You might know her as one-third of Little Mix, but get ready to meet her as 100% Jade Thirlwall. The 29-year-old member of one of the biggest X Factor success stories is embarking on a solo music career, Billboard confirmed, signing a global record deal with RCA Records.
First reported by Music Business Worldwide, the worldwide deal will see both RCA’s U.K. and U.S. teams overseeing the solo trajectory of the British pop star. Her solo career is managed by Kevin Beisler and Sarah Montgomery on behalf of Full Stop Management. Little Mix’s 2020 album Confetti was also released on RCA.
Though she’s officially moving forward with a debut solo album, Little Mix hasn’t come to an end quite yet. They did announce a hiatus in December, but it won’t kick in until after their Confetti Tour concludes in May. “We are not splitting up – Little Mix are here to stay,” they assured fans in a tweet. “We have plans for more music, tours and performances in the future. We’ve made so many incredible memories with you all, and we can’t wait to make so many more.”
The tour, of course, does not include one of the four original Little Mix ladies — Jesy Nelson left the band almost exactly a year before the hiatus was announced. Since then, Nelson has launched her own solo career and even nabbed a collab with Nicki Minaj, but publicly fell out with her old band after being accused of appropriating Black culture. “Capitalising on aspects of blackness without having to endure the daily realities of the Black experience is problematic and harmful to people of colour,’ Thirlwall said in an interview with The Telegraph.
“We don’t really want to dwell, because we have so much to celebrate as a three,” she continued. “We’ve dealt with it in the best way that we know how, and got each other through it. We don’t want to talk about the video, or be critical, but one thing we will clarify regarding the blackfishing situation is that Jesy was approached by the group in a very friendly, educational manner.”
Thirlwall has kept busy since forming Little Mix with Nelson, Leigh-Anne Pinnock and Perrie Edwards on 2011’s season of X Factor. In 2019, she signed on as a songwriter to Sony Music Publishing, co-writing songs for Britney Spears, Billy Porter and K-Pop girl group Twice. She was also the face of streetwear clothing company Ellesse and developed an eyeshadow palette with Beauty Bay.