Jesy Nelson is leaving Little Mix after nine years in the band.
Nelson, 29, announced she was leaving the group for mental health reasons on Monday.
“The truth is being in the band has really taken a toll on my mental health. I find the constant pressure of being in a girl group and living up to expectations very hard,” she told her 7.4 million followers on Instagram.
She said she is quitting the band “with a heavy heart”, but needs to “spend time with the people I love” and “embark on a new chapter”.
The band wished her well in a statement on Twitter, writing: “After an amazing 9 years together Jesy has made the decision to leave Little Mix.
“This is an incredibly sad time for all of us but we are fully supportive of Jesy.”
It was signed by remaining bandmates Jade Thirlwall, Perrie Edwards and Leigh-Anne Pinnock, and went on: “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.
“We are still very much enjoying our Little Mix journey and the 3 of us are not ready for it to be over.
“We know that Jesy leaving the group is going to be really upsetting news for our fans. We love you guys so much and are so grateful for your loyalty and continued support of all of us.”
Fans immediately rushed to voice their support, with Nelson’s post receiving hundreds of thousands of comments within minutes.
The 29-year-old singer announced she was taking an “extended break” from the group for “medical reasons” in November.
She had been absent from recent performances, including the final of their television talent show Little Mix The Search and the MTV European Music Awards (EMAs).
The star has spoken openly about her struggles with anxiety and revealed in a BBC documentary that she tried to take her own life after trolls on social media became too much.
Little Mix formed on the 2011 series of the X Factor, and eventually went on to win the competition, catapulting them to fame and making them one of the country’s most successful girl bands.
They released their sixth studio album – Confetti – this year – their first since leaving Simon Cowell’s record label Syco.
Anyone feeling emotionally distressed or suicidal can call Samaritans for help on 116 123 or email email@example.com in the UK. In the US, call the Samaritans branch in your area or 1 (800) 273-TALK.