When Leigh-Anne Pinnock, Jade Thirlwall, Perrie Edwards and Jesy Nelson became Little Mix – following a quick legally required name change – they could have had no idea how much being put together as a girl band would change their lives.
As fans will no doubt recall, judge Tulisa formed the girls into a band, and from then on, they stormed through every stage of The X Factor to emerge the winners last year.
And in the space of the year that’s followed, the girls have become global superstars, and in today’s Sun, each of them has discussed what’s changed for them.
Leigh-Anne kicked off the interview by revealing that just twelve months ago, she was being picked on by lads at her school, and now, she gets inundated with marriage proposals!
She said, “I’ve had guys on Twitter asking to marry me. I said ‘Yes’ to one of them but didn’t hear from him again.
“At school the boys used to pick on me. I know everyone says that means they fancy you, but it didn’t feel like that at the time.”
And Jade added, “I wasn’t prepared for boys to like us. I thought our fans would be mostly girls, and it was like that at first.
“Now we get boys saying how much they like us on our Facebook page and dads bringing their kids to our gigs.”
Perrie then added, “One guy had a tattoo for me!
“He came up to me when I was at home and showed me this heart on his hand with a ‘P’ in the middle and said it was for me.”
Leigh-Anne joked, “Maybe it was for his girlfriend” and Jesy added, “Or his mum!”
“I hope it was,” said Perrie, who went on, “A tattoo’s a lot of commitment for someone you don’t even know.”
Jade then added, “I was a shy kid until I got to know people. The only time I felt really confident was when I was performing.
“When I was six I started going to dance and theatre schools, I loved it. I also used to sing at old people’s homes at Christmas.
“They’d go: ‘Eee, pet, you’ll be a star one day’.”
And how right they were, and of course, with the stardom comes money, lots of it, of which Jesy admitted, “Leigh-Anne and I are bad for spending money.
“That’s what it’s there for — to be spent.”
Leigh-Anne added, “I’ve spent so much money. I can’t even remember what I’ve bought.”
Jade said, “I don’t spend a lot of money, but I did treat myself to a pair of shoes for over £1,000. They’re so gorgeous.
“But they’re so expensive I’m scared to wear them.
“I had my mum on one side of me saying, ‘That’s a lot of money for a pair of shoes’, and two friends on the other side telling me to go for it.”
And finally, Perrie said, “I bought my mum a car and my brother a laptop. If it’s for someone else then I don’t care how much I’m spending.
“But if it’s for myself, I feel guilty. I’ve bought myself a laptop and that’s about it.
“One day I’d like to buy a proper old VW Camper van or an old Mini. That’s all I want.”
Don’t forget that you can pre-order Little Mix: Ready To Fly, by Little Mix with photos by Dean Freeman. ©Eternal Dance Media Limited 2012. Published by Harper NonFiction on August 30, priced £16.99.