Jesy Nelson to leave Little Mix after nine 'amazing' years

Singer says being in band 'took a toll on her mental health'

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Little Mix singer Jesy Nelson is to leave the band after nine "amazing" years.

She took to Instagram on Monday to announce the news, saying being in the group had "really taken a toll on her mental health".

"I need to spend some time with people I love, doing things that make me happy," she wrote.

"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."

Her bandmates were swift to tweet their support for Nelson's decision and to wish her all the best.

And fans also paid tribute to the departing star in their droves:

For Little Mixers concerned that the news portends a full-scale break-up, solace was to be quickly found as the remaining members went online to assure that their dedication to the group is unwavering.

"We are still very much enjoying our Little Mix journey and the three of us are not ready for it to be over," said Jade Thirlwall, Perrie Edwards and Leigh-Anne Pinnock in a joint statement.

"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."

Jesy Nelson had announced in November that she was taking an extended break from the X Factor outfit for "medical reasons".

She had been a notable absentee from recent public performances including the final of talent show Little Mix The Search and the MTV Europe Music Awards.

She laid bare her mental health issues in a warts-and-all BBC documentary in which she admitted she had tried to commit suicide.

Little Mix came to prominence in 2011 during the eighth series of The X Factor. Despite not winning the competition, they have been one of its most enduring successes.

Earlier this year they released their sixth studio album Confetti and are currently at number five in the UK chart with hit single Sweet Melody.

Here is Nelson's statement in full: