Words: Joe Passmore
Jade, Jesy, Perrie and Leigh-Anne - who just a couple of years ago picked up the Honorary Gay Award at the Virgin Holidays Attitude Awards, powered by Jaguar - are about to embark on a brand new era with the release of their sixth studio album Confetti on 6 November, so we thought the time was right to cast our eye back over all their stellar singles so far.
You can read more about Little Mix's greatest gay moments here but for now, here are all of the former X Factor champions' singles ranked in order of greatness...
26) Cannonball (2011)
Fresh off their historical win as the first group to ever win The X Factor came the inevitable sappy cover ballad. The song raced in at Number One on the Official UK Single Chart, but despite being one of their four chart-toppers to date, it’s not one we're in a rush to go back to.
Despite showcasing their vocal strengths, this Damien Rice cover is far from what we wanted or needed from the girls.
25) Word Up! (2014)
The second and last cover to appear in the Little Mix back catalogue is ‘Word Up!’ a charity track released for BBC Sports Relief back in 2014. Though this doesn’t really add much to their singles discography, it gets extra points for its over the cheesy but charismatic music video.
24) One I’ve Been Missing (2019)
Last year, while bridging the gap between albums, Little Mix found themselves feeling their Mariah fantasy by releasing their first ever Christmas song (No, the ‘Love Me Like You’ Christmas mix does not count).
‘One I’ve Been Missing’ is a nice, Leigh-Anne penned festive ballad, but we’d love to hear a more up-tempo Christmas song from the girls in the future.: just imagine Little Mix on their own ‘Santa Tell Me’, ‘Underneath the Tree’ or ‘One More Sleep’!
23) Little Me (2013)
Little Mix’s sophomore album Salute was full of potential single choices, but ‘Little Me’, while a lovely album track, didn’t really go anywhere as a single.
There’s a nice, uplifting sentiment here but in terms of reflective moments, the superior ‘Towers’ and ‘These Four Walls’ were screaming for a release.
22) Only You (with Cheat Codes) (2018)
While we waited for the girls to return from a well-earned break after a quite relentless 'Glory Days' era this summer, the girls helped bridge the gap with a collaboration with DJ trio Cheat Codes.
‘Only You’ is a cute if slightly uninspired little bop, which at least gave the fans the LGBT themed video they’d been asking for for so long in the form of the uplifting and somewhat odd lesbian mermaid-themed video.
21) Bounce Back (2019)
Sampling ‘Back to Life’ by Soul II Soul, standalone single ‘Bounce Back’ was the first single recorded after the girls departed Simon Cowell's record label, Syco Music, for by RCA UK and Columbia Records.
While it gave us a nice taste of what was to come, most of what has followed have become bigger Little Mix staples.
20) How Ya Doin’? ft. Missy Elliott (2013)
‘How Ya Doin’?’ was the first time Little Mix ever collaborated with another artist on a single, and what better way to start than with the legendary Missy Elliott?
"Hey, how ya doin'? Sorry you can't get through," the girls taunt in their now instantly recognisably feisty tone. It might not be their most celebrated hit, but it showed Little Mix’s sassy and feisty brand really beginning to flourishing.
19) Hair ft. Sean Paul (2016)
If you want to make something a hit, add Sean Paul to the song, it worked countless times in the past and it worked for Little Mix.
'Hair' may have frustratingly just missed out on the top ten in the charts, peaking at number 11, but it was still an instant with fans, much helped by a chaotic slumber party video in which the girls order pizza, jump around in their pyjamas and attempt to ignore Sean Paul’s persistent Facetime calls.
18) Holiday (2020)
The second single from Little Mix’s upcoming Confetti and the first to appear here is ‘Holiday’, a breezy summer in the same vein as 2018’s ‘Only You’, but this time with not one, but two much catchier choruses.
It’s a little more low-key compared to the other absolute belters their upcoming sixth album has offered so far, but we still like this a lot.
17) Wings (2012)
Here we have the first proper single from the girls and their second Number One (and first remembered Number One).
Sticking to the theme of empowerment that runs through their entire discography, this belter’s three minutes and 39 seconds gives us everything from harmonies to horns.
Though ‘Wings’ remains a classic and gave us a glimpse of what Little Mix really had to offer as a group, I think it’s safe to say that the foursome outdid themselves numerous times over the course of the four albums that were to come.
16) Change Your Life (2013)
A oft-forgot gem in their singles discography, ‘Change Your Life’ is arguably ‘Little Mix's most underrated single.
As well as the vocals, the girls’ distinct personalities really soar in this tear-jerking yet anthemic track.
15) Think About Us (2018)
Because of the mid-campaign label change, we sadly only got two singles off of LM5… and while ‘Wasabi’ was a smash in the waiting, ‘Think About Us’ was still a perfectly respectable banger of a song, for the adlibs alone.
14) Secret Love Song ft. Jason Derulo (2016)
With lyrics like ‘Why can’t you hold me in the street? Why can’t I kiss you on the dancefloor’ the third ballad to appear here is often interpreted as a homage to Little Mix’s LGBT fans, something Jade ‘Queen of the Gays’ Thirlwall herself has confirmed.
However, despite ‘Secret Love Song’ being a big hit for the girls, when it was released the addition of Jason Derulo didn’t quite click, especially when you see him busting out the robot during the music video.
For the full effect, listen to the stripped back, Jason-less ‘Secret Love Song Part 2’ off the album.
13) Reggaeton Lento (wth CNCO) (2017)
After the Justin Bieber-featuring ‘Despacito’ launched a wave of Enligh-speaking acts piling onto Latin Pop hits, we were skeptical at the prospect of Little Mix jumping on the bandwagon.
Thankfully, ‘Reggaeton Lento’ was already a great song in its original form and adding the girls to the song, which they ended up dominating, only made it better.
12) Woman Like Me (2018)
Nicki Minaj was a longtime career goal collaboration for the girls and the rap star finally joined them on LM5’s sass-filled lead single, ‘Woman Like Me’, which still seems to be one of their most divisive singles ever.
While not boasting one of the 'sing out the car window choruses' Little Mix are known for, we still love this, and it clearly went down well with the public, selling a whopping 942,000 copies according to our friends at Officialcharts.com.
11) Love Me Like You (2015)
Just missing out on our top 10 is the Motown-infused ‘Love Me Like You’, which put a modern spin on the vintage sound of iconic '60s girl groups The Ronettes and The Supremes.
Its ‘L-O-V-E’, middle-8 is one of Little Mix’s most infectious, as well as most iconic moments (especially if you remember how they mashed it into 'Black Magic' when performing on The X Factor).
Let’s face it though, it’s pretty much a Christmas song, which gives it an advantage and extra re-play-ability in the festive months. See also: ‘Love Me Like You: The Christmas Mix’ (which is exactly the same with a few added jingles).
10) Salute (2014)
Kicking off our top 10 with fighting girl power is ‘Salute’ in all its military themed glory. It was the third single off the album with the same name and calls for us to stand up against any inner demons we may be battling.
If you’re ever lucky enough to go and see the girls live, this relentless stomper is always a total highlight, consistently boasting their most intricate and exciting choreography.
9) No More Sad Songs ft. Machine Gun Kelly (2017)
There is no doubt that Glory Days gave us Little Mix’s strongest singles run (though Confetti is now giving it a serious run for its money), and the girls’ mid-tempo sad-banger ‘No More Sad Songs’ was an immediate highlight and obvious single from the moment the album was released.
8) Shout Out To My Ex (2016)
As a lot of us have had our fair share of sh***y exes and ‘Shout Out To My Ex’ has become that immediate middle finger of an anthem we didn’t know we needed in our lives.
Though sticking to a very simple pop formula, the song still works as that fist pumping earworm it’s meant to be and remains the girls’ biggest-selling single to date.
7) Break Up Song (2020)
With its original video shoot cancelled at the start of March’s dreaded lockdown, Little Mix were unable to promote the lead single from Confetti with quite the same gusto we'd come to expect from a new album campaign.
But that doesn’t stop ‘Break Up Song’ being a huge discography highlight. Slotting in nicely with a lot of 2020 pop, those captivating synths and that joyous post-chorus make for a perfect slice of modern '80s pop.
6) Power ft. Stormzy (2017)
It’s one of the weirdest songs on their discography, given its unsual structure (sounding like about 5 songs in one) and bizarre lyrics; including a full on rap section from Jesy and the bonkers ‘Motorbike motorbike, motorbike, motorbike, bike, bike bike bike bike bike, bike bike bike bike, whoop!’ line.
‘Power’ was always a stand out on Glory Days and though it seems to invoke a marmite reaction from some, it is still a huge fan favourite, especially with Little Mix’s huge gay following. And of course we love it.
Pop fans rejoiced when ‘Power’ was finally announced as a single, and it was accompanied with another of their best videos, full of fiery girl power, pride and guest starring RuPaul’s Drag Race legends Alaska, Willam and Courtney Act.
5) DNA (2012)
‘Wings’ was immediately eclipsed in quality by its follow-up, ‘DNA’. This is an addictive, moody and rare example of Little Mix showing us their darker side, as well as being the estranged sister to Katy Perry’s 'E.T.'
Vocally, it’s one of their most impressive up-tempos, where Perrie really shines with those big notes and Leigh-Anne gives us a unique and spooky talky-rapped middle-eight.
Though it now feels a little overlooked in their discography given the strength of what's come since, we still remember DNA as one of their best.
4) Black Magic (2015)
So much of the ongoing success of Little Mix is owed to ‘Black Magic’. The undeniable banger burst out of nowhere after a long break from the girls and went straight in at Number One for an impressive three weeks, kick-starting a new level of stardom for the girls.
It’s not exactly difficult to work out why the British public took to this the way they did, from the first time hearing the opening line ‘All the girls on the block knocking at my door’, you just knew it would be huge.
3) Sweet Melody (2020)
Is it too early to do this? Nah. It may have been released just a week ago, but ‘Sweet Melody’ already feels an instant girl group classic.
It’s one of those songs with little details in the production and vocals that open themselves up to you more and more each time you listen. You think it’s just the chorus that’s catchy, but then the verses get stuck in your head and before you know it you’re even singing along to the do-do-do-dos.
‘Sweet Melody’ is accompanied by the impeccable choreography-based video we’d been asking for for years and includes the career-best lyrics “He would lie, he would cheat, over syncopated beats”.
2) Touch (2016)
Despite a polarised response to the vibrant, corset-clad video, listening to this hypnotically repetitive track is an undeniable experience.
‘Touch’ is a gay club staple as well as a genuine all round crowd pleaser: Everything from former Attitude cover star MNEK’s sublime production, to the sexy verses as well as the euphoric middle 8, makes listening to 'Touch' a truly religious experience.
1) Move (2013)
Topping our list is Little Mix’s still most daring and intricate single, ‘Move’. It may not have been the immediate hit that their other lead singles became, but it's the epitome of a ‘grower’.
Releasing ‘Move’ is the kind of risk we wish mainstream pop acts did more often (cow bells?!), with this infectious R&B-infused track relying less on Little Mix’s unforgettable pop power. Good on you girls.
Little Mix's sixth studio album Confetti is released on 6 November.