Little Mix have confirmed that Jesy Nelson has left the band after nine years.
Band members Jade Thirlwall, Perrie Edwards and Leigh-Anne Pinnock confirmed the news on Twitter on Monday (14 December), less than a month after it was revealed Nelson was taking an "extended" break from the group for private medical reasons.
"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," Little Mix's remaining members said in a statement on Twitter.
"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.
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.— Little Mix (@LittleMix) December 14, 2020
"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".
In a statement on her own Instagram page, Nelson said that her years with Little Mix had been the "most incredible time of [her] life", but had affected her mental health.
"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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"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."
Nelson, 28, continued: "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 be there to support me."
After thanking fans for their support over the years, Jesy paid tribute to her former bandmates for "creating some of the most amazing memories".
"I hope that you'll continue to fulfill all of your dreams and keep on making music that people love", she added.
Essex-born Nelson joined Little Mix in 2011 during the eighth series The X Factor, where the group became the first band to win the competition.
Her exit from the group comes weeks after the release of Little Mix's sixth studio album Confetti, which entered the Official UK Singles Chart at Number Two last month.