Singer Jesy Nelson announced she quit U.K. girl group Little Mix on Monday, December 14.
The 29-year-old shared the shocking news in a statement posted to Instagram — which has already garnered over one million likes — while thanking her fans and bandmates for "the most incredible time of my life." Nelson candidly admitted that being in the "band has really taken a toll on my mental health."
She continued, "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."
The brunette beauty said she needed to "spend some time with the people I love, doing things that make me happy," and noted she is "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."
The remaining Little Mix members, Jade Thirlwall, Leigh-Anne Pinnock and Perrie Edwards, shared a statement on Twitter after Nelson's announcement. "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," they wrote.
"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," they added. "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."
Nelson's decision to leave the group comes nine years after Little Mix was formed on The X Factor in 2011. During their rise to fame, the group topped the British singles chart four times and won two Brit awards, five Global Music Awards, two Teen Choice Awards and more.
Last month, Nelson announced she was taking time away from the group, citing "private medical reasons." Nelson previously opened up about her mental health, her struggles with depression and her eating disorder in her 2019 BBC Three documentary, Jesy Nelson: Odd One Out.
She admitted to The Guardian last year that she got into a routine where should would wake up and immediately check Twitter, "searching for the worst things I could about myself." She would type in "Jesy fat" or "Jesy ugly" or just type in her name and see "all the horrible things" people said about her.
"Everyone told me to ignore it – but it was like an addiction," Nelson explained before adding that she eventually felt that she "physically couldn't tolerate the pain anymore" and attempted suicide. Nelson credited support from family, friends, and therapy as having helped her out during that time period.