They put on a united front as the world’s biggest girl band for ten years after shooting to fame on the X Factor in 2011.
But as a bitter row emerges among its original members it appears the writing may have been on the wall for the pop group after a series of tense rows during rehearsals and filming over the years.
Happier times: Little Mix put on a united front as the world’s biggest girl band for ten years after shooting to fame on the X Factor in 2011, but as a bitter new row erupts among two of its members, was the writing always on the wall for the pop group? (pictured at The BRITs in 2019)
Throwback: Jesy Nelson, Leigh-Anne Pinnock, Jade Thirlwall and Perrie Edwards are pictured winning the X Factor in 2011 before being catapulted to stardom
Previously Jesy, 30, admitted she hadn’t spoken to her former bandmates – also including Perrie Edwards and Jade Thirlwall – for nearly a year after quitting the band for her mental health last December.
Here MailOnline takes a look back over the clues that could have predicted the stars’ most recent fallout:
The band leave rehearsals last July all looking VERY frosty-faced
Last July pictures emerged of the band leaving rehearsals in what appeared to be a very bad mood.
The band were seen leaving a rehearsal space in 2020 where Leigh-Anne walked out with visible anger on her face.
Argument? Last July pictures emerged of the band leaving rehearsals in what appeared to be a very bad mood
Upset? The band were seen leaving a rehearsal space in 2020 where Leigh Anne walked out with visible anger on her face
Meanwhile Jade was left to animatedly discuss something with Jesy.
Perrie had left 20 minutes earlier than the rest, The Star reported at the time.
Jesy ignores Leigh-Anne’s pregnancy announcement
Back in July Leigh-Anne revealed she was expecting her first child with fiancé Andre Gray – however Jesy didn’t publicly congratulate her on the happy news.
Leigh-Anne, 29, revealed her baby news for the first time by sharing pictures of herself with her bump on show while Andre, also 29, stood behind her smiling for the camera.
She said in her proud post: ‘We’ve dreamed about this moment for so long and we can’t believe the dream is finally coming true… we can’t wait to meet you.’
What’s going on? Back in July Leigh-Anne revealed she was expecting her first child with fiancé Andre Gray – however Jesy didn’t publicly congratulate her on the happy news
While Jesy was silent, bandmate Jade, 28, quickly posted a series of crying face emojis in the comments as she added: ‘Love you so much, look at this family.’
Perrie, 27, went on to add: ‘I can’t stop staring at these pictures. You’re a vision. Ily both so much! CONGRATULATIONS my beautiful sister!’
While Jesy failed to comment on Leigh-Anne’s post, she had been noticeably busy on social media at the time, promoting an interview where she claimed she hit ‘breaking point’ while filming the video for their hit Sweet Melody.
At the time fans took to Twitter to say they had noticed the lack of congratulations and speculated about a fallout.
‘I think Jesy and Little Mix had a fall out,’ one tweeted, before another shared: ‘Do you guys think Jesy and Little Mix are still friends?’
Exciting: Leigh-Anne, 29, revealed her baby news for the first time by sharing pictures of herself with her bump on show
Another posted a screenshot of Perrie and Jade’s comments on Leigh-Anne’s post before writing: ‘Still no Jesy…’
One social media user went on to say: ‘OK LOOK…if the labels told them not to interact I get it but this was the perfect opportunity to state how happy she is for Leigh. But nothing… SOMETHING’S GOING ON.’
‘I don’t for a second believe Jesy is still friends with Little Mix. You guys are delusional and hopeful,’ a fifth said.
Jesy also never publicly shared any congratulations when Leigh-Anne welcomed her twins last month or when Perrie Edwards gave birth in late August.
Jade admits she STORMED OFF filming their talent show Little Mix: The Search together
Last September just ahead of Jesy quitting the band, Jade admitted that she ‘went off in a huff a couple of times’ after disagreeing with her bandmates while filming their show Little Mix: The Search.
The singer said things did get tense between herself, Perrie, Leigh-Anne and Jesy, at times as they searched for a boyband to join them on tour.
Tension: Last September just ahead of Jesy quitting the band, Jade admitted that she ‘went off in a huff a couple of times’ after disagreeing with her bandmates while filming their show Little Mix : The Search
Trouble: The singer said things did get tense between herself, Perrie, Leigh-Anne and Jesy, at times as they searched for a boyband to join them on tour
With all four girls having strong opinions and acting as mentors, Leigh-Anne admitted they ‘all have different tastes in music, so we were bound to disagree’.
While Jesy said she wasn’t surprised they ‘didn’t see eye to eye’, Jade told New! Magazine: ‘Maybe I went off in a huff a couple of times’.
The show auditioned singers while the girls gave their feedback and picked their favourites.
Little Mix’s Jesy Nelson was ‘warned by Leigh-Anne Pinnock not to use fake tan because it’s offensive to black people’ in blackfishing row
The report comes after Nicki Minaj, 38, took a swipe at Leigh-Anne on an Instagram live on Monday – after leaked messages purportedly showed the girlband star accusing Jesy of ‘blackfishing’ – a term used to describe a white person attempting to appear to have black heritage.
It has now emerged that Jesy and Leigh-Anne had a frank conversation about blackfishing during their time in the band, but the conversation ‘fell on deaf ears’.
A source told The Sun: ‘Leigh-Anne had a conversation with Jesy, trying to explain why she was upset and why it could be offensive.
Shocking: It comes after Jesy (eft) was reportedly warned by her former Little Mix bandmate Leigh- Anne not to use dark fake tan because it’s offensive to black people
‘She felt she had to address it while making her racism documentary, but it apparently fell on deaf ears.
‘For Jesy to now claim that it has never been mentioned to her before is really rude. It’s upsetting she hasn’t taken any of this on board.’
MailOnline has approached Jesy and Leigh-Anne’s reps for comment.
Three years ago Jesy was first accused of cultural appropriation when she sported braids in her hair in a photo posted to Instagram, which was later deleted.
She came under fire yet again after releasing the music video to her new ,single, Boyz – a remake of Diddy’s 2001 video Bad Boy For Life, which she samples in her new track.
What is ‘blackfishing’?
A newly coined phrase in 2018, ‘blackfishing’ describes someone who pretends to be black on social media for social or financial gain – using make-up, hairstyles, or even surgery to alter their appearance and adopt characteristics typically associated with women of colour.
The term came to prominence after a post calling out the ‘alarming’ amount of ‘white girls cosplaying as black women on Instagram’ was liked nearly 50,000 times on Twitter.
It prompted users to flood the thread with before and after snaps revealing drastic changes to certain influencers’ appearance.
Addressing the claims in an interview with Vulture, Jesy claimed that she was never targeted with ‘blackfishing’ claims while she was in Little Mix and has only faced such criticism following her departure from the girlband.
‘I’m very aware that I’m a white British woman; I’ve never said that I wasn’t,’ she said, defended herself from the accusations.
‘But I mean, like, I love Black culture. I love Black music. That’s all I know; it’s what I grew up on.’
Jesy’s Boyz collaborator Nicki stood up for Jesy during an Instagram live stream on Monday as she accused Leigh-Anne of trying to ruin Jesy’s new solo career – before branding the new mother and the rest of Little Mix ‘jealous miserable clowns’ on the stream, which was watched by more than 100,000 fans.
Blackfishing? Jesy was accused of blackfihing after releasing the music video to her single, Boyz – a remake of Diddy’s 2001 video Bad Boy For Life, which she samples in her new track
She stuck up for her new pal by saying: ‘Bringing someone down is clown behaviour. […] Why didn’t they say anything when [Jesy] was in the band. All of a sudden [Jesy] is not in the band anymore. They have something to say about it.’
Nicki was addressing the news that Leigh-Anne allegedly made the statements in messages to influencer NoHun – who shared the exchange on his Instagram Story.
Nicki went on: ‘Sweetheart take them f****** text messages and shove it up your a**.. Don’t come out and ruin anyone.’
Jesy, who had stayed silent throughout Nicki’s tirade, laughed at this before the Superbass singer added: ‘Only jealous people do things like this. It makes you a big jealous bozo. I love you guys but please don’t do this. Let these people be miserable all by themselves.’
Nicki also said: ‘A lot of women tan, get bigger lips and get stuff done to themselves’ in reference to the blackfishing accusation.
Shock swipe: Jesy’s Boyz collaborator Nicki stood up for Jesy during an Instagram live stream on Monday as she accused Leigh-Anne, of trying to ruin Jesy’s new solo career
Defending herself, Jesy spoke up and said: ‘I just personally want to say, it was never intention to offend people of colour with this video – this is what I grew up with.
‘In my opinion, 90/00s R’n’B is the best era of music. I just wanted to celebrate that. My intentions were never to offend anyone. It really hurts me that I have hurt people’s feelings.’
She then went onto reveal that she didn’t even have any fake tan on in the music video, which was released in conjunction with the new song.
Jesy said that she had a natural tan from being in Antigua a few weeks prior to the shoot, and she even claimed that Leigh-Anne once asked her if she was sure she wasn’t mixed race because she tanned so easily in the sun.
She went on: ‘I have naturally curly hair. In this industry if you keep putting s*** on your hair it gets damaged. I wanted to get a wig that emulated my hair for the video.’
Nicki collaborated with Little Mix back in 2018 on the song Woman Like Me, but this fact did not feature heavily in the conversation between the two on the livestream.
Earlier On Monday, Leigh-Anne allegedly claimed that and her bandmates did not unfollow the star on Instagram as has been widely reported but were instead blocked by Jesy.
A slew of messages to NoHun saw Leigh-Anne insist that ‘no one knows anything’ when it comes to the fallout and that she was ‘raging’.
The leaked messages showed Leigh-Anne replying to NoHun’s poll, asking whether he should create a dance routine to Jesy’s debut solo single Boyz.
Leigh-Anne appeared to respond telling him ‘no’, leading to a shocked No Hun replying: ‘Omg Leigh-Anne I thought you were all okay. Wtf (sic).’
Leigh-Anne then continued: ‘Do a video about her being a blackfish instead… She blocked us. Cut us off.’
A second slew of messages saw Leigh-Anne insist that ‘no one knows anything’ when it comes to the fallout and that she was ‘raging’.
The claims that Jesy blocked her bandmates on social media come following reports that Leigh-Anne, Perrie and Jade had unfollowed Jesy on social media a day after she dropped her first single Boyz, featuring rappers Nicki Minaj and Diddy.
As well as the singer’s personal accounts, an Instagram account for Perrie’s dog Hatchi also unfollowed Jesy.
Speaking out: Leigh-Anne allegedly accused Jesy of blackfishing in messages to influencer NoHun – who shared the exchange on his Instagram Story
The official Little Mix Instagram account does appear to still be following Jesy, however.
NoHun has since deleted the exchange from Instagram, but shared a TikTok video in which he accused Leigh-Anne of asking him to do the band’s ‘dirty work’ with her request that he make a video about blackfishing.
He said: ‘I don’t think it’s appropriate for a member of Little Mix to message me after I posted a video dancing to the new Jesy Nelson song, saying that I should make a video about her being a blackfish instead.
‘So you want me to create content that you know is going to incite hatred and bullying to a person who has been so open and honest and vocal about how trolling has affected their mental health?’
Little Mix were put together on the X Factor in 2011 and had global fame with many of their hits – before Jesy suddenly left the band back in December 202O, citing her mental health, before going on to launch her solo career.
Opinionated: Nicki went on, ‘Sweetheart take them f****** text messages and shove it up your a**.. Don’t come out and ruin anyone’
Perrie, Jade and Leigh-Anne are continuing as Little Mix as a trio following Jesy’s shock departure last year.
While Jesy has opened up about the lack of contact she has had with the band since leaving, the rest of the girls have remained tight-lipped over her departure.
Speaking to Glamour magazine, she claimed: ‘I haven’t spoken to the girls. It is weird because for so many years we were as close as sisters, together every hour of the day for weeks, sharing beds, laughing, crying just 24/7 the four of us together and then… Nothing.’
Jesy announced her departure from the group one year after filming a BBC documentary Jesy Nelson: Odd One Out, in which she revealed she had attempted to take her own life after years of relentless trolling and abuse.
While she has spoken now about her relief at being free of comparisons from the other girls, Little Mix have continued as a threesome.
In August, Leigh-Anne welcomed twins with her footballer boyfriend Andre Gray while five days later, Perrie introduced her baby son Axel to the road with her partner, footballer Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
When asked if she had seen the tots, she said: ‘No. I’ve sent a few texts, but that’s it. I can’t explain it, it’s like there has to be this distance…
‘We were so close so you can’t do in-between, there has to be space and hopefully… Hopefully at some point in the future we can all come back together. I love them. They are my sisters in so many ways, but for the time being we just don’t talk.’
Jesy explained that the pressure of being compared to ‘these three naturally gorgeous, super teeny-tiny girls’ was crippling.
On dealing with being around the other girls, Jesy recently told Fearne Cotton’s podcast on her Happy Place podcast: ‘To be compared every single day to three other girls was draining, and I couldn’t deal with that anymore…
‘And I think a lot of people have misconstrued what I meant in my statement, they’re like oh, so now she’s going solo. I never said in my statement, I’m coming out of the music industry, I’m not going to do music anymore…
‘I said, I’m just going to start a new chapter of my life, I just want to make myself happy. I don’t know what that’s going to be, but I need to look after myself now, make myself feel better again.’
Defence: Jesy defended herself against blackfishing, saying: ‘I just personally want to say, it was never my intention to offend people of colour with this video – this is what I grew up with’