Jesy Nelson is a member of the British Girl group, ‘Little Mix’. After winning the eighth season of ‘The X Factor’ as a member of ‘Little Mix’, Jesy Nelson has contributed immensely to the all-girl band, belting out hit singles and mega chartbusting albums one after another. Known to be an excellent drama and art student, she stole limelight as a singer too after the band was formed on the show. Jesy has been a victim of bullying during her school days, often ridiculed for being a tad overweight, she hoped it would stop as she grew older, but even during the show, she faced criticism from some viewers. However, with the support from her family and teammates she overcame such criticism and opposed body-shaming on national television. She hopes to inspire women facing similar problems to ignore negativity and focus on doing what they do best. Exhibiting perfect harmonies alongside Jade Thirwall, Perrie Edwards and Leigh-Anne Pinnock, she has managed to knock off some of the most celebrated girl-bands such as ‘The Pussycat Dolls’ and ‘Spice Girls’ from music chart records. From the group’s first album ‘DNA’ to their recent fourth album ‘Glory Days’, her vocal range and vibrato has only bettered with time.
Childhood & Early life
Jesy Nelson was born Jessica Louise Nelson to Janice White and John Nelson on 14th June, 1991 at Romford in East London. Her father, Nelson is a businessman, while her mother is a Police Community Service Officer.
Janice was raised along with three siblings. She is the second youngest, and has two elder siblings - her sister Jade and brother Jonathan. She also has a younger brother, Joseph.
Her parents separated when she was only five. After since her parents’ split, she lived with her mother. During her childhood, she had to move twelve times in search of a home, as it was difficult for her mother to raise four kids.
She received regular education and attended ‘Jo Richardson Community School’. She went on to graduate from ‘Abbs Cross Academy and Arts College’ and was one of the brightest students of her class’. She also enrolled in the famous Performing Arts Institute – ‘Sylvia Young and Yvonne Rhodes Theatre Schools’.
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Reality Show Success (The X Factor)
Jesy auditioned as a soloist for the eight season of the UK adaptation of ‘The X Factor’ in 2011. However, she couldn’t clear the “bootcamp” round, but was assured a second chance with the group ‘Faux Pas’.
Though all four members of ‘Faux Pas’ couldn’t make it to the next round. She managed to seal her spot on the show in a newly formed group called ‘Rhythmix’, consisting of two members from ‘Faux Pas’ and two from ‘Orion’.
The four member girl-group - Jesy, Jade, Perrie and Leigh-Anne - went on to the live shows under the guidance and training of coach ‘Tulisa Contostavlos’.
The group became famous instantly, with judges pointing out about the potential they possessed and calling them the future band. But during their run on the show, they changed their group name owing to a clash with a children’s music charity group. That is how the name ‘Little Mix’ came about.
Jesy delivered beautiful numbers alongside her group members, showcasing spectacular skill in vocal range, often setting the stage for her group by beginning the performance.
Her soulful voice in ‘If I Were A Boy’ on the show, propelled the judges to deem the group “dynamic” with variation in voice textures and ranges. The group had it all to win the reality show and so they did.
’Little Mix’ became the first ever group to win ‘The X Factor’. They performed a cover of Damien Rice’s ‘Cannonball’ and within days, Jesy’s first official cover single topped the ‘UK Singles Chart’.
Global Recognition & Hit Albums
Jesy performed with her group at ‘T4 on the Beach’ where they released their debut single ‘Wings’ in 2012 from their first album titled ‘DNA’. It ranked first on the UK music charts and she toured the same year to promote the album.
Her first album soon rose to the number three spot in both UK and Ireland. The following two singles, ‘DNA’ and ‘Change Your Life’ released on radio in 2013 and quickly settled at the number 12 spot.
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Later that year Little Mix released their fourth single ‘How Ya Doing? (Feat. Missy Elliott)’ before announcing about the crew’s second album.
Jesy stated in an interview that the second album would be titled ‘Salute’ and would lean towards the R&B genre, as the group intended to compose a couple of club numbers. The album released in 2013.
The first single from the album ‘Move’ climbed to number three on music charts and was followed by ‘Little Me’, which was a song composed in gratitude for the group’s supporters. In 2014, she sang a cover of ‘Word Up!’ for ‘Sport Relief’, and it reached the number six spot on UK charts.
Jesy ushered in 2015 by performing with her band at the Brit Awards, where she announced that their third album was also complete and would be named ‘Get Weird’.
Soon the album’s lead single ‘Black Magic’ was on every radio junction. The same year she co-wrote Britney Spears’ single ‘Pretty Girls’. The album received great reviews and generated good revenue.
Her fourth album ‘Glory Days’ illustrated her growth as a vocalist and in no time the album booked the first place in the UK album chart. With the first single ‘Shout Out to My Ex’ also topping the UK singles chart.
Her song ‘How Ya Doin?’ stabilized her spot in the UK top 20 Hit songs for the fifth time in a row. The song sold over 120K copies only in UK, and featured on all music charts around the globe.
Her third album’s first single ‘Black Magic’ stayed at the number one spot in the UK singles chart for more than three weeks. This was also the group’s first song to rank on the US Billboard Hot 100.
Her third album received a double platinum and sold around 600 K copies, and mounted to number fifteen on the US Billboard 200, and is her bestselling album until now.
Awards & Achievements
On her group’s ‘The Get Weird Tour’ she grossed millions, and over 300 K tickets were sold out in UK alone. For the tour she was booked for 60 dates in Europe, Asia and Australia.
In 2014, her group won the ‘Band of the Year’ Glamour Award, and at the Japan Gold Disc Awards, she won an award in the category of ‘Best Three New Artists’ and ‘New Artist of the Year’.
In 2015, she brought home the BBC Radio Teen’s ‘Embrace Your Uniqueness Award’. At the ‘Cosmopolitan Ultimate Women’s Awards’, the girl-band won the award for ‘The Ultimate Girl Group’.
She also won the Glamour Award for ‘Artist of the Year’ in 2016 and was nominated in three categories - ‘Best Group’, ‘Single of the Year’ and ‘Video of the Year’ at the 2017 Brit Awards.
Personal Life & Legacy
Before she gained fame as a member of Little Mix and the winner of ‘The X Factor’ show, she worked as a bartender at a local bar in Essex.
She dated Jordon Banjo, winner of Britain’s Got Talent in 2009. Later she broke off with him and dated Rixon’s lead singer, Jake Roche for a year before getting engaged to him in 2015, but the couple eventually broke up in November, 2016.
She is obsessed about cracking her knuckles ever few hours.