they make me want to listen to ballads from the 90s and cry

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Little Mix's 12 Best Live Covers: Watch These Powerful Takes on Beyonce, Rihanna & More
We've compiled the best cover songs done by Little Mix. Watch videos of their spin on tracks from Beyonce, Rihanna, TLC and more.

As Billboard celebrates its annual Girl Group Week, we’ve got Fifth Harmony on our cover, but that doesn’t mean we’ve forgotten the U.K.’s beloved quartet, Little Mix.

Back in 2011, the band came together on The X-Factor, so killer covers and fresh, new renditions of pop classics have always been in their wheelhouse. Six years later, we join Jesy Nelson, Leigh-Anne Pinnock, Jade Thirlwall and Perrie Edwards for a video history of their best cover songs.

1. Fergie - “Big Girls Don’t Cry” (2011)

The Little Mix ladies first auditioned for the U.K.’s X-Factor individually. Former judge Kelly Rowland suggested they be placed into a girl group, and the band we know today – then called Rhythmix – was born. This was their first performance together. Consider it iconic and ironic, as their rendition of Fergie’s 2003 single not only made them tear up by the by the end of the song, but even made Jessie J quite emotional. “I’m slightly in love with them,” she said.

2. En Vogue - “Don’t Let Go” (2011)

The girls have mentioned that their take on En Vogue’s “Don’t Let Go” was the turning point of their X-Factor journey to stardom. “That was the moment when people looked at us and thought, ‘Wait a moment. These girls actually stand a chance,‘” Edwards recalled. Little Mix delivered a powerful and vocal-dominated rendition of the ‘90s hit, inspiring some to think they really could become the next big girl group.

3. Beyoncé - “End of Time” (2012)

Months after taking the crown as X-Factor’s season eight winners, the quartet opened up its own official YouTube channel with one of Beyoncé’s singles, 2012’s “End of Time.” Without instruments accompanying them but their own vocals and snaps, Little Mix gave a cover that would sure make Queen Bey, herself, proud. (Peep Leigh-Anne and Jade at 1:30 killing it with their harmony.)

4. Fun. - “We Are Young” (2012)

Racking almost 11 million views and counting, the acoustic cover of Fun.’s “We Are Young” justifies Little Mix’s vocal abilities and talents. After covering female artists or pop songs frequently in the past, this was one of the first times Little Mix took an indie pop/rock track and made it their own. Compared to Nate Ruess’ vocals, Little Mix gives this catchy tune a youthful and innocent feel; check that breakdown at the 3:15 mark. The group performed this cover again on SiriusXM months after Perrie had her tonsils taken out.

5. Lauryn Hill - “Doo-Wop”/Lumidee - “Never Leave You” Mash-Up (2012)

“Remember when cats used to harmonize like…” Well, the British babes are the cats that brought it back. Mashing it up with Lumidee’s 2003 summer hit “Never Leave You,” Little Mix throws it back to the bops of the old days. This mash-up also showcases Jesy’s skills in beatboxing, giving an extra dose of nostalgia to the ears. (Watch the 1:09 mark!) “Their voices harmonize together like slicing butter with a hot knife. Holy god,” as how the top YouTube comment would say.

6. Mumford & Sons - “I Will Wait” (2012)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RTytQWfcO4M 

As Little Mix has proven that they can switch from genre to genre, the group turned down the tempo of this Mumford & Sons hit to a ballad listeners could cry along to, in the most elegant way possible. Accompanied by a small orchestra, piano and guitar, “I Will Wait” becomes a heartfelt and sad love song the brokenhearted can listen to for days.

7. “Holy Grail”/“Counting Stars”/“Smells Like Teen Spirit” (2013)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L5lfJkXJ3kk

From rap to pop/rock to grunge, the ladies became Justin Timberlake, JAY-Z, OneRepublic’s Ryan Tedder and Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain all in a matter of four minutes and six seconds. In a mash-up medley they performed at BBC Radio 1’s Live Lounge, the group starts off with “Counting Stars” into “Holy Grail,” then finally transitions to “Smells Like Teen Spirit” with hints of “Counting” in between.

8. Katy Perry - “Dark Horse” (2014) 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x9wIb4YQRiY

Though this wasn’t the first time Little Mix performed a Katy Perry hit, it sure became one of the first covers to flash their mature side. Performed during their Salute Tour, the gals busted out in synchronized harmony and choreography, giving the original Aphrodite a run for her money… or throne.

9. TLC - “No Scrubs” (2015)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yFW7tpGOOEg

One of their musical favorites when it comes to female empowerment, Little Mix embraced its inner T-Boz, Left Eye and Chilli for an a capella of the all-time classic. However, this short a capella rendition wasn’t the first time the girls performed “No Scrubs.” Just like “Dark Horse,” Little Mix has performed a longer version of this cover (with choreography!) – but on the DNA Tour back in 2013.

10. Destiny’s Child - “Bills, Bills, Bills” (2015)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s5AkwPK1oBM

What was meant to be for Z100 and Elvis Duran’s “Pay My Bills” promo turned out to be one of the coolest and shortest covers Little Mix has done. And it left me wanting more. Jesy with the beatboxing while the girls come through with the harmony, 17 seconds is a total cliff-hanger that makes you want to hear more! Nonetheless, it is a cover that gives the Destiny’s Child classic justice and makes their X-Factor judge Kelly Rowland proud.

11. Jason Derulo - “Want to Want Me”/Whitney Houston - “Dance With Somebody” Mash-Up (2015)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OyhgIuNoWvo

Let’s be real. Nothing beats a whole choir when you’re turning two catchy pop/dance songs into a gospel mash-up. As each member took turns crooning the first verse of “Want to Want Me,” the cover gradually takes it to church when the choir joins in for the chorus and smoothly transitions into Whitney Houston’s “Dance With Somebody” (with hints of Natalie La Rose’s revival, “Somebody,” towards the end). It was after seeing this cover that Jason Derulo collaborated with the group for their famous ballad, and LGBTQ anthem, “Secret Love Song.”

12. Rihanna - “Love on the Brain” (2017)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=20qlpXsNaXk

Considering the last time the ladies performed doo-wop-inspired tracks was during their Get Weird days (“Love Me Like You” and “The End”), it was refreshing to hear the quartet come together and tackle Rihanna’s ANTI single. Jesy, Jade, Perrie and Leigh-Anne perfectly showcased their vocal abilities (individually and as a group) with their sultry rendition filled with runs and harmonies. Knowing that the bad gal is one of their fashion icons, all four made sure to come clutch for their cover by serving some looks. Trust. This cover will make you say “YAAAS QUEEN!” just like Perrie did at the end. Again, prepare to be slayed.

BONUS: Ed Sheeran covers Little Mix’s “Touch”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VovyjWM2Gq0

Though this is obviously not Little Mix, let’s shout out Ed Sheeran showing some love. As he covered the dancehall-inspired pop song during his “Shape of You” promotions, he mentioned that the hit single was originally for the British girl group. Now, with that thought in mind, one can only imagine how Little Mix’s cover of “Shape of You” would sound like (if you’re reading this, Little Mix, nudge nudge).

If that wasn’t enough for you, check out this playlist YouTube user Allison Hernandez made that mixes 30 of the many acoustic performances and a capella covers they’ve done!

One song a day for the next 100 days. I hope you guys join me!

01. A song that makes you smile.
02. A song that makes you laugh.
03. A song that makes you cry.
04. A song that makes you want to dance.
05. A song that helps clear your head.
06. A song that always gets stuck in your head.
07. A song that gets you pumped up.
08. A song that calms you down.
09. A song that means a lot to you.
10. A song that has a new meaning to you every time you hear it.
11. A song that would be the theme song of your life.
12. A song that reminds you of summer.
13. A song that reminds you of winter.
14. A song that reminds you of a family member.
15. A song that you would consider a guilty pleasure.
16. A song that was released in the ‘60s.
17. A song that was released in the ‘70s.
18. A song that was released in the ‘80s.
19. A song that was released in the ‘90s.
20. A song that was released in the ‘00s.
21. A song that was released this year.
22. A song that needs more recognition.
23. A song that everyone knows the lyrics to.
24. A song that got you hooked on a band.
25. A song that you loved right from the first 5 seconds.
26. A song that you need to be in a certain mood to listen to.
27. A song that will always be in your top 5 favorites.
28. A song that's connected with a memory.
29. A song that’s very simple and repetitive but you love anyway.
30. A song that’s a one hit wonder.
31. A song that’s a power ballad.
32. A song with a line you would tattoo on your body.
33. A song with a color in the title.
34. A song with a number in the title.
35. A song with a place in the title.
36. A song with a name in the title.
37. A song with more than 5 words in the title.
38. A song with a question as the title.
39. A song with a one syllable title.
40. A song with “Q” as the first letter of the title.
41. A song with “K” as the first letter of the title.
42. A song with “F” as the first letter of the title.
43. A song with “N” as the first letter of the title.
44. A song with “E” as the first letter of the title.
45. A song with “J” as the first letter of the title.
46. A song with the word “fire” in the title.
47. A song with the word “under” in the title.
48. A song with the word “little” in the title.
49. A song with the word “go” in the title.
50. A song with the word “eye” in the title.
51. A song with a great title.
52. A song with a great guitar solo.
53. A song with a great drum solo.
54. A song with a great keyboard solo.
55. A song with great vocal harmonies.
56. A song with lyrics that could read like poetry.
57. A song you haven't listened to in a long time.
58. A song you had to look up the lyrics to.
59. A song you sing in the shower.
60. A song you liked this time last year.
61. A song you liked when you were younger.
62. A song you tap/drum/hum the beat of.
63. A song you can play on an instrument.
64. A song you wish you could play on an instrument.
65. A song you play when you can’t sleep.
66. A song you can't help but sing along to.
67. A song you hate from a band you love.
68. A song you used to love but now hate.
69. A song you would choose for karaoke.
70. A song you're currently obsessed with.
71. A song your parents played in the car when you were younger.
72. A song people wouldn't expect you to like.
73. A song by an artist that goes by a one word name.
74. A song by a band's lead singer.
75. A song by a band with a ridiculous name.
76. A song by a band you have on a T-shirt.
77. A song by a two-person band.
78. A song by a band with more than 5 people in it.
79. A song from a genre you usually dislike.
80. A song from an album with a beautiful cover.
81. A song from an original film score.
82. A song from a musical.
83. A song from a TV show theme.
84. A song in another language.
85. A song under 2 minutes long.
86. A song over 6 minutes long.
87. A song for a rainy day.
88. A song for a road trip.
89. A song for moving on.
90. A song for not giving a shit.
91. A song without words.
92. A song cover better than the original.
93. A song with an acoustic version better than the original.
94. A song from a really obscure band.
95. A song currently stuck in your head.
96. A song you've seen performed live.
97. A song by one of your favorite bands. (#1)
98. A song by one of your favorite bands. (#2)
99. A song by one of your favorite bands. (#3)
100.  A song.  Actually, not just “A song”. THE SONG. 
Playlist: Top 100 Songs of 2014.

100. Nick Jonas “Chains (Just A Gent Remix)”
This remix hits all the sweet spots his singles JUST missed.

99. Nicki Minaj “The Crying Game” feat. Jessie Ware
Probably the best featured appearance Nicki had on The Pinkprint.

98. Tinashe “2 On”
The current Queen of SleepytimeJasmineTea R&B made the Cassie followup nobody expected.

97. Julian Casablancas “Where No Eagles Fly”
JC left The Strokes behind and got in touch with his experimental side.

96. Mariah Carey “Meteorite”
I’m all for Mimi dabbling closer to dance and further away from big ballads at this stage in her career.

95. Weezer “Cleopatra”
That hiccup in the meter took this single from merely enjoyable to quirky.

94. EXID “Up & Down”
South Korea is still doing dance-pop better than anyone else, even with a fake saxophone.

93. St. Vincent “Regret”
Still restlessly creative and making pop on her own terms.

92. Calvin Harris “Blame”
Another arena-sized dancefloor banger from Calvin Harris.

91. Miranda Lambert “Little Red Wagon”
Playfully brash like no one else in country music.

Keep reading

Best Tracks of 2014 (So Far)

We’ve reached the halfway point! These are the best tracks of 2014 so far from January to June. The YouTube playlist can be found at the bottom of the post!

30. “Find You (Feat. Matthew Koma & Miriam Bryant)“ by Zedd

Nothing new is presented in the Zedd model of banging out hits, but it’s still a pleasantly catchy song and you want to belt along with Matthew Koma’s distinct tenor. At least I do.

29. “Hideaway” by Kiesza

Brought to fame with an amazing single shot choreographed video, Kiesza’s warble soars over the 90’s influenced track.

28. “I Want It All” by Karmin

While their debut full length wasn’t as great as I hoped (due to the lack of tracks like this and “Brokenhearted”), this is a great standout from a genuinely very sweet duo. Plus, looking at Nick never hurts.

27. “Solo Dancing” by Indiana

A dark, brooding, and pulsating number that sets an exciting and enticing tone for a new artist that decides to go under the moniker of one of the least exciting states in the US.

26. “Prophet” by Zhala

The first artist to be signed to Robyn’s record label, Zhala’s “Prophet” is this first thing I’ve heard that sounds like religious chant music and pop had a baby. Not a good song for a steady run but good for crazed dancing.

25. “Delorean Dynamite” by Todd Terje

This funky Norwegian DJ spins out some great Italodisco inspired tunes.

24. “Grande Finale” by Studio Killers

One of the most exciting groups in dance pop music released a new single after last year’s amazing debut album.

23. “Seashells” by Florrie

One of the UK’s most promising poplets releases another gem of a single. Apparently she has a proper album coming sometime soon and I’m quite excited.

22. “Don’t Hold Back On Love” by Helena Paparizou

While “Survivor” was a great Melodifestivalen track, this is even better. Still not at the heights of “Baby, It’s Over” but still everything I expect and love from Helena.

21. “I Try To Talk To You (feat. John Grant)” by Hercules and Love Affair

Andy Butler assembles a new crew for his latest effort Feast of the Broken Heart and delivers a more enticing affair than the sophomore album Blue Songs. And this song is quite nice.

20. “Luna” by Bombay Bicycle Club

A new band discovery for me, this light catchy tune was on repeat for a while. The video features synchronized swimming too which is all the reason you need to watch it even if it were a horrible tune (which it’s not).

19. “Rather Be (feat. Jess Glynne)” by Clean Bandit

Described by an Irish boy I went on a date with as the sound of the insufferable “London posh,” Clean Bandit have made quite the headway with this summery jam. I still like it. If only their album was full of tracks like this.

18. “What I Must Find” by For BDK

Stunning video and emotive song from Sweden. Really what else do we expect from them?

17. “Boom Clap” by Charli XCX

I was worried for half a second that Charli XCX’s shot at fame was starting to dim much like the one-hit Icona Pop (who I still love), but this feature in The Fault In Our Stars lands her squarely back in that ascent.

16. “Undo” by Sanna Nielsen

Listen, I realize it’s awful lyrically, but Sanna is Sweden’s sweetheart and was my favorite this year at Eurovision - WHICH I GOT TO GO TO.

15. “Idea for Strings” by Gem Club

An NPR discovery for me that’s quite different than everything else on this list. I was just struck by the beauty of this chamber pop band’s sound and am so glad I went to their album release concert at the MFA here in Boston.

14. “Cheap Sunglasses (feat. Matthew Koma)” by RAC

Matthew Koma is quite the featured vocalist, eh?

13. “Prime” by Allie X

This Canadian is one to watch with ace tracks such as these. Sugary, sweet, and cheeky in the best ways. "Forget what I need, give me what I want, and it should be fine” stands out as quite the demand. This one is still a free download.

12. “Leave Your Lover” by Sam Smith

SAAAMMMMM. Again, usually not my type of music, but having an out (but not overdoing it) gay man singing about unrequited love speaks to me. The diva of my generation, people.

11. “Holler” by Rebecca & Fiona

One of my favorite Swedish DJ outfits did a good job with their new album. This is my favorite.

10. “Giving Me Away” by Betty Who

My favorite darling of pop music right now hit it out of the park with her Slow Dancing EP and lead single “Heartbreak Dream.” This track is simmering with the best 80’s vibes though.

9. “Not On Drugs” by Tove Lo

Yes, yes, I know “Stay High” is infinitely more hip, but I like this track from her Truth Serum EP best. Also, “Out of Mind” is quite the track too, but that was released last year.

8. “Crying For No Reason” by Katy B

POWER BALLAD O’CLOCK. God, the emotion. I have to be extremely careful not to hit my head as I sing this in the shower and flail about.

7. “No Rest For The Wicked” by Lykke Li

Lykke’s back with one of the best albums of the year. Also, it’s much better than Wounded Rhymes in my personal opinion.

6. “I Will Never Let You Down” by Rita Ora

My personal summer jam. I didn’t really give a poop about Rita before, but this Calvin Harris produced track changed my mind. As pointed out on Popjustice, imagine if Whitney was singing it.

5. “Do It Again” by Röyksopp & Robyn

My Nordic babies collaborating again makes me SO HAPPY. While I would expect some more lyric creativity from this duo, this is the banger track from their EP. I can’t wait to see them in August!

4. “Taste of You” by Knut Kippersund Nesdal

This dreamboat had THE BEST track in Norway’s Melodi Grand Prix. Sorry, Carl Espen. He’s adorable, fresh, and has all the 80’s flair of a-ha reborn (I know they’re still making music). I hope this isn’t a one off thing.

3. “Tonight I’m Yours” by Ola

Okay, okay. This single might have come out last fall, but the album didn’t come out until this spring and I didn’t hear it until then. What I was waiting for I don’t know because this is a big, perfect strings-laden pop moment from Sweden’s quirky male pop giant.

2. “Kiss Me Once” by Kylie Minogue

The title track from Kylie’s delightful new album is by far the best. It has everything, and I mean EVERYTHING, you expect from a Kylie track. Any time it comes on when I’m out walking about, I instantly get that little gay pep in my step.

1. “Chandelier” by Sia

This could very well be my song of the summer in terms of time of year, play count, and hysteria surrounding it but it’s not the most summery sounding jam. What it does sound like is one of the best pop songs of the year full of power, emotion, and me singing in a very unhealthy way to match Sia’s vocals. GOOD ON YOU, SIA. Plus, I’m loving the whole blonde bob performance art bit.

Here’s every song in a YouTube playlist: