Jesy Nelson has bid a heartfelt farewell to Little Mix.
Just over a month after the 29-year-old singer's publicist confirmed she was taking "extended time off" from the girl group for "private medical reasons," Nelson has announced she is exiting Little Mix for good.
In a lengthy statement shared to Instagram on Monday, Dec. 14, the British star addressed the group's devoted fans, the "Mixers," while sharing her personal news.
"The past nine years in Little Mix has been the most incredible time of my life," the performer wrote. "We have achieved things I never thought possible. From winning our first Brit Award to our sold out shows at the O2. Making friends and fans all over the world. 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."
However, Nelson—one of the group's four original members—was also honest about the reasons behind her departure, which comes nine years after their X Factor inception. "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," she shared. "There comes a time in life when we need to reinvest in taking care of ourselves rather than focusing on making other people happy, and I feel like now is the time to begin that process. So after much consideration and with a heavy heart, I'm announcing I'm leaving Little Mix."
As for what's next for Nelson, the "Change Your Life" singer isn't sure—and that's OK. "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," she continued. "I'm not sure what it's going to look like right now, but I hope you'll still be there to support me."
To end her message, Nelson focused on the gratitude she has for her fans, her fellow members, Jade Thirlwall, Perrie Edwards and Leigh-Anne Pinnock, as well as those who brought them to fruition. "I want to say thank you to everyone involved in our journey. All the hard work and dedication that went into making us a success," she wrote. "To every single fan who came to see us in concert, who listened to our songs and sung their hearts out, sent me messages and supported me along the way I want you to know I love you all so much and I could never have done this without you and I appreciate it endlessly."
"Most of all," she concluded, "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 fulfill all of your dreams and keep on making music that people love."
The remaining members also shared the news on the group's official social media channels. "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," the women wrote on Twitter and Instagram. "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."
In regard to the fate of the remaining trio, the women confirmed they will continue to be a group. "We are still very much enjoying our Little Mix journey and the 3 of us are not ready for it to be over," they assured fans. "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. We're looking forward to seeing so many of you on tour."