Last week Taylor Swift revealed that Camila Cabello – alongside Charli XCX – will be supporting her on her upcoming ‘Reputation’ UK and world stadium tour. So, what do we know about the ‘Havana’ singer? We’ve put together 21 geeky facts about her – one for each year of her age.
1. She was brought up in Cuba and Mexico
Cabello was born in Cojimar, Eastern Havana, Cuba on March 3 1997. As a small child, she moved back and forth between Havana and Mexico City with her family before they settled in Miami, Florida, when she was aged five.
2. Cabello left school early to pursue singing
Cabello dropped out of school in ninth grade (the same as year 10 in the UK) to pursue her dream of becoming a singer. Still, she started home-schooling and went on to get her high school diploma.
3. Cabello was briefly eliminated from The X Factor
Cabello was initially eliminated during the bootcamp part of The X Factor. But, in true One Direction-style, she was soon brought back to form the girl group that would become Fifth Harmony with fellow contestants Ally Brooke, Normani, Lauren Jauregui, and Dinah Jane.
4. The X Factor didn’t have the rights to air her first audition
Cabello’s first audition for The X Factor was when she was aged 15 in Greensboro, North Carolina, when she sang Aretha Franklin’s ‘Respect’ – however, the audition wasn’t screened because the show didn’t have the rights for the song.
5. There’s a petition for The X Factor to release her first audition tape
Some fans really, really wanted to see the ‘Respect’ cover that got Cabello accepted into The X Factor in the first place – though only a hard core of 28 people signed the petition.
6. Fifth Harmony didn’t actually win The X Factor
The band actually finished third, but shortly afterwards signed a joint record deal with Simon Cowell’s label Syco Music, and Epic Records owned by L.A. Reid.
7. Fifth Harmony released one EP and two albums
As part of Fifth Harmony, Cabello’s band released one EP – ‘Better Together’ (2013) – and two albums, ‘Reflection’ (2015) and ‘7/27’ (2016). The most successful of these was ‘7/27’ ,which debuted at number 4 on the Billboard 200. Cabello left the group on 18 December 2018.
8. She is inspired by Latin musicians
Cabello has said she was influenced by Latin music during her childhood, and grew up listening to artists like Celia Cruz and Alejandro Fernández.
9. She’s a vegan
Cabello revealed in a 2018 interview with The New York Times – after ordering a kale salad – that she’s a vegan.
10. Cabello wrote hit ‘Havana’ while eating sushi
Cabello was eating sushi with producer Frank Dunes when he played her an instrumental piece he had been working on. The track, which featured a distinctive piano riff, reminded Cabello of her home city and she wrote the chorus of what became ‘Havana’ straight away.
11. ‘Havana’ topped the Billboard pop chart for longer than any other female solo artist has in 5 years
Cabello’s huge hit ‘Havana’ topped the Billboard’s Pop Songs for seven weeks – the longest reign for a lead female artist in five years. The last time this was done was with Taylor Swift’s ‘I Knew You Were Trouble’ in 2013, which also topped the chart for seven weeks.
12. She’s charitable
Since her rise to fame, Cabello has been involved with a number of charities. In 2016, she partnered with Save the Children to design a limited edition “Love Only” T-shirt, which helped raise awareness of issues regarding girls’ equal access to education, health care and opportunities to succeed. In June 2016, Cabello and producer Benny Blanco, alongside members of not-for-profit arts group OMG Everywhere, collaborated to release a charity single called ‘Power in Me’. She has also partnered with the Children’s Health Fund, which provides healthcare to low-income families, and in 2017 she worked with Lin-Manuel Miranda and other Latin artists to release the track ‘Almost Like Praying’ to raise funds for those affected by Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico.
13. Her departure from Fifth Harmony was messy
Fifth Harmony announced Cabello’s departure from the band on December 18 2016 – but both parties cited contradictory reasons behind her leaving. In a statement to their fans, Fifth Harmony wrote: “We know you are hurt and confused, we are too”, adding that Cabello refused to attend meetings about the future of the group. The band said Cabello’s manager informed them in November that she wanted to leave the group. Cabello, meanwhile, posted: “I was shocked to read the statement the Fifth Harmony account posted without my knowing”, adding that she had had “much needed conversations” regarding her future with the band while they were on tour. She said that Fifth Harmony’s claim that her representative informed the band she was leaving was “simply not true”.
— camila (@Camila_Cabello) December 19, 2016
14. Her first single after leaving Fifth Harmony underperformed
Cabello’s first solo single after leaving Fifth Harmony, ‘Crying in the Club’, which was written with Sia and Benny Blanco, underperformed and was consequently left off her album ‘Camila’ – despite originally being released as the record’s lead single. “The reality of that song is it doesn’t feel or sound like Camila,” Cabello’s manager Roger Gold told The New York Times.
15. ‘Havana’ features Pharrell Williams on backing vocals
Pharrell Williams can be heard singing backing vocals on Cabello’s hit single ‘Havana’, and is credited as contributing to the songwriting of the track. Cabello collaborated with Williams on other songs, but they didn’t make the final cut for her album.
16. Skrillex also contributed to ‘Camila’
Skrillex, too, is credited on Cabello’s album ‘Camila’ – as a producer for ‘She Loves Control’.
17. Cabello scrapped most of the tracks originally recorded for ‘Camila’
Following the success of ‘Havana’, Cabello scrapped much of the material written for her debut album and pushed back the release date in order to record new tracks.
“The final product becomes more clear to you the more you carve at it and work on it. There were songs that five months ago were my favourite songs, and then two weeks after [we] scrapped it from the album,” she told Rolling Stone in an interview.
18. Her debut album was originally called ‘The Healing. The Hurting. The Loving.’
Before Camila scrapped the songs initially intended for her debut album, she had been planning to call the record ‘The Healing. The Hurting. The Loving.’ – but, with her new direction, this name went out the window too.
19. She worked with Charli XCX and Ed Sheeran
Cabello worked with Charli XCX on a song called ‘OMG’, which was released as a promotional single but did not make the final cut of her debut album. She also worked with Ed Sheeran on a demo called ‘The Boy’, which similarly didn’t make it onto the album’s tracklist.
20. Her debut album’s cover art was shot in Miami, Florida
The album cover art for ‘Camila’ – showing Cabello sitting in a dress and flip flops – was shot in the Little Havana neighbourhood of Miami, Florida.
21. Cabello used to have a Taylor Swift poster in her room
Announcing on Instagram that she will be supporting Taylor Swift on tour, Cabello revealed that she once had a poster of the megastar in her room when she was 14. Awww.
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on every level, this is a dream come true as a fan, i’m going to be singing every song at the top of my lungs as a friend, it’s a GIANT SLEEPOVER as the girl who had a Taylor swift poster in her room when she was 14 and wanted SO BADLY to go to the speak now tour (distinctly remember my friends going to school the next day raving about it and me like 😭😭😭😭), ITS A DREAM as the girl who would sing Hey Stephen thinking of the boy in class who didn’t know my name LMAO, it’s. A. DREAM also, @charli_xcx WHO I ADORE, WHAT?!!!!!! this is going to be so much fun!!!! thank you @taylorswift for having me from the bottom of my heart, i love you so much !!!!!!!!