Jesy Nelson has announced that she is leaving Little Mix and admits she has found "the constant pressure of being in a girl group and living up to expectations very hard".

Last month, a statement was released explaining how the 29-year-old singer was taking an extended break from the group due to "private medical reasons". However, Nelson has now confirmed she has no plans to return to the chart-topping group.

In a lengthy Instagram post shared on Monday, the singer said "recently being in the band has really token a toll on my mental health."

"To all my Mixers, the past nine years in Little Mix has been the most incredible time of my life.

"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.

"The truth is recently being in the band has really token a toll on my mental health."

"I find the constant pressure of being in a girl group and living up to expectations very hard. There comes a time in life when we need to reinvest in taking core 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," she said.

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"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 its going to look like right now, but I hope you’ll still be there to support me."

"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.

"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 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 on making music that people love. Love Jesy x"

Nelson's bandmates also announced the news on their official Twitter page, saying it is an "incredibly sad time for all of us but we are fully supportive of Jesy".

Little Mix were then grouped together was formed on The X Factor in 2011 after all the girls auditioned as soloists, but by the judges in the show's later stages. They went on to become the first-ever band to win the talent show. 

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