It’s hard to believe that it’s been 12 years since Little Mix competed on The X Factor, leading them to victory in becoming the first group to ever win the famous talent show before setting off to make their memorable mark in music history books. Now, over a decade on, after six albums, touring the world, and breaking records, Little Mix is on a hiatus. Two of them are doting mothers, and all three of them are businesswomen who are preparing for their solo careers in a new chapter of their lives. Leigh-Anne Pinnock is the first member to kick that era off following the release of two singles. And now she’s released her first ever book, her autobiography Believe.
The global superstar has put pen to paper to retell the past 12 years from her own perspective, giving eye-opening details and tell-all moments that fans have never known. Getting honest and open, Leigh-Anne’s personal journey to fame and fortune shares her metamorphosis from a shy little girl from High Wycombe who blossoms into a more confident and passionate young woman who aspires to be a star. But when she finally achieves everything she’s ever wanted, Leigh-Anne is met with something she wasn’t expecting: the systemic racism in the music industry.
While the challenges and hurdles proved difficult for Leigh, the young starlet refused to give up, her passion and drive carrying her through until she finally realized what it was that was dragging her down. In Believe – titled after her long-term mantra and first-ever tattoo – Leigh-Anne shares the eye-opening lessons she’s learned along the way and how she found her voice and began her fight for change both for herself and Black women across the music industry, attributing the Black Lives Matter movement surging in 2020 for really empowering her to speak up and make a difference.
Leigh-Anne also shares just how special Little Mix’s bond has been since day one, how they became each other’s second family, and just how much input they had into their craft, dismissing the stereotype that girl bands are simply manufactured and mouthpieces for the big bosses. We learn how the girls have had a hands-on approach not only since their debut album era but even on their performances while competing on The X Factor; Leigh shares how she would even wrote her own raps as part of their performances.
@leighannepinnock Thank you from the bottom of my heart for every single one of you, that joined me last night in Manchester for the first stop on my book tour! i love you all millions #BelieveBookTour #Believe ♬ Circus – Britney Spears
It was also really applaudable for Leigh-Anne to share anecdotes of her relationship with her now-husband, Andre Grey, and discuss details that take off the rose-tinted glasses fans tend to view their relationship, replacing it with the realities of being in an adult relationship: not perfect, but very real and requiring work from both parties. We also learn how the journey of motherhood has impacted Leigh, getting a glimpse of her pregnancy journey and those early beginnings with her beautiful twins.
One thing that’s made very clear throughout Believe is Leigh’s love for her heritage. She shares her love for her Jamaican roots and her desire to become closer to the Bajan side of her identity. Leigh-Anne shares how important her family and background are to her and how she wants to incorporate it both in how she lives and within her work. Learning about the important things that have shaped the woman she is today is insightful and makes us feel closer to Leigh as fans, getting to connect to her and understand her on a more personal level.
Believe is an emotional yet empowering read for fans. Learning how much Leigh had to endure on her rise to fame is tough to comprehend, but it’s truly admirable to see her find her voice and learn important lessons that she passes on from her experiences. The strong feeling of pride we have as fans has skyrocketed from the revelations in the book, and just when we thought we couldn’t love her anymore, here we are!
Believe by Leigh-Anne Pinnock is out now