Karla Camila Cabello Estrabao (English: /kə’mi’lə kəˈbeɪoʊ/, Spanish: [ka’mila ka’beʎo]; born March 3, 1997) is a Cuban-Americansinger and songwriter. She rose to fame as a member of the girl group Fifth Harmony, formed during the second season of The X Factor in 2012. Thereafter, the group was signed to a joint record deal with Syco Music and Epic Records and released one extended play and two studio albums.
Cabello began to establish herself as a solo artist with the release of several collaborations, including “Bad Things” with Machine Gun Kelly, which entered the top five in the United States. After leaving Fifth Harmony in 2016, she released the solo single “Crying in the Club” to a modest performance. Refocusing her sound to Latin-influenced music, her eponymous debut studio album Camila (2018) debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200, supported by its lead single “Havana”, which reached number one in a number of countries including the UK and the US.
2012–2016: The X Factor and Fifth Harmony
Camila Cabello auditioned for The X Factor in Greensboro, North Carolina with Aretha Franklin’s “Respect”, however, her audition was not aired because the TV show did not get the rights for the song. After elimination during the “bootcamp” portion of the process in Miami, Florida, Cabello was called back to the stage along with other contestants Ally Brooke, Normani Kordei, Lauren Jauregui, and Dinah Jane to form the girl group that would later become known as Fifth Harmony. After finishing in third place on the show they signed a joint deal with Syco Music, owned by Simon Cowell, and Epic Records, L.A. Reid’s record label.
The group released the EP Better Together (2013) along with the studio albums Reflection (2015) and 7/27 (2016). The latter two generated the singles “Worth It” and “Work from Home”, respectively, which reached the top 10 in several international charts. From 2013 through the end of 2016, Cabello performed in various Fifth Harmony tours.
On December 18, 2016, the group announced Cabello’s departure, with both parts explaining different circumstances of the exit. She appeared in a previously taped performance with the group on Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve. Writing about Cabello’s time on the group, a Billboard journalist noted it is “rather uncommon for someone to stand out in a collective as much as Cabello has over the past years.”
2016–present: Solo career and Camila
In November 2015, Cabello collaborated with Canadian singer Shawn Mendes on a duet titled “I Know What You Did Last Summer”, a song they wrote together. The single charted at number 20 in the US and 18 in Canada, and was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). On October 14, 2016, American rapper Machine Gun Kelly released a joint single with Cabello called “Bad Things”, which reached a peak of number four on the US Billboard Hot 100. Time.com included her on “The 25 Most Influential Teens of 2016” list.
On January 25, 2017, “Love Incredible”, a collaboration with Norwegian DJ Cashmere Cat, leaked online. The official version of the song was released on February 16, and later featured on Cashmere’s debut studio album, 9. Cabello recorded “Hey Ma” with Pitbull and J Balvin for The Fate of the Furious: The Album. The Spanish version of the single and its music video were released on March 10, 2017, and the English version was released on April 6. The singer was also featured on a collaboration with Major Lazer, Travis Scott and Quavo, for the song “Know No Better”. In May 2017, Cabello announced the future release of her first studio album, at the time titled The Hurting. The Healing. The Loving., which she described as “the story of my journey from darkness into light, from a time when I was lost to a time when I found myself again.” Her first solo single “Crying in the Club” was released on May 19, 2017, followed by a performance at the 2017 Billboard Music Awards. The single peaked at number 47 in the United States. She joined Bruno Mars’ 24K Magic World Tour as an opening act for several of its dates, and also partnered with clothing brand Guess as the face for their 2017 Fall campaign.
New writing and recording sessions for her album were influenced by the success of her single “Havana”, which postponed its original release date. The single has reached number one in Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States. It also spent seven weeks atop the US Mainstream Top 40. Titled Camila, her debut album is a pop record containing Latin-influenced songs and ballads. Camila was released on January 12, 2018 and debuted at number one in the United States with 119,000 album-equivalent units, including 65,000 from pure album sales.