The following article includes details about eating disorders.
When talking about girl groups, it’s hard not to mention Little Mix, isn’t it? The British chart-toppers rose to fame after winning “The X Factor” in the U.K. in 2011 and have since taken over the world.
As previously reported by The Sun, the original members — Perrie Edwards, Jesy Nelson, Leigh-Anne Pinnock, and Jade Thirlwall — all auditioned as solo artists. However, it was Kelly Rowland who came up with the genius idea to put them in a group. The rest? Well, as we already know… it was history!
To date, they have released six studio albums, all of which have peaked within the top 5 in the U.K., according to The Official Charts. They have achieved five No. 1 singles and have won three BRIT Awards as of 2021. After Nelson’s departure in December 2020, Edwards, Thirlwall, and Pinnock have continued as a trio and carried on slaying.
Being the high-profile group that they are, the public has learned a whole lot about Little Mix over the years. However, here are some things you might not already know about the pop powerhouses.
Perrie Edwards has no sense of smell
Yep, you read that correctly. Perrie Edwards has no sense of smell. With that being said, she does recall being able to smell something once. “I have never smelt anything, but I think I smelt coffee once,” she told BBC Newsbeat in 2013. “When people go, ah she’s cooking a Sunday roast, I’m like, how do you know that. I’m like, this is amazing, it’s like magic.”
“People are always like, ‘Oh, isn’t that really horrible?’ and I’m like, ‘No,’ because I’ve never known what it’s like to smell. If I’d had it and then it disappeared I’d be like, ‘Argh,'” the “Break Up Song” hitmaker continued. “I wear the same perfume all the time, because everyone says, ‘Oh you smell nice’ and then I’m like, ‘Ah, OK.'”
In an interview with This Morning in 2016, Edwards admitted it was “bizarre” to not be born with a sense of smell, explaining, “I don’t know what happened.” However, the singer informed viewers she is able to taste “every little ingredient in a food,” thankfully.
Little Mix goes to therapy together
For Little Mix’s 2021 cover story with EUPHORIA., they opened up about how social media has had an impact on their mental health. “I’m starting to feel like for me, personally, Twitter can feel like quite a toxic space,” Jade Thirlwall expressed, adding, “So I keep going through stages of deleting it for a week before going back on again.”
“Everyone’s kind of out for blood a bit at the minute on social media it seems. I never really go on Twitter and then come off it feeling any better about myself,” the “No More Sad Songs” singer continued.
In addition to going to therapy alone, Little Mix is determined to not let any negativity bring them down and revealed that they go to sessions together. “We love going to therapy together,” Perrie Edwards said. “We also have each other, which is huge. We’re each other’s support system in a way because we’re sisters and feel every emotion together. We can always lean on each other.”
Little Mix became the first all-female group to win a certain award at the BRITs
Little Mix’s members are no strangers to making an appearance at the BRIT Awards and have received their fair share of nominations over the years. In 2017, their anthemic breakup single “Shout Out to My Ex” gave them their first trophy for British Single. Two years later, their collaboration with Nicki Minaj, “Woman Like Me,” saw the group take home their second BRIT for British Artist Video of the Year.
After years of hard work, Little Mix won British Group at the 2021 ceremony, becoming the first all-female group to ever win in this category. “It’s not easy being a female in the UK pop industry. We have seen white male dominance, misogyny, sexism and lack of diversity,” Leigh-Anne Pinnock shared in her speech, per Wales Online. “We’re proud of how we’ve stuck together, stood our ground, surrounded ourselves with strong women and are now using our voices more than ever.”
While accepting their award, Jade Thirlwall gave love to other British girl groups who helped paved the way. “The fact that a girl band has never won this award really does speak volumes,” she said, adding, “so this award isn’t just for us. It’s for the Spice Girls, Sugababes, All Saints, Girls Aloud, all the incredible, incredible female bands, this one’s for you.”
The group wasn't originally called Little Mix
The world may know Perrie Edwards, Leigh-Anne Pinnock, and Jade Thirlwall as Little Mix now. However, that was not the original name they used on “The X Factor.” While performing on the live shows, the “Sweet Melody” hitmakers went by Rhythmix but were forced to change their name after a charity with the same name threatened legal action against them, according to BBC.
“When we came up with the name Rhythmix, we had no idea that there was a charity with the same name,” they explained in 2011. “We decided to change our name to Little Mix as we do not want to cause any problems for the charity.”
During their time on the show, Little Mix’s coach Tulisa also helped them decide on a new name. “We came up with some ideas for our new name which we discussed with Tulisa and she had some ideas too. We all agreed on Little Mix as it just felt right,” they revealed.
Jade Thirlwall battled anorexia as a teenager
As a teenager, Jade Thirlwall suffered from anorexia and an eating disorder for five years. According to BBC, the “Woman Like Me” singer appeared on a special episode of BBC Sound’s “Life Hacks” podcast called “I’ve Been There: Jade Thirwall,” where she opened up about how it affected her.
“I obviously became very small… I used to wear a lot of baggy clothes to hide that,” she said. “It got to the point when I knew I needed someone else to tell, harboring a horrible secret like that is obviously really damaging to your mental health and obviously my physical health.”
Thirlwall kept her illness a secret, but admitted, “It was like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders” once she found the strength to tell someone. “The minute I started to actually talk to people about it, was the minute I started to get better,” she continued.
Another turning point for the star was when doctors told her she could die if she were to lose any more weight. Thirlwall eventually got better and was able to leave the hospital at age 18. “I would never do that to myself again,” she stated.
If you are struggling with an eating disorder, or know someone who is, help is available. Visit the National Eating Disorders Association website or contact NEDA’s Live Helpline at 1-800-931-2237. You can also receive 24/7 Crisis Support via text (send NEDA to 741-741).
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