X FACTOR winners Little Mix today thanked Sheffield fans for their support by announcing a city date on their first headline tour next year, writes digital editor Graham Walker.
The girl group will play Sheffield City Hall on Saturday, February 2, next year.
Tickets are expected to sell out fast when they go on sale on this Friday, September 7, at 10am.
Band members Leigh-Anne, Jade Thirlwall, Perrie Edwards, all 19, and Jesy Nelson, 21, say the city has a special place in their hearts because of the ‘amazing’ reception they got on the X Factor tour.
It’s also the home of starmaker Eliot Kennedy, who played a major part in their X Factor win. He was the show’s Producer for Artist Development.
“We loved working with Eliot. He was like an uncle to us,” Leigh-Anne told The Star in an exclusive chat.
“Whenever we had a problem or we were upset about anything, we would go to him. He really did look after us. He did most of our arrangements. He was wicked.
“We haven’t written with him or Gary Barlow yet but, you never know, possibly the second album.
“From the start we’ve always wanted our own material. We love writing and co-writing. It’s important to us. Definitely.”
She said of their reception on the X Factor tour at Sheffield’s Motorpoint Arena: “The Sheffield crowd was amazing - the louder the better. We can’t wait to play there again next year.
“I can’t tell you how excited I am. We’re going to go all out for it. We really can’t wait.”
Their latest single, Wings, topped the iTunes chart last week - helped somewhat after Sheffield’s new X Factor contestant Lucy Spraggan, 20, withdrew her ‘beer fear’ song.
Wings was expected to top the official chart last night.
In a direct message to Little Mix fans, Leigh-Anne added: “Thank you so much. We could not have done it without you. You’ve all been so amazing. Our Little Mix family is growing every day and it’s the best family we could ever ask for.
“It still hasn’t sunk in what we’ve achieved in a year. It’s so surreal. We’re having the best time ever.
“We had Wings so long. We wrote it in February. We didn’t know what to expect - what people would make of it. But everyone has been so positive.
“We’re now really excited about the album, which will be a little mix of everything, all our different influences put together. We’ve kept our pop R&B sound but used our difference influences.
“Being in the group is just the best thing ever. We all get on so well. The main thing we want is longevity. We want to crack America and be global. But to do that we’ve just got to keep working hard.
“None of us ever dreamed about any of this happening to us. We’re so excited about what’s to come. It’s just not sinking in - and it will never ever sink in.”
* Tickets for Little Mix at Sheffield City Hall - not on sale until Friday, September 7, at 10am - will be £19.50 and £29.50 each, subject to a booking fee.