How Camila Cabello Firmly Broke Out of Fifth Harmony’s Shadow

How Camila Cabello Firmly Broke Out of Fifth Harmony's Shadow

Clutching the moonman for Video of the Year at last year’s MTV Video Music Awards, there was just one person Camila Cabello wanted to share the moment with: her 15-year-old self.

Six years earlier, she had been feeling out her place in Fifth Harmony, a newly formed girl group just trying to outshine the collection of other acts on The X Factor, and desperate to set foot on the famed award show’s pink carpet. “I wanna be there SOOOOOOO bad you don’t understand,” she tweeted, “#someday.” So when no less than Madonna handed her the night’s top trophy, it was a complete out of body experience.

“YOURE NOT GONNA BELIEVE THIS SMOL CAMILA,” she responded to her old missive, “BUT: IN 2018 MADONNA IS GOING TO GIVE YOU AN AWARD FOR VIDEO OF THE YEAR AND YOUR ACNE WILL CLEAR.”

While she was certainly grateful the HD cameras were capturing a smoother visage, it was the whole pop legend honoring her bit that left her hands shaking. “Madonna, I love you so, so much. I’ve seen every single music video of yours. I’ve seen every single documentary of yours,” she said in her acceptance speech. “You’ve inspired me so much, and for that reason, this is a surreal moment. And, I love you, seriously. I can’t believe it.”

And if she thought that was great, well, we have some news for teenage Camila: on Sunday she will take the stage to performat music’s biggest night and have a shot at bringing home two Grammys for Best Pop Vocal Album and Best Pop Solo Performance.

Credit the impossibly catchy ear worm that is “Havana”, the lead single off the debut, self-titled solo album she launched last January. While Camila certainly held its own, debuting at the top of the Billboard 200 before going platinum, “Havana”, her track featuring Young Thug, hit No. 1 on the Hot 100 in January and is still being streamed some 9 million times per week. With a cool 1 billion streams on Spotify, it’s the service’s most-played track by a solo female artist and you’re probably humming it to yourself right now.

“Havana, ooh na-na…”

You’re not alone, of course, shortly after its August 2017 release, President Barack Obamanamed it one of his favorite songs of the year. “I cried,” Cabello recalled to Billboard. “I made a video of myself crying!”

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