Little Mix: Long live the legacy

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Eleven years ago, Little Mix made history as the first group to ever win Britain’s biggest reality tv show ‘The X Factor, and tonight, they perform their final show as a group (for now.)

Little Mix was never ‘supposed’ to be where they are now. Girl bands had always been ill-fated on X-Factor, with one never even appearing in the final five acts on the show. Little Mix winning was a monumental moment for female artists on the show, specifically female groups. This feat was only the beginning of their legendary career.

Powered by female empowerment and genuine love for one another, Little Mix began their career post X-Factor with the fun-loving empowering anthem ‘Wings,’ celebrating who you are and that you can make of life whatever you want. The song was an instant hit, and to date has sold over 890,000 copies in the UK alone, and a combined 380 million streams.

Little Mix were creating a legacy that had not been seen in British girl groups since the Spice Girls, female empowerment was at the forefront of the Little Mix brand. Each era was overflowing with celebrating womanhood and the power behind women. Right off the bat, their debut album was unbelievably Little Mix, celebrating femininity in all ways, and friendship. While the debut was bubblegum pop perfection, regardless of genres further down the line, Little Mix will always be on the front line of female empowerment anthems.

Salute and Get Weird and Glory Days continued the mantra of Little Mix, but their most underrated album and era were to truly show that Little Mix are everything that their ethos and brand have stated: badass women who will never be silenced.

LM5 can be described as the bible of Little Mix, the entire era defines these girls to the absolute tee. Kicking off the era with their girl power anthem Woman Like Me, owning everything about who they are, mistakes and all. LM5 contained tracks such as Strip, The National Manthem, Joan of Arc, Woman’s World, and one of their best tracks to date, Wasabi, containing their most feminist lyrics to date. The era would not go without a curveball after the girls announced their departure from SYCO, Simon Cowell’s label that they had signed to after winning his TV show.

Many rumours had circulated for years about how the label had been suppressing them, accusations of the label not pushing for their success internationally compared to the treatment label mates One Direction had received. Little Mix stated that their departure from SYCO was due to having a different vision for their group compared to what the label had in mind. The move only solidified their era even more; Little Mix will never allow the men in power to try and change the narrative they have crafted for themselves as individuals, but also their lengthy career and the brand they have built.

Perrie Edwards, Leigh-Anne Pinnock, and Jade Thrilwall have created a legacy bigger than the three individuals they are. As their backup dancer Claud stated in their penultimate show at London’s O2 arena “your legacy will transcend for the rest of history” and it is true. Little Mix became one of the best-selling girl groups of all time and the first girl group in BRIT Award history to win Best British Group. Their legacy transcends their music and enters the social space, where they have crafted a safe space for all races, sexualities, and genders. Little Mix became a movement of acceptance and not many artists can have that.

As Little Mix takes their final bow on stage tonight, they can stand knowing that they have a legacy worth being proud of. Whether they reunite in two years or ten, Little Mix defied all odds and made their space in the industry forever.

 

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