British singer-songwriter, Leigh-Anne Pinnock is a member of the all-girl band ‘Little Mix’. Belonging to a middle class family, she swept the audience and judges off their feet in the reality show ‘The X Factor’. The girl group was formed before the live shows, with each identifying the other’s vocal strength. Leigh-Ann went on to win the show with her gang of girls, emerging as top vocalists amongst a bevy of spectacular singers. She owned the stage each time she set foot on it and was called “a star in the making” by the show’s judges. Leigh-Anne didn’t take long to prove them right, immediately after her success on the show she released hit albums and numerous chartbusting singles alongside her band members. Her group is presently compared with iconic girl bands such as ‘Spice Girls’ and ‘The Pussycat Dolls’. She has come a long way from her first soloist audition on the show to her recent gold certified album. She is now the face of many beauty brands, and has set an example for youngsters in the middle of social strata to determine their own fate. Leigh-Anne has chased her dream of establishing a career in the music industry, and with perseverance has won several prestigious music awards.
Childhood & Early life
Leigh-Anne Pinnock was born to Deborah Thornhill and John L. Pinnock on 4th October, 1991 and was raised at High Wycombe in Buckinghamshire. Her mother serves at the Harlington Community School, while her father is a mechanic.
She is the youngest of three siblings, her eldest sister Sian-Louise was born in 1984 followed by Sarah in 1989. She grew up spending most of her time with her sisters or visiting her grandfather in Jamaica.
She found happiness in music, and began singing at the age of nine. While at school she participated in all events and was often a winner at singing competitions, and enrolled at the ‘Sylvia Young Theatre School’ in London for a couple of years when she was eleven.
During her adolescent years, she used to practice singing on her karaoke machine, and often performed with her sister at family gathering pretending to be the ‘Spice Girls’.
In 2006, her parents separated, and filed for divorce in 2009. Though it was difficult to come to terms with circumstances after her parents’ split, she continued to work hard as a student and helped her family financially too by doing odd jobs during summer.
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Winner of The X Factor
At her first audition in the singing reality show,she displayed great promise by singing Rihanna’s knockout song ‘Only Girl’. She went on to the “bootcamp” round, but was unable to make it as a soloist. Thus, she was paired with two other singers to form the Orion group.
Unfortunately, the group failed to go ahead, but Leigh-Anne was given another opportunity with Jade Thirwall, Jesy Nelson and Perrie Edwards on the show and together they formed the girl band ‘Little Mix’.
Along with her group, she worked under the mentorship of Tulisa Contostavlos. Her back-to-back performances on the show drew attention to her vibrato and range.
What impressed the judges most was her perfect harmonies with the rest of the band. Each team member played on each other’s strength, delivering an impactful and memorable performance for both the audience and judges.
Her perforce of the song ‘Beautiful’ on the show, was emotionally stirring, and asserted her versatility as a vocalist. With ease she blended from one genre into another, which made the judges term her the future of R&B and pop music.
Her group become the first group to ever win the British adaptation of ‘The X Factor’. At the finale they performed a cover version of Damien Rice’s song ‘Cannonball’ that immediately climbed to the top spot on music charts.
Early Career in the Music Industry
At ‘T4 on the beach’, she released her band’s first single from their debut album ‘DNA’. It wasn’t long before the single topped the U.K Singles Music Chart. With popularity streaming her way, she accompanied her band on a tour in UK and Australia to promote her first album.
DNA released in 2012, within a week it took the number 3 spot in Ireland and UK Album Charts. Soon after, the album’s second single ‘DNA’ was released on radio, followed by the third single called ‘Change Your Life’, with the latter ranking 12 amongst UK singles that year.
In 2013, a single featuring Grammy award winner, Missy Elliot hit radios. The song was titled ‘How Ya Doing?’ and ranked high on all music charts around the world, the group followed it up by announcing on radio that the band’s next album was going to be in stores soon.
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Her second album was tiled ‘Salute’, Leigh was excited about launching the band’s new album, as it comprised or many R&B songs, which would find its way into foot tapping night club hit songs.
Along with her band, she recorded a song titled ‘Little Me’, which was a tribute to the group’s fans and supporters and expressed their journey of success.
From 2014 to 15 she was booked on a world tour for her second album, and also performed at various events such as ‘Sport Relief’ and at the ‘Brit Awards’.
In 2015, her third album ‘Get Weird’ was launched, it earned Leigh plenty of fame, for which she won many music awards with her band members. The lead single of the album ‘Black Magic’ was certified gold that year.
Her most recent album released in 2016 called ‘Glory Days’, which was an epitome of her music career. The songs exhibited exemplary harmony and growth in vocal dexterity. The album booked the first place on UK charts.
Her single ‘How YaDoin?’ featuring Missy Elliot grabbed a spot in the UK top 20 Hit songs, which became the fifth time her song made it to the top 20. It grossed millions and sold more than 120K copies.
Her hit album ‘Get Weird’ was warranted the best girl-band album, since the album’s ratings outshone the record history of ‘Spice Girls’. Itwas awarded a double platinum as it sold over 600 K copies, and placed at number fifteen on the US Billboard 200.
The album’s lead song ‘Black Magic’ hooked onto the number one spot for three weeks on the UK singles chart. It also became her first song to place on US Billboard Hot 100.
Awards & Achievements
She won the award for ‘Band of the Year’ at the Glamour Awards in 2014, along with Jade, Perrie and Jesy. The same year her band was also awarded ‘Best Three New Artists’ and ‘New Artist of the Year’ at the ‘Japan Gold Disc Awards’.
At the ‘Get Weird’ tour, more than 300,000 tickets were sold out, which is noted to be the girl band’s most successful tour, grossing millions in revenue.
Leigh-Anne also won the BBC Radio Teen’s Award for ‘Embrace Your Uniqueness’. She took home another award the same year in the category of ‘The Ultimate Girl Group’ at the ‘Cosmopolitan Ultimate Women’s Awards’.
After a successful fourth album, once again she bagged an award for ‘Artist of the Year’ but this time it was at the ‘Glamour Awards’ in 2016.
Personal Life & Legacy
Leigh-Anne used to work as a waitress in Pizza Hut before she shot to fame. She is currently residing at an apartment in London.
In 2015, she began a Tumblr fashion blog called ‘Leigh Loves’. This isn’t her first venture in the world of fashion. She has promoted a children’s clothing line under the banner of ‘Primark’ in 2012, and has endorsed the Schwarzkopf hair dye range ‘Live Colour XXL’.
In unison with her band, she has extended support to charity organisations and foundations such as ‘Children In Need’ and ‘Together for Short Lives’, performing at their charity events to raise funds.
Leigh-Anne had been in a relationship with footballer, Jordan Kiffin for two years before they broke up with him in 2015. She is currently dating another footballer, Burnley’s hot striker, Andre Gray.
She is a huge Justin Bieber fan and has his name tattooed on her neck.