Jade Amelia Thirlwall was born on 26 December 1992 (age 25), and raised in the Laygate neighbourhood of South Shields, Tyne and Wear. She has one-quarter Egyptian ancestry and one-quarter Yemeni ancestry. She also auditioned for The X Factor in 2008 and 2010 but got eliminated at Bootcamp stage.
She attended performing arts college South Tyneside, where she studied a range of courses. She revealed in the group's book, Our World, that she struggled with anorexia nervosa after experiencing bullying at school, and the death of her grandfather. Jade is a supporter of the LGBT community, and she considers RuPaul her idol. Jade has been dating The Struts bassist Jed Elliot since January 2016. According to Jed, they met through friend Jake Roche, who, at the time, was dating Jade's band mate Jesy.