Little Mix post first picture as a trio after Jesy Nelson's exit

Little Mix have posted their first picture as a trio, after Jesy Nelson left the band.

It was confirmed two weeks ago that Jesy, 29, was leaving the group after nine years, due to the toll being in the band took on her mental health.

To mark Christmas, Perrie Edwards, Leigh-Anne Pinnock and Jade Thirlwall posted a message for their fans, and in doing so, shared their first picture as a three-piece.

In the post, shared to Little Mix official Instagram account, the Sweet Melody singers cuddled and smiled, wearing matching Christmas jumpers.

The caption read: ‘Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays Mixers ❤️ We hope you have the most magical day xx.’

It was the band’s first grid post since announcing on December 14 that Jesy was leaving Little Mix.

After Jesy’s initial statement, a post from the band read: ‘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. We’re looking forward to seeing so many of you on tour.

‘Love always, Jade, Perrie and Leigh-Anne xxx.’

Jesy had said in her statement: ‘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 care of ourselves rather than focussing 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. 

‘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.’

Jade, 27, Perrie, 27, and Leigh-Anne, 29, had been making appearances as a three-piece in the weeks leading up to Jesy’s departure, after the singer took a break due to ‘private medical reasons’.

The girls hosted the MTV Europe Music Awards and the final of Little Mix: The Search without Jesy, and performed as a trio for the Strictly Come Dancing semi-final.

While they’re expected to go on tour next year, the Break Up Song singers are also pursuing solo projects, with Leigh-Anne seen filming the Christmas rom-com Boxing Day, which marks her first big screen role. 

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