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Little Mix

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Little Mix
Little Mix performing in 2013
Background information
Origin United Kingdom
Years active 2011–present
  • Perrie Edwards
  • Jesy Nelson
  • Leigh-Anne Pinnock
  • Jade Thirlwall

Little Mix are a British girl group formed in 2011, consisting of members Jade Thirlwall, Perrie Edwards, Leigh-Anne Pinnock, and Jesy Nelson.[1] They were formed exclusively for the eighth series of The X Factor in 2011 and became the first, and so far, only group to win the competition. Following their victory, they signed with Simon Cowell's record label Syco Music 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 debuted at number five.[2] In 2015, they won Breakout Artist at the Teen Choice Awards in Los Angeles.[3]


2011: Formation and The X Factor

In 2011, Edwards, Thirlwall, 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] 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 8 October 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 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 publicly 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 1 June, 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. "Wings" subsequently 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]

2013–14: Salute and "Word Up!"

Little Mix in 2014.

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 3 November.[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 14 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 27 July 2014 in Scarborough, North Yorkshire at the Scarborough Open Air Theatre. Little Mix were expected to begin the North American leg of the tour in September 2014, but it was cancelled due to them wanting to work on their next album.[61]

2015: Get Weird

At the 2015 Brit Awards, the group confirmed that their album was completed, describing it as having a "whole new sound" and projecting the release for sometime in 2015.[62] Having written over 100 songs for their forthcoming album,[63] in May 2015 Little Mix released "Black Magic", the debut single from their upcoming third album.[64] Little Mix also co-wrote Britney Spears' single "Pretty Girls", which was also released in May 2015.[65]

On 15 July 2015, following a leak of the album's cover art, the group officially announced on Twitter that their third studio album would be titled Get Weird, and would be available for pre-order in the UK from the following day, with a global release date set for 6 November 2015.[66]

On 25 September the band released "Love Me Like You" as the second single from the album. It was released as a single only in the UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand, but was available to buy as an album track worldwide.

On 6 November, the group's third studio album was released.


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.[67][dead link][68] Edwards cites Jackson and Steve Perry from the American rock band Journey as her musical influences.[67]

Other ventures

Products and endorsements

In May 2012, Little Mix launched a Union Flag-themed pack of M&M’s and performed at the M&M's World store in London.[69] That year they also released their first book, called Ready to Fly. The title 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.[70] 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.[71]

During 2012, Little Mix also unveiled a children's clothing range with clothing retailer Primark. The line is aimed to 7-13 year olds and comprises accessories, T-shirts, leggings and nightwear.[72]

In 2013, the group promoted Schwarzkopf hair dye Live Colour XXL through their music video for How Ya Doin'?.[42] That year the group also launched a range of nails and nail wraps in partnership with Elegant Touch and New Look.[73] In early 2014, Little Mix launched their new range of nails with Elegant Touch as a result of the previous success.[74]

In September, Little Mix announced that they were launching their own makeup line with Collection.[75]

During May 2014, the group teamed up with Vibe Audio to bring out Little Mix zip cable headphones.[76]

In June 2015, Little Mix launched their perfume named "Gold Magic".[77]


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.[78] They covered the 1978 hit single "Wishing on a Star" by Rose Royce. All proceeds from the single went to the children's charity Together for Short Lives, which provides ongoing care and support for seriously and terminally ill children, young people and their families from the moment of diagnosis. 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 children in the UK.[79]

Little Mix also appeared at the two-part charity concert Children in Need Rocks 2013 to raise money for the campaign, performing a medley of their singles Change Your Life, DNA and Wings. They performed alongside Kings of Leon, Ellie Goulding, Robbie Williams and other artists. The concert was broadcast on BBC One during the Children In Need week.[80]

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 campaign is urging the European Commission to introduce new laws to protect children from bullying and cyberbullying, for 77 million euros (£57m) to be set aside for services that protect them and for an annual awareness day to promote the movement. 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." .[81] 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, raising a record-breaking £51,242,186 on the night it was broadcast. The group also visited Liberia to witness the good work paid for by the Sport Relief donations. Each member recorded a video diary in which they visited local hospitals and described their experiences.[82]


Perrie Edwards

Perrie Edwards (above left), Jesy Nelson (above right), Leigh-Anne Pinnock (below left) and Jade Thirlwall (below right)

Perrie Louise Edwards[83] was born on (1993-07-10) 10 July 1993 (age 22),[84] and raised in South Shields, Tyne and Wear, to parents Alexander Edwards and Deborah Duffy. She has an older brother named Jonnie. Her first audition was "You Oughta Know" by Alanis Morissette.[85] Edwards attended Radipole Primary School in Weymouth, Dorset before moving back to South Shields.[86] She is a graduate of St. Peter and Paul RC Primary School, in South Shields, and attended Mortimer Community College, also in South Shields, for five years, where she excelled in both academic and performance subjects.[86] Edwards transferred and graduated from Newcastle College, where she received a BTEC in Performing Arts.[86]

In 2011, while on the X Factor, Edwards met One Direction singer Zayn Malik. The two began dating in March 2012.[87] In 2013, Edwards became engaged to Malik.[87] On 4 August 2015, representatives for Malik told Us Weekly that the couple had called off their engagement.[88]

Jesy Nelson

Jessica Louise Nelson[83] was born on (1991-06-14) 14 June 1991 (age 24),[89] and raised in Romford, east London to parents John Nelson and Janice White. She has an older sister Jade and two brothers, Joseph and Jonathan.[90][91] Her first audition was "Bust Your Windows" by Jazmine Sullivan.[92] Since joining Little Mix, she has faced cyber-bullying and struggled to cope during her time on The X Factor.[91][93] Nelson attended secondary school Jo Richardson Community School and Abbs Cross Academy and Arts College (in Hornchurch, Essex), was noted for being a dedicated drama and music student by her teachers.[94] She also attended Sylvia Young and Yvonne Rhodes Theatre Schools. In 2014, Nelson began dating Rixton lead singer, Jake Roche.[95] The couple got engaged on 19 July 2015.[96]

Leigh-Anne Pinnock

Leigh-Anne Pinnock[83] was born on (1991-10-04) 4 October 1991 (age 24),[97] and raised in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire along with her two sisters, Sarah and Sian-Louise.[98] Pinnock is of Barbadian and Jamaican ancestry.[99] Before joining Little Mix, she worked as a waitress in Pizza Hut.[98] Her first audition was "Only Girl (in the World)" by Rihanna.[92]

Jade Thirlwall

Jade Amelia Thirlwall[83] was born on (1992-12-26) 26 December 1992 (age 23),[100] and raised in the Laygate neighbourhood of South Shields, Tyne and Wear.[101] She is of Yemeni and Egyptian ancestry on her mother's side.[102] She also auditioned for The X Factor in 2008 and 2010 but got eliminated at Bootcamp stage. She attended performing arts college South Tyneside, where she studied a range of courses.[86]


Concert tours



Awards and nominations


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  101. ^ Ward, Verity (22 December 2011). "No place like home for Little Mix SHestars". Jarrow and Hebburn Gazette. Retrieved 22 December 2011. 
  102. ^ Hamad, Marwa (27 November 2013). "Little Mix Want to Make Their Mark". tabloid!. Gulf News. Retrieved 1 February 2016. 
  103. ^ "Little Mix 2016 UK Tour Dates Announced! Get Tickets To The 'Get Weird' Show Next Weekend". Capital FM. 17 July 2015. Retrieved 17 July 2015. 

External links

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