In 2011, the British girl group Little Mix was formed on “The X Factor UK,” becoming the first group in the show’s history to win first place. The group, originally known as Rhythmix, featured the talent of members Jade Thirlwall, Perrie Edwards, Leigh-Anne Pinnock and Jesy Nelson (before her departure from the group in 2020).
I've been such a huge fan of Little Mix for years, but it's always bothered me how criminally underrated they are in the U.S. These girls are beyond talented — maybe I’m biased because I love girl groups, but I truly believe they deserve so much more recognition in the U.S.
While people in the states know of the group for its global hits like “Shout Out to My Ex,” “Black Magic” and “Wings,” these women are so much more than that. Their talents have spanned a full decade since their formation.
All of these musicians have so much talent and personality, and their voices deserve to be heard by an even wider audience. Although they have broken countless records and dominated worldwide, their influence never truly struck the U.S.
I’ve never understood why that was the case, as they have more than enough talent, charisma and a phenomenal discography to make anyone love or appreciate them. Era after era, Little Mix continues to deliver phenomenal singles, stunning visuals and music videos, emotional and well-sung ballads and amazing fashion moments.
While the whole discography is iconic in itself, I have some personal favorite moments from the group's career that I want to highlight for potential new fans to start with.
One of my favorite eras earlier in Little Mix's career was for the group's third studio album "Get Weird." This album gave us singles such as "Black Magic," "Love Me Like You" and "Hair (feat. Sean Paul)."
These songs all worked perfectly in the scope of this album and were perfect for the time. I still find myself listening to these songs today, but I’ve found that Little Mix's discography has gotten tremendously better over the years, developing a more mature sound as the singers have aged.
This becomes more apparent in the group's fourth studio album "Glory Days," which is one of my absolute favorites. The album debuted to the world with the single “Shout Out to My Ex,” followed by phenomenal songs such as "No More Sad Songs," "Power" and one of my absolute favorites, "Touch."
I personally still listen to all of these songs frequently, which shows the impact and longevity that their discography has had over the years. They continued this era with the "Glory Days" tour, where they had an extremely commercially successful show at O2 Arena in London.
The singers followed up “Glory Days” with their fifth studio album “LM5,” donning a much more mature sound and vibe in comparison to their past albums. With songs like “Woman Like Me (feat. Nicki Minaj)," "Strip (feat. Sharaya J)," "Joan of Arc" and "Wasabi," this album truly embodied a mature and powerful female-forward angle that I absolutely love to this day.
Most recently, the group released its sixth studio album “Confetti,” marking the last era that Nelson was a part of. This album spawned some of my favorite Little Mix tracks, including "Sweet Melody," "Holiday," "Bounce Back" and "Confetti."
This album has phenomenal deep cuts and playful yet mature visuals that I absolutely love. This era also gave us the girls’ outstanding cover of Harry Styles’ 2019 ballad "Falling," as well as their more recent acoustic rendition of "Confetti" as a three-piece group.
One honorable mention that is truly timeless is Little Mix's emotional ballad "Secret Love Song, Pt. II" from the 2015 album "Get Weird."
This song appeared as a bonus track on the deluxe edition of the album, and it has truly become one of my favorite songs of all time. In this track, the girls deliver insane vocals and touching emotions while singing about a secret relationship. The girls and fans alike have expressed their love for this song and coined it as an anthem for the LGBTQ+ community.
The girls have vowed to continue on as a three-piece, even after the departure of Nelson, and they’re definitely a group to look out for. I truly believe that they’re criminally underrated in the U.S. and deserve the same love and recognition here that they have in the rest of the world.
Little Mix has worked so tirelessly throughout the group's career and changed the trajectory of girl groups in pop music. It’s time we all give these musicians their flowers and appreciate the impact they’ve made on modern music and pop culture.