Jesy Nelson announces she has officially quit Little Mix

Jesy, who was in the group for nine years, admits: "Being in the band has really taken a toll on my mental health".

Jesy Nelson has announced that she has quit Little Mix.

The singer, who has been in the group for nine years, made the announcement on her Instagram today (Dec 14), explaining: "Being in the band has really taken a toll on my mental health."

In the statement, Jesy 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 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 feel like the luckiest girl in the world."

MORE: View Little Mix's Official Chart history in full

Explaining her decision to leave the band now, she said: "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.

"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 its 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.

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"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"

In their own statement, Little Mix said: "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. Love always, Jade, Perrie and Leigh-Anne xxx"

Journey back through all of Little Mix's single and album artwork so far below:

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01 - Wishing on a Star