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Little Mix are a British girl group formed in 2011 during the eighth series of the UK version of The X Factor. They are 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. The members are Jade Thirlwall, Perrie Edwards, Leigh-Anne Pinnock, and Jesy Nelson.
Little Mix released their debut album DNA in 2012, which peaked inside the top 10 in ten countries including the UK and US. This made Little Mix the first girl group since the Pussycat Dolls to reach the US top 5 with their debut album, as well as earning the highest debut US chart position by a British girl group, breaking the record previously held by the Spice Girls. In the UK, the album spawned the number-one single "Wings". The group's sophomore effort Salute, which was released in 2013, became their second album to debut inside the top 10 in both the UK and US. The album produced two top 10 singles in their home country; "Move" and "Salute". Little Mix released their third studio album Get Weird in 2015 and is their best-selling and longest charting album to date in the UK. The album's lead single "Black Magic" reached number one in the UK and was also nominated for two Brit Awards in 2016. The group's 2016 fourth studio album Glory Days became their first number one album in the UK and also had the highest first week sales for a UK girl group since the Spice Girls in 1997 and is the fastest-selling by any girl group in 15 years. The first single from the album "Shout Out to My Ex" became the group's fourth UK number one single.
The group has received several awards during their career, including two MTV Europe Music Awards, two Teen Choice Awards and two Glamour Awards. They have also been nominated for two Brit Awards and one Japanese MTV Video Music Awards. As of October 2016 the group has achieved four platinum certified albums and eleven certified singles in the UK.
2011: Formation and The X Factor
In 2011, Edwards, Thirlwall, Pinnock, and Nelson individually auditioned successfully as soloists for the eighth series of the UK version of The X Factor, but failed the first challenge of the "bootcamp" section. They were allowed another chance to compete when they were placed in two separate ensembles by the judges during the "group bootcamp" stage, with Edwards and Nelson in four-member group Faux Pas and Thirlwall and Pinnock in three-member group Orion. Both groups failed to make it through to the next stage. A later decision recalled two members from each group to form the four-piece group Rhythmix, sending them through to the "judges' houses" section.
They reached the live shows section and were mentored by Tulisa Contostavlos. 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." 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". 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." 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. On 28 October 2011, it was announced that the group's new name would be "Little Mix".
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. 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 had 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 time a group had won the show. 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. The Xtra Factor: The Winner's Story was shown on ITV2 on 17 December 2011. Their debut single topped the UK Singles Chart on 18 December 2011. They made the Christmas number one spot on the Irish Singles Chart, beating novelty songs by The Saw Doctors and Ryan Sheridan.
2012–2013: DNA and international breakthrough
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. In May 2012, Little Mix reportedly signed a deal with Vivid and Bravado to release signature products including dolls, puzzles, accessories and games. 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. Later in August, they also uploaded another cover, this time an acoustic cover of "We Are Young" by Fun ft. Janelle Monáe 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.
Little Mix performed their debut single "Wings" for the first time at the T4 on the Beach concert on 1 July. The single debuted at number one on the UK Singles Chart. On 31 August 2012, the group's autobiography, titled Ready to Fly, was released by Harper Collins. 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. Their debut album, DNA, was released in November 2012. Nicola Roberts co-penned a track called "Going Nowhere." on the DNA album The album reached #3 in both Ireland and the UK. A second single, "DNA", was released in October, and in January 2013 they signed a record deal with Columbia Records in North America. "Wings" was released as their debut single in America on 5 February 2013. 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. On 4 March 2013, it was announced that "How Ya Doin'?" would be released as the fourth and final single from their debut album.
On 21 March, they announced that their next single, "How Ya Doin'?", would feature Grammy Award-winning musician Missy Elliott. 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. "How Ya Doin'?" debuted at number 57 on the UK Singles Chart on 20 April 2013, before ascending to number 23 the week after. In its third week, the song peaked at number 16, marking Little Mix's fifth consecutive UK top 20 hit. It charted for a total of seven weeks. "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. 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. The single peaked at number 16 on the Scottish Singles Chart on 11 May 2013, marking the group's fifth consecutive top 20 hit in Scotland.
2013–2014: Salute and "Word Up!"
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. 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. On 4 October, they 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. The album was released on 11 November 2013 in the United Kingdom and was released in the United States on 4 February 2014. 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. 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 and silver in the UK for sales of 200,000. "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. 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. 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. The official music video premiered on 2 May and received over one million views within 24 hours. 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.
2015–2016: 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. Having written over 100 songs for their forthcoming album, In May 2015 Little Mix released the lead single "Black Magic" from their third studio album. The song debuted at number one in the UK and remained at the top of the chart for three weeks, becoming the first single by a girl group to do so since Sugababes's "About You Now" in October 2007. The single also reached number eight in Australia and number 67 in the US, becoming their highest peaking single on Billboard Hot 100. The group performed the song for the first time in June 2015 for Capital's Summertime Ball at the Wembley Stadium along with some of their previous hits. "Black Magic" was also performed the song at the Teen Choice Awards in August 2015, after they received the award as Breakout Artist. Little Mix also co-wrote Britney Spears' single "Pretty Girls", which was also released in May 2015.
On 15 July 2015 Little Mix 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. On 25 September the group 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. The group performed the song for the first time at X Factor Australia in October 2015, then at the Royal Albert Hall in December 2015 and at the Capital Jingle Bell Ball. The group's third studio album Get Weird debuted at number two in the UK becoming their highest charting album there. In the US the album peaked at number thirteen on Billboard 200 making Little Mix the only girl group from the UK to have their first three albums debut in the top fifteen of the Billboard 200. The album has been certified double platinum in the UK and has sold over 600,000 copies there as of August 2016, making it their best selling album yet. The group performed a medley of "Black Magic" and "Sax" with the former UK X Factor contestant Fleur East on the season finale of X Factor. On 5 December the group announced on Twitter that "Secret Love Song" featuring the American R&B singer Jason Derulo would be released as the albums third single. The single reached number six on the UK Singles Chart. On 24 February 2016 the group performed "Black Magic" at the 2016 Brit Awards, where they were nominated for Best British Single and British Artist Video.
On 13 March 2016 Little Mix embarked on The Get Weird Tour to promote the album, the arena tour consist of 60 dates across Europe, Australia and Asia. The Get Weird tour holds the record for being the highest selling UK arena tour of 2016 with over 300,000 tickets sold in the UK alone. On 11 April 2016, the group announced that "Hair" would serve as the fourth single from Get Weird, and would feature newly recorded guest vocals from reggae pop recording artist Sean Paul. The single was released on 15 April 2016 and reached number 11 on the UK chart while peaking at number 10 in Australia making it their fourth top 10 single there.
2016–present: Glory Days
On 21 June 2016 it was revealed that the group had begun work on their fourth studio album; they later confirmed that they would be releasing new music "before Christmas". In an interview at V Festival in Chelmsford, the group announced that the lead single from their fourth studio album would be released in October 2016. On 13 October 2016, Little Mix announced the song's title as "Shout Out to My Ex" and that their fourth studio album would be called Glory Days. "Shout Out to My Ex" was released on 16 October 2016, following the first live performance of the song on The X Factor. The song debuted at number one on the UK Singles Chart becoming their fourth chart topping single there. It sold 67,000 downloads in its opening week, becoming the biggest opening week download sales for a song in 2016 in the UK. Glory Days was released on 18 November 2016 and debuted at number one on the UK album chart, becoming the group's first UK number one album. The album sold 96,000 copies in combined sales in the first week which is the highest first week sales for a UK girl group number one album since the Spice Girls in 1997 and the fastest-selling number one album by any girl group in 15 years, since Destiny's Child's Survivor in 2001. It also reached number number-one in Ireland, and debuted at number-two in Australia, and in the top 10 in the Netherlands, New Zealand and Spain.
Little Mix announced on 5 December 2016 that "Touch" would be released as the second single from Glory Days; it was released on 12 December 2016 and has reached number four in the UK. The group is set to embark on The Glory Days Tour in support of their fourth studio album Glory Days; it is scheduled to begin on 24 May 2017 in Europe with the first UK date being on October 9 in Scotland.
Perrie Edwards cites Christina Aguilera, Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, Michael Jackson and Steve Perry from the American rock band Journey as her musical influences. Jesy Nelson said to be inspired by Spice Girls, TLC and Missy Elliott. Leigh Anne Pinnock cites Mariah Carey as her biggest influence and Jade Thirlwall references Diana Ross as her favourite singer. Little Mix cite Beyoncé, Michael Jackson, Destiny's Child, En Vogue and Rihanna as their musical influences.
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. 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. 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.
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. In 2013, the group promoted Schwarzkopf hair dye Live Colour XXL through their music video for "How Ya Doin'?". That year the group also launched a range of nails and nail wraps in partnership with Elegant Touch and New Look. In early 2014, Little Mix launched their new range of nails with Elegant Touch as a result of the previous success. In September 2013, Little Mix launched their first makeup line with Collection. During May 2014, the group teamed up with Vibe Audio to bring out Little Mix zip cable headphones. In June 2015, Little Mix launched their debut fragrance "Gold Magic". In December 2015, it was announced that Little Mix would be the new global ambassadors for the women's fitness brand USA Pro. They are currently designing their own collection for the brand.
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. 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. 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.
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." 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.
Perrie Louise Edwards was born on (1993-07-10) 10 July 1993 , and raised in South Shields, Tyne and Wear, to parents Alexander Edwards and Deborah Duffy. She has an older brother named Jonnie. And a younger sister named Caitlin Edwards daughter of her father. Her first audition was "You Oughta Know" by Alanis Morissette. Edwards attended Radipole Primary School in Weymouth, Dorset before moving back to South Shields. 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. Edwards transferred and graduated from Newcastle College, where she received a BTEC in Performing Arts. She began dating UK singer and former One Direction member Zayn Malik in May 2012. The couple got engaged in August 2013 but broke up in August 2015.
Jessica Louise Nelson was born on (1991-06-14) 14 June 1991 , 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. Her first audition was "Bust Your Windows" by Jazmine Sullivan. Since joining Little Mix, she has faced cyber-bullying and struggled to cope during her time on The X Factor. 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. She also attended Sylvia Young and Yvonne Rhodes Theatre Schools. In 2014, Nelson began dating Rixton lead singer, Jake Roche. The couple became engaged on 19 July 2015, but broke up in November 2016.
Leigh-Anne Pinnock was born on (1991-10-04) 4 October 1991 , and raised in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire. She has two sisters, Sarah and Sian-Louise. Pinnock is of Barbadian and Jamaican ancestry. Before joining Little Mix, she worked as a waitress in Pizza Hut. Her first audition was "Only Girl (In the World)" by Rihanna. In February 2015, Pinnock launched a Tumblr fashion blog.
Jade Amelia Thirlwall was born on (1992-12-26) 26 December 1992 , and raised in the Laygate neighbourhood of South Shields, Tyne and Wear. She is of Yemeni and Egyptian ancestry on her mother's side. 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.