Wow, Little Mix did not hold back in their new track, “Not A Pop Song.” Yep, the girl group threw some major shade towards their former mentor Simon Cowell in the lyrics, after months of feuding with the music mogul.
“I don’t do what Simon says / Get the message ’cause it’s read / That’s just life it never plays fair / Said to follow any dream, be a puppet on a string / Works for you but that isn’t me / This ain’t another pop song,” the girls sing in the new song.
Talk about no chill! For those who missed it, Perrie Edwards, Jade Thirlwall, Leigh-Anne Pinnock and Jesy Nelson have been embroiled in a nasty fight with Cowell for a while now, and we’re here to break down the entire drama from start to finish for you. Here’s what went down…
Simon Cowell Signed Little Mix After ‘The X Factor’ In 2011
For those who don’t know, the band was actually put together after they all auditioned as solo artists on The X Factor in 2011. And they actually went on to win the singing competition show, becoming the first group ever to take home the gold. And after their time on the series, Cowell’s record label, Syco, signed them, and they went on to release four albums together.
Little Mix Claimed Simon Cowell’s Label Didn’t Treat Them Right
Despite all of their success, the group claimed that the label wasn’t treating them right. According to The Sun, they “confronted Cowell in a strongly worded email, raising issues they had with his label.” The outlet also reports that when the label failed to give the ladies writing credit on their song “Woman Like Me,” things came to a head. In the end, they were given the credit they deserved, but “the damage had been done.”
During an interview, despite not calling him or the label out by name, Pinnock seemingly referred to their feud when she said the band “put their foot down” in the face of “sexism.”
“We’ve had our fair share of arguments with powerful men over what we want to do and how things should be done,” she told the Daily Star. “There are still not enough powerful women in the industry compared to men and that needs to change.”
During another interview, Edwards admitted it was frustrating that they had no say about which songs made it onto their albums.
“It is frustrating that if a group of guys were to say, ‘We’re not going to do that song, we’re going to release this song’, it’s like, ‘Maybe we should listen,'” she said. “Whereas when we do it, it’s like, ‘Oh they’re at it again, they’re whining’. But we’re not. We’re perfectionists. We take everything we do so seriously.”
They Went Their Separate Ways In 2018
In 2018, the “Shoutout To My Ex” singers announced that they were officially cutting ties with Cowell’s label, Syco, and that they had signed with RCA instead — just days before their fifth album, LM5, came out. And while speaking to Cosmopolitan, they explained that leaving the label right before their LP’s release was “really hard” and “horrible.”
“[It] was probably one of the hardest parts of our career, but it was necessary,” Thirlwall said. “It came at a bad time, as we were releasing new music. We were so close to the people that were there with us every day.”
In another interview, she said, “We did a little bit but we had a switch of labels during the LM5 process and that really f***ed us over. It was harder to put all our creativity out there in the way we would have liked.”
Things Got Messier When Little Mix Started Their Own Talent Show
It’s no secret that Cowell is behind shows like The X Factor and America’s Got Talent, so when Little Mix announced that they were starting their own competition series called The Search, Cowell was reportedly not happy about it. Plus, while promoting their new series, the girls couldn’t help but throw a dig at Cowell and The X Factor. They told Radio Times that they felt his show “lost its authenticity.”
“I think the problem is when it’s like a script,” Thirlwall said. “When they’re like, ‘This is going to be a sob story,’ then they’ll stop the song halfway through and ask if they have something else. The minute it doesn’t seem real, you switch off. How am I meant to believe in it any more? I could literally write it myself and tell you what’s coming next.”
They even criticized the way the show treated its contestants.
“We never had anyone check on us to see how we were doing mentally, it was all just go, go, go,” Nelson added, with Pinnock chiming in, “I wish there was a lot more help.”
But Now, Things Seem To Be All Good Between Them
Despite all the drama, things seem to be all good between them now. Yep, they may have just shaded Cowell in a new song, but it was reportedly all in good fun.
“It’s not b***hy – and isn’t meant in a b***hy way at all,” a source told Metro. “They think Simon will see the funny side of it – as they know he loves attention and will think it’s all playful. It’s about them growing up and becoming women in a way.”
Plus, while speaking to The Sun, Cowell insisted he was not upset that they were making a new show. In fact, he claimed that they asked him to be a part of it at first.
“This is what really happened. I was approached to co-produce that show last year by Little Mix’s management. I told them the problem was we have a conflict of interest because we are launching X Factor The Band in 2020. We were told their show was going to launch in 2021,” he said. “Then we had the fallout and find out Little Mix were bringing their show forward. Was that intentional because we are doing our show? I have no idea. But regardless, it was too much fun not to do this year. I would rather it was us doing it first. It 100 percent makes it more exciting there being a battle.”
In another interview, the ladies insisted they did not have a “personal vendetta” against Cowell.
“I think with Simon it’s all fun and games. We’ve got no personal vendetta against him,” Thirlwall said. “We moved on and, to be fair, over the years we didn’t actually see him that much. We’re not ones to hold grudges.”