Jesy Nelson has officially left Little Mix, the UK pop quartet who have topped the British music chart four times since coming out of joining The X Factor in 2011.

Nelson and the group posted the announcement on their social media accounts, with Nelson thanking her bandmates and their fans who have been very supportive of her decision.

“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 U.K. girl group 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.”

The three remaining members, Jade Thirlwall, Perrie Edwards and Leigh-Anne Pinnock, then signed off, “We’re looking forward to seeing so many of you on tour. Love always, Jade, Perrie and Leigh-Anne xxx.”

On Instagram, Nelson described her time with the group as “the most incredible time of my life.”

“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.

Jesy Nelson (GC)

The talented musician added that she needed to spend time with the people she loves and do the things that make her 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’s decision comes a month after she took time off from the group, where she cited “private medical reasons”.

But Nelson has always been very open about her mental health difficulties in the past. She revealed that she suffered depression and disordered eating, and has been frequently targeted in online abuse.

Little Mix, briefly named Rhythmix when they were first assembled, are one of the most successful graduates of The X Factor. The group rose to stardom with chart-topping songs Cannonball, Wings and Black Magic. They also have collaborated with other musicians like Nicki Minaj and Jason Derulo.

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