After five number one singles, six hit albums and 60 million records sold worldwide, Little Mix have more than proved themselves as one of the UK’s biggest ever pop acts.
It’s now been 10 years since the chart-topping band were put together on The X Factor, and they’ve been on an incredible journey full of highs and lows for themselves as individuals and the group at large in the decade since.
Throughout it all, though, the group have always put on a united front, showing the world their friendship is just as important as tight harmonies, impressive choreography and catchy choruses.
As the band celebrate their huge anniversary, we’ve looked back over the last 10 years of Little Mix to present you with some of our favourite moments of their friendship.
1. The rest of the girls were absolutely there for Perrie after she split up with Zayn Malik
Little Mix were in the US promoting Black Magic when Perrie’s engagement to Zayn Malik came to an end, meaning she was in the spotlight even more than she would usually have been.
In the middle of a live performance of The End, Perrie had a bit of a tearful moment, during which the rest of the group rallied around, with Jesy explaining their hectic schedule had left everyone feeling exhausted and emotional.
2. Leigh-Anne was not about to let the paps catch Perrie on camera looking glum about her break-up
During that same trip to California, the paparazzi were hot on Little Mix’s heels, presumably hoping to catch a shot of Perrie looking downcast after her break-up.
Not on Leigh-Anne’s watch, though.
She threw a series of hilarious poses for the paps, not only blocking Perrie from the cameras, but also clearly cheering her bandmate up in the process.
3. But Perrie isn’t the only one who was helped through a break-up by her bandmates
Jesy’s break-up from Rixton singer Jake Roche – who she was previously engaged to – was announced while the band were in Australia, meaning they had to fend off a number of questions about it.
While Perrie and Jade were chatting to one host, he asked about why Jesy wasn’t wearing her engagement ring, prompting Jade to grab the interviewer’s questions, scrunch them up and throw them towards the camera.
“What you going to do without your paper now, eh?” Perrie then asked. “Smart arse.”
4. There’s probably no better proof of Little Mix’s unique bond than their tight harmonies
Seriously, the band are seemingly able to fall beautifully into a tight four-part harmony at the drop of a hat.
Next time someone lazily suggests that girl groups like Little Mix are lacking in the talent department, this is the perfect video to shut them up.
5. Loads of Little Mix songs celebrate the importance of sisterhood but a perfect example would be Told You So from their LM5 album
The fan-favourite album cut follows in the footsteps of Destiny’s Child’s hit Girl, and sees the band asking a female friend to confide in them about the difficulties of a break-up...
Girl, just come round mine tonight, I've got wine and make-up wipes, I'll hold you... we can put the kettle on, talk 'bout how he's not the one, I told you – but I'm never gonna say 'I told you so'."Little Mix in Told You So
6. LM5 was also the era in which the band owned their supposed “flaws” with a nude photo-shoot to promote their single Strip
During their time in the public eye, Little Mix have had all kinds of insults thrown on them, from jibes about their appearance to critics casting doubt on their talent or whether they’re good examples.
The group sent this up on their single Strip, and took things further in the track’s music video.
Posing for the photographer Rankin, Little Mix appeared nude in the clip, accompanied by names they’d been called over the years, including “ugly, “inappropriate”, “fat”, “slutty” and “not good enough”.
7. Little Mix have always stuck up for one another in the press
After the aforementioned Strip campaign, Piers Morgan was one of the group’s most vocal critics, dismissing the message behind the photo-shoot and accusing them of “using sex to sell albums”.
Jesy later got her own back, branding him a “silly twat” (live on Radio 1, no less) and mocking Piers’ tirade against them on Good Morning Britain in a tour interlude video.
Meanwhile, after Katie Hopkins took aim at Jesy’s appearance earlier in their career, Jade told HuffPost UK: “I just think she [Hopkins] is a really sad person... I think it’s really sad that she has to try and find some kind of limelight by slating everyone else.”
8. They also stood by one another when their record labels have tried to intervene
Despite label bosses’ early attempts to make one undisclosed member of Little Mix their lead singer, the band always stuck together to resist this.
“We have always had the same vision, we always wanted to be equal. Nobody wanted to outshine someone else,” Jade said (via The Sun).
“The moment that happens in a group dynamic, the cracks start to show, like someone has a bit more of an ego. We have always been determined to remain equal people on our team, whoever else has suggested otherwise. We have said no, we know it works better, it is healthier for us doing it that way. And it has got us where we are now.”
This solidarity dates back to their X Factor days, with the group revealing that in the music video for the charity single Wishing On A Star, they “got upset” when it was suggested they should appear in their underwear.
“We refused!” Leigh-Anne told Elle, with Perrie questioning: “Why would we wear underwear in a charity single?”
the men in charge wanted them to wear underwear… for a charity single? yet when little mix wear what they want, men are also the first to critizice them for it :) let women live jeez pic.twitter.com/I9dvkRzp3x— ann ♡ (@perriespsd) June 30, 2021
9. Little Mix have millions of devotees all over the world... but no one stans the group harder than Jade
Yep, that’s Little Mix bedding you’re seeing at Jade’s house.
10. She even immortalised her bandmates in cake form when she was a contestant on the Celebrity Great British Bake Off
After each of the star contestants were tasked with designing something they “can’t live without”, Jade decided to recreate a Little Mix concert in cake.
She was eventually crowned star baker for her efforts.
11. Little Mix have put on three iconic Brit Awards performances, but it’s their 2019 routine that best celebrates their bond
This performance of Woman Like Me sees the band coming together to perform a heist, ending in an emotional group hug.
Later that night, they picked up their second Brit Award, taking home Video Of The Year for Woman Like Me.
12. While we’re on the subject of the Brit Awards, who could forget when they all hit the red carpet with their mums?
In 2016, Little Mix were finally up for their first Brit Award, and decided to mark the occasion by walking the red carpet with their mums.
Sadly, they went home empty-handed, but on a night where performers included Adele, Rihanna, Justin Bieber and Lorde paying a beautiful tribute to David Bowie, the band still managed to make their mark with their Black Magic routine, marking their first time on the Brits stage.
13. And let’s just take a moment to appreciate Jesy’s celebrations after they finally won their first Brit
“I’m sorry, I’ve ’ad a few bevvies, but I don’t caaare, ‘cause I’m ‘avin’ the best night of me liiife...”
Truly, we’ll never get tired of watching this backstage footage.
14. And speaking of Jesy and her celebrations – this video of the band’s Come Dine With Me-esque YouTube series is a joy from start to finish
The whole video is brilliant, but it’s from the 17:00 mark that Jesy really starts to get loose-lipped... and a lot more NSFW.
Seriously, we want to get a bingo night with the Little Mix gals booked in ASAP.
15. Who remembers that time Jesy and Leigh-Anne were so comfortable gossiping among themselves they forgot they were on camera?
leigh-anne saying she would never do anal again... i'm cackling pic.twitter.com/PosE6OBFFg— COL•IN (@colinshram) December 15, 2016
“Babe you do realise there’s a mic right above your head?”
16. When Jesy decided to leave the band in 2020, the remaining members made it clear she had their full support
“This is an incredibly sad time for all of us but we are fully supportive of Jesy,” they wrote on 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.”
17. They also made sure to give Jesy a shout-out after their historic Best British Group win at the 2021 Brits
Jesy also shared the love, posting a picture of the three-piece with their award on her Instagram story.
Similarly, when Sweet Melody topped the charts at the beginning of 2021, Jade said: “It’s so special for us because it is the last single we did as a four with Jesy. And [it’s] even more special that now going into 2021, as a three, we have got the first number one.”
18. This story about Perrie and Leigh-Anne finding out they were both pregnant at the same time is so lovely
Not only were two members of the group pregnant, it turned out their long-term manager is also expecting her first child.
19. There was no masking how much fun they were having in the acting scenes of their Confetti music video
A decade into their career, we love that these three can still make each other crack up.
20. Finally, Little Mix have always maintained that their close friendship is at the root of their success
Leigh-Anne recently told the BBC: “We were just lucky that they put girls together that just clicked... for us, friendship is the one thing that’s driven this whole thing.”
Five years earlier, Leigh made a similar point, stating: “If we didn’t have that friendship it just wouldn’t work. Without that friendship we wouldn’t have lasted as long as we have, or have many more years to come.
“We’re the best of friends. And that’s the most amazing feeling, to know that I’ve got three girls that I generally love to be with. The band are like my family and I don’t know what I’d do without them.”