Mix was a charmed life, full of success and international acclaim.

But that didn’t stop Jesy Nelson, 30, leaving the band in December 2020.

As she prepares to release her first solo single, let’s look back at why Jesy left Little Mix.

Why did Jesy leave Little Mix?

A combination of factors was responsible for Jesy’s decision to leave the band, she revealed in an interview.

Speaking in-depth with the Guardian, Nelson opened up about what led to her decision to leave, including mental health, body issues and a mutual decision with her bandmates – with whom she hasn’t spoken to since leaving.

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Nelson’s issues with body image and trolling has been covered before, including in her award-winning documentary, Odd One Out.

In November 2013, Little Mix returned to The X Factor for a guest visit. Katie Hopkins, in typical fashion, tweeted: ‘Packet Mix have still got a chubber in their ranks. Less Little Mix. More Pick n Mix.’

Nelson, already low and struggling, took an overdose and was taken to hospital.

Jesy was a fan-favourite, but life wasn’t the same behind the scenes. (Picture: Joseph Okpako/WireImage/Getty)

The straw that eventually broke the camel’s back for Nelson came after lockdown in 2020.

She said in her interview: ‘I feel really bad saying this, but in lockdown it was the happiest I’ve ever been. I was isolating with my best friend, and we just pissed around and laughed every day. I’d not felt a true inner happiness like that for a very long time…and then they’d sprung on us two weeks prior, “Oh, you’ve got a music video.” I got in a panic because I’d put on weight.’

She continued: ‘I did the music video and had a panic attack, and it was pretty mental that day… After the video I just got back in a really dark place and ended up back in hospital. That was when my mum said, ‘No more.’’

‘I had already decided. Then the girls spoke to Mum and said, ‘We think Jesy should come out of this now. She has to look after herself.’’

However, this was the culmination of several issues she was experiencing with the band.

In the same interview, she explained that the move to a different record label was a big factor in her unhappiness.

In 2018 a spat between their management company, Modest!, and their record label, Simon Cowell’s Syco, resulted in a transfer to RCA.

About the move, Nelson said: ‘It was just a bit s**t because we loved our whole team. When Little Mix started out, and for a long time, we were very authentic.’

‘We’d go in and write together, but as we got older and changed label, we lost heart in it a bit. We were given songs and I hated them. I was like, “I don’t want to be on them – I don’t like the song.”’

Since signing with the same label as Ariana Grande, Nelson has been working on solo music expected soon.


MORE : Little Mix include Jesy Nelson in special teaser to mark 10th anniversary and look how far they’ve come


MORE : Jesy Nelson confirms new music as she’s spotted filming dance scenes in London

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