LITTLE Mix have confirmed that their 2021 tour will still go ahead after Jesy Nelson quit the group.
The 29-year-old star announced that she was leaving after nine years in a heartfelt Instagram post today, explaining that the fame had "taken its toll on her mental health".
Her bandmates reacted to the news with a statement on Twitter, sending love and support to Jesy as they reassured fans that they will still be hitting the road in April.
Leigh-Anne Pinnock, Perrie Edwards, and Jade Thirlwall wrote: "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.
"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.
"We know that Jesy leaving the group is going to be really upsetting news for our fans. We love you guys so much and are so grateful for your loyalty and continued support of all of us."
They poignantly signed off the message: "We’re looking forward to seeing so many of you on tour."
Jesy said that she made the decision to leave Little Mix with a "heavy heart" in her lengthy Instagram post, insisting the past nine years had been the "most incredible time" of her life.
She continued: "I can't thank you all enough from the bottom of my heart for making me feel like the luckiest girl in the world.
"You have always been there to support and encourage me and I will never ever forget it.
"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."
Jesy added: "I need to spend some time with the people I love, doing things that make me 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."
The star went on to thank her bandmates, writing: "Most of all I want to say thank you to Jade, Perrie and Leigh-Anne for creating some of the most amazing memories I'll never forget.
"I hope that you'll continue to fulfil all of your dreams and keep making music that people love."
In November, a Little Mix rep confirmed that Jesy was taking "extended time off" for "private medical reasons".
It came two weeks after she missed the grand finale of the band's TV talent show The Search, as well as their high-profile stint hosting the MTV EMAs.
The Sun then revealed that Jade, Perrie and Leigh-Anne are going solo – with each involved in secret plans to launch individual careers next year at the end of their existing deal.
However, Jade has insisted the group "will never die" even if the girls do end up branching out.
Last month, The Sun revealed that Little Mix planned to go ahead with their 2021 tour "with or without" Jesy.
A source explained at the time: "They still have a tour scheduled to start in April next year, and even if that is delayed because of Covid, as is quite likely, they will still complete it.
“That will happen either with or without Jesy, who is taking some time out for as long as she feels she needs or wants to."
Little Mix formed on The X Factor in 2011, becoming the first band to win the show.
Together they have sold more than 50million records, landing two Brit Awards, four number one singles and releasing six albums along the way.
Jesy has been open about her mental health battle over the years, bravely sharing the devastating impact years of online trolling had in her BBC documentary Odd One Out.
In the film, which won a National Television Award, Jesy spoke candidly about her struggle in Little Mix – revealing how she would starve herself for days during the deepest times in her depression, due to constant trolling about her weight and looks.
Discussing the impact it had on her, she shared: "I just wanted to be Jesy. I didn’t want to be Jesy the fat one.
"I wanted people to see me as normal, so I punished myself. I starved myself."
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