Little Mix

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Little Mix
LittleMix15.jpg
Little Mix on stage in February 2013 as part of the DNA Tour. From left to right: Perrie Edwards, Jade Thirlwall, Jesy Nelson and Leigh-Anne Pinnock
Background information
Origin United Kingdom
Genres
Years active 2011–present
Labels Syco, Columbia
Associated acts The X Factor 2011 finalists, Demi Lovato, Cher Lloyd, Fifth Harmony
Website www.little-mix.com
Members Perrie Edwards
Jesy Nelson
Leigh-Anne Pinnock
Jade Thirlwall

Little Mix are a British four-piece girl group formed in 2011, consisting of members Perrie Edwards, Jesy Nelson, Leigh-Anne Pinnock and Jade Thirlwall.[1] They were formed exclusively for the eighth series of The X Factor in 2011 and became the first group to win the competition. Following their victory, they signed with Simon Cowell's record label Syco Records and released a cover of Damien Rice's "Cannonball" as their winner's single.

Little Mix released their debut album DNA on 19 November 2012. It charted in the top 5 in eight countries, including number two in the UK and number four on the US Billboard 200. This made Little Mix the first girl group since The Pussycat Dolls to reach the U.S. top 5 with their debut album, as well as earning the highest debut U.S. chart position by a British girl group, breaking the record previously held by the Spice Girls, whose 1996 debut Spice charted at number five.[2] As of October 2013, Little Mix had sold over 5 million singles and over 2.5 million albums worldwide.[3]

History

2011: Formation and The X Factor

In 2011, Edwards, Thirlwall, Leigh-Pinnock and Nelson successfully auditioned as soloists for the eighth series of The X Factor,[4] but failed to make it past bootcamp's first challenge.[5] However, the judges decided to give them another chance in the Groups category.[5] They were put into separate ensembles by the judges during the group's bootcamp stage, with Edwards and Nelson in four-member group Faux Pas and Thirlwall and Pinnock in three-member group Orion.[6] However, both groups failed to make it through to the judges' houses. A later decision recalled two members from each group to form the four-piece group Rhythmix, sending them through to the judges' houses.[7]

Little Mix performing in 2012

They eventually reached the live shows and were mentored by Tulisa Contostavlos.[8] During the first live show on October 8, 2011, Rhythmix performed Super Bass by American recording artist Nicki Minaj. Their rendition was praised by the judges with Gary Barlow calling them the “best girl band that’s ever been on The X Factor.[9] On 26 October 2011, Rhythmix announced that they would change their name following a dispute with a Brighton-based children's music charity of the same name, after the programme tried to trademark "Rhythmix".[10][11] A spokesman for The X Factor said, "At the request of the charity Rhythmix, the members of the girl group Rhythmix have decided to change their name, a decision which has the support of Syco and TalkbackTHAMES."[12] It was reported that the group decided to make the change, with no legal requirement to do so, to avoid any difficulties for the charity.[12] On 28 October 2011, it was announced that the group's new name would be "Little Mix".[13] On 20 November 2011, Little Mix became the first girl group in the show's eight-year history to progress past the seventh live show. The previous longest-surviving girl groups were The Conway Sisters (series 2) and Hope (series 4), who had both lasted until week 7.[14] Through the remaining course of the competition the group generally received positive feedback. During the semi-final stage of the show, Little Mix performed The Supremes's You Keep Me Hangin' On as well as Beyoncé’s hit If I Were a Boy. Their performance of You Keep Me Hangin' On received mostly negative feedback from the judges with Louis Walsh stating that they “lost their mojo” and Kelly Rowland telling the girl group she seen them do “better vocal performances.” Their second performance of the night, If I Were A Boy, was generally acclaimed by the judges with Walsh telling them they have “amazing potential” and calling them the “next big girl band.” Rowland also told them they could be “incredibly dynamic” and “change the world” when they find the strength within each other. The group advanced through to the final live shows along with Marcus Collins and Amelia Lily following the public vote.

On 11 December, Little Mix were announced as the winners, the first-ever group to win.[15] Their winner's single was a cover of Damien Rice's song "Cannonball", which was released via digital download on 11 December 2011, and on CD on 14 December 2011.[16][17] The Xtra Factor: The Winner's Story was shown on ITV2 on 17 December 2011.[18] Their debut single topped the UK Singles Chart on 18 December 2011.[19] They made the Christmas number one spot on the Irish Singles Chart, beating novelty songs by The Saw Doctors and Ryan Sheridan.[20]

2012–13: DNA and international breakthrough

Little Mix performing in 2012

On 25 January 2012, Little Mix made an appearance at the National Television Awards and performed the En Vogue song "Don't Let Go (Love)". They also accompanied fellow judges Gary Barlow and Tulisa Contostavlos on stage to receive the Best Talent Show award that had been won by the The X Factor.[24] In May 2012, Little Mix reportedly signed a deal with Vivid and Bravado to release signature products including dolls, puzzles, accessories and games.[25]

Prior to their debut single release, the band covered an a cappella version of Beyoncé’s “End of Time” and uploaded it on YouTube; the cover was publically praised, especially for the group’s impressive harmonies.[26] Later in August, they also uploaded another cover, this time an acoustic cover of “We Are Young” by Fun ft. Janelle Monae which again received positive feedback, generally, for the group’s harmonies. On June 1, a snippet of their debut single “Wings” previewed on chat show Alan Carr: Chatty Man before its later release date in August.[27]

Little Mix performed their debut single "Wings" for the first time at the T4 on the Beach concert on 1 July.[28] The single debuted at number one on the UK Singles Chart.[29] On 31 August 2012, the group's autobiography, titled Ready to Fly, was released by Harper Collins.[30][31][32][33] In October 2012, the group went on a promotional visit to Australia due to their expanding fan base there, destinations included Melbourne and Sydney. The trip lasted a week and the group visited radio stations to promote the single and debut album. They performed their single “Wings” on The X Factor (Australia) and on Australian breakfast-television show Sunrise. Subsequently their single “Wings” reached number 2 on the Australian iTunes chart and number 3 on the ARIA charts.[34]

Their debut album, DNA, was released in November 2012. Nicola Roberts co-penned a track called "Going Nowhere." on the DNA album[35] The album reached #3 in both Ireland and the UK. A second single, "DNA", was released in October,[36] and in January 2013 they signed a record deal with Columbia Records in North America.[37] "Wings" was released as their debut single in America on 5 February 2013.[38] On 3 February 2013, they released "Change Your Life" as the album's third single, which charted at number 12 on the UK Singles Chart.[39] On 4 March 2013, it was announced that "How Ya Doin'?" would be released as the fourth and final single from their debut album.[40]

On 21 March, they announced that their next single, "How Ya Doin'?", would feature Grammy Award-winning musician, Missy Elliott.[41] On 4 April 2013, the group revealed that Schwarzkopf hair dye Live Colour XXL would be promoted through their music video for "How Ya Doin'?" in a new sponsorship deal.[42] "How Ya Doin'?" debuted at number 57 on the UK Singles Chart on 20 April 2013, before ascending to number 23 the week after.[43] In its third week, the song peaked at number 16,[44] marking Little Mix's fifth consecutive UK top 20 hit.[45] It charted for a total of seven weeks.[45] "How Ya Doin'?" sold 120,000 copies in the UK. The single debuted at number 55 on the Irish Singles Chart on 11 April 2013.[46] It then climbed the chart to peak at number 26. Consequently, "How Ya Doin'?" became Little Mix's first single to miss the top 20 in Ireland, but spent a total of seven weeks on the chart.[47] The single peaked at number 16 on the Scottish Singles Chart on 11 May 2013,[48] marking the group's fifth consecutive top 20 hit in Scotland.[49]

2013–present: Salute

In March 2013, Little Mix began their first promotional campaign in the US. In multiple interviews with various websites and radio interviewers, the girls said that they would begin working on their second album in April. The group began work writing and recording the album in April and concluded in September. In an interview with Digital Spy in March 2013, they stated that they wanted their second album to have a more R&B sound.[50] Nelson added: "I personally want to put a lot more dancey stuff in there. As in, one of the songs that comes on in a club that makes you want to dance. Not that David Guetta sound, but more R&B – a bit like Eve and Gwen Stefani's "Let Me Blow Ya Mind". They also revealed that they would be starting to write material for the new album in the coming months.[50] On 4 October, Little Mix uploaded a video to their official YouTube page, announcing that their second album would be called Salute and would be available for pre-order on 7 October.[51] The album was released on 11 November 2013 in the United Kingdom and was released in the United States on 4 February 2014.[52] Throughout the recording process, Little Mix worked with several producers, including TMS, Future Cut, Fred Ball, Duvall and Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. The album was largely co-written by Little Mix, who stated that they were more involved in the development of this album than with their debut.

On 23 September 2013, "Move" was premiered on BBC Radio 1. For the single, Little Mix worked with Nathan Duvall, an up and coming R&B producer and Maegan Cottone the girl's vocal coach. "Move" was released on 7 October in Australia and New Zealand. It was later released in the UK and Ireland on November 3.[53] It was sent to Mainstream Radio in the US on 18 February 2014 and reached number 38 on that chart. The song peaked at number three in the UK, number 5 in Ireland, number 19 in Japan and number 12 in New Zealand. The single also charted in Australia, Belgium, the Netherlands and Slovak. Since then, "Move" has been certified gold in Australia for sales of 35,000[54] and silver in the UK for sales of 200,000.[55] "Little Me" was selected as the second single from the album. The song was co-written by TMS and Iain James, and produced by TMS. On 21 November 2013, Little Mix revealed via a YouTube video message that they decided to release it as the second single because it held a lot meaning to them and was written with their fans in mind.[56] The song reached number fourteen in the UK, number three in Armenia, number fifteen in Iceland and number 16 in the Netherlands. It also charted in Australia, Ireland and Lebanon. The band released a cover version of the Cameo's song "Word Up!" as the official single for Sport Relief 2014.[57][58] The song reached number six in the UK and number thirteen in Ireland while also charting in Australia, Austria, Denmark and France.

Little Mix announced on 5 April 2014 that the title track "Salute" will be released as the album's third single. It impacted UK radio on 28 April 2014.[59] The official music video premiered on 2 May and received over one million views within 24 hours.[60] It was released on 1 June. In December 2013, the group announced the UK and Ireland dates for their second headlining concert tour, The Salute Tour, North American dates were added in April 2014. The tour began on 16 May 2014 in Birmingham, England at the LG Arena and ended on July 27, 2014 in Scarborough, North Yorkshire at the Scarborough Open Air Theatre. The group were expected to begin their Salute Tour in North American leg in September 2014, but was cancelled, due to the group wanting to work on their third studio album.[61]

Artistry

Little Mix cite the Spice Girls, Beyoncé, Michael Jackson, Destiny’s Child, En Vogue, TLC, Nicki Minaj, Christina Aguilera and Rihanna as their musical influences.[62][63] Edwards cites Jackson and Steve Perry from the American rock band Journey as her musical influences.[62]

Other ventures

Products and endorsements

In May 2012, Little Mix launched the Union Jack pack of M&M’s.[64] The group also treated fans to an exclusive performance at the M&M’s World store. Also in 2012, Little Mix released their first book entitled ‘Ready to Fly’. The title of the book is a reference to their debut single "Wings". The book was published through HarperCollins and documents the group’s journey since auditioning for The X Factor.[65] The girl group signed a joint deal with toymaker Vivid and music merchandiser Bravado to release a range of products including dolls, puzzles, accessories and games in November.[66]

During 2012, Little Mix also unveiled a kid’s clothing range with clothing retailer Primark. The line is aimed to 7-13 year olds and comprises accessories, t-shirts, leggings and nightwear. The products include the group’s individual trademark icons, Edwards has a flower, Pinnock has a baseball cap, Thirlwall a bow and Nelson’s icon is a boom box.[67]

On 4 April 2013, the group revealed that Schwarzkopf hair dye Live Colour XXL would be promoted through their music video for "How Ya Doin'?".[42]

The group teamed up with nail brand Elegant Touch to design their own individual nails, each girl designed their own nails and nail wraps to represent their personality for fashion. Elegant Touch and Little Mix signed up with New Look to officially launch the range. The nail line was released in April 2013.[68] In early 2014, Little Mix launched their new range of nails with Elegant Touch as a result of the previous success.[69]

In September, Little Mix announced that they were launching their own makeup line with Collection. Perrie shared, "We are so so excited to unveil our new range to all you makeup lovers out there. As you know we all love dressing up and experimenting with different looks, so creating our own makeup was a dream come true. We designed the collection ourselves and we've all chosen products that reflect our personalities."[70] Following the success of their previous makeup range with cosmetic brand Collection, Little Mix revealed plans to expand the line by bringing out a second range. During May, the group revealed a preview of the new make-up collection via Instagram. The ‘Little Mix by Collection’ line involves four individual ranges that aim to reflect each girl’s personal style. The group have extended the range to include moisturising lip balms available in each of the girls’ signature shade and favourite scent: Jesy decide on vanilla, Leigh-Anne opted for mint and Jade raspberry. As Perrie has no sense of smell, she' had chosen a shimmery unscented balm instead. The singers have also introduced a bumper eye shadow pallet ‘All about the Eyes Palette’ it includes six shimmery and smoky brown shades ; Feather, Sun kissed, Golden Sand, Dazzling Brown, Cocoa Dream and Blackbird. The new range had been reported to arrive in Superdrug stores by July 30, 2014.[71][72]

During May 2014 it was revealed that the group had teamed up with Vibe Audio to bring out Little Mix zip cable headphones. The earphones would be available to buy direct from the VIBE store during June 2 coinciding with their ‘Salute’ UK tour. The Vibe-Audio listening devices have availability in two different twin shade combinations, pink and white and/or black and red.[73]

Philanthropy

Little Mix took part in the recording of the 2011 X Factor charity single along with the finalists of the X Factor 2011 and previous X Factor contestants’ JLS and One Direction.[74] They covered the 1978 hit single "Wishing on a Star" by Rose Royce. All proceeds from the single went to the children's charity organization, Together for Short Lives. The charity ensures that every life-threatened child, young person and their family gets the best possible care and support from the moment of diagnosis, wherever they live and for as long as they need it. The song debuted at number one on the UK Singles Chart with first-week sales of 98,932 copies. In 2012, the band performed their single "Change Your Life" on the Children In Need 2012 broadcast appeal show, helping raise over £26,757,446 for the cause which helps disadvantaged kids in the UK.[75]

Little Mix also performed at the two-part charity music concert Children in Need Rocks 2013 to raise money for Children In Need. Little Mix performed a medley consisting of their hit singles Change Your Life, DNA and Wings. The group performed alongside Kings of Leon, Ellie Goulding among other artists. The concert was broadcast on BBC One during the Children In Need week.[76]

In March 2014, Little Mix teamed up with BeatBullying, the largest anti-bullying organization in Europe. The quartet is backing the anti-bullying media campaign “The Big March” and the #DeleteCyberbullying project. The aim is to stop bullying and cyberbullying across Europe. Member Leigh-Anne Pinnock said "Myself and the girls have all experienced being bullied at some point in our life. “When we see on Twitter that some of our fans are going through it now we find it so upsetting and that's the reason we feel so passionate about this campaign and the work that BeatBullying does." A key aim of the Big March calls on the European Commission to introduce new laws to protect the right of European children to live without fear of bullying and cyberbullying. The campaign is also calling for 77 million euros (£57m) to be set aside for services that prevent and protect European children from bullying and cyberbullying. It is also proposing an annual awareness day to promote the anti-bullying movement across Europe. Brands including Disney, Moshi Monsters and Storm Models are also backing the Big March.[77] In March 2014, Little Mix released a cover of Cameo’s single “Word Up!” as the official single for Sport Relief 2014. They performed it live during the Sport Relief telethon. The total amount raised on the night of broadcast was a record breaking £51,242,186. The girl group also visited Liberia to witness the good work done with the Sport Relief donations, a video diary was recorded by each member showing them visit local hospitals and describing their experiences.[78]

Members

Perrie Edwards

Edwards was born (1993-07-10) 10 July 1993 (age 21),[79] and raised in South Shields, Tyne and Wear to parents Alexander Edwards and Deborah Duffy. Edwards has an older brother named Jonnie. Her first audition was "You Oughta Know" by Alanis Morissette.[80] She became engaged to One Direction member Zayn Malik in August 2013.[81]

Jesy Nelson

Nelson was born (1991-06-14) 14 June 1991 (age 23),[82] and raised in Romford, London to parents John Nelson and Janice White. She has an older sister Jade and two brothers, Joseph and Jonathan.[83][84] Her first audition was "Bust Your Windows" by Jazmine Sullivan.[85] Since joining Little Mix, she has faced cyber-bullying and struggled to cope during her time on The X Factor.[84][86] Prior to the show, Nelson worked as a barmaid.[87] She's in a relationship with Diversity's Jordan Banjo.

Leigh-Anne Pinnock

Pinnock was born (1991-10-04) 4 October 1991 (age 22),[88] and raised in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire along with her two sisters, Sarah and Sian-Louise.[89] Pinnock is of Barbadian and Jamaican ancestry.[90] Before joining Little Mix, she worked as a waitress in Pizza Hut.[89] Her first audition was "Only Girl (in the World)" by Rihanna.[85] She's in a relationship with Jordan Kiffin.

Jade Thirlwall

Thirlwall was born (1992-12-26) 26 December 1992 (age 21),[91] and raised in South Shields, Tyne and Wear.[92] She previously auditioned for The X Factor during series 5 (2008) and series 7 (2010). Her first audition (2011) was "I Want to Hold Your Hand" by The Beatles. Her musical influences are Diana Ross and Cheryl Cole. She's in a relationship with Diversity's Sam Craske.

Discography

Concert tours

Headlining

Supporting

Awards and nominations

References

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External links

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Matt Cardle
Winner of The X Factor
2011
Succeeded by
James Arthur