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01/11/2018 06:37 pm ET

Camila Cabello Gets Candid About Her Dramatic Split From Fifth Harmony

"If anyone wants to explore their individuality, it’s not right for people to tell you no.”
Camila Cabello
Theo Wargo via Getty Images
Camila Cabello

A little over a year after Camila Cabello decided to leave “The X Factor”-created pop group Fifth Harmony, the musician offered more details about the split.

On Thursday, a day before the release of her solo debut album “Camila,” the singer told The New York Times that trouble began to brew within the all-girl group when she collaborated with Shawn Mendes for the 2015 song “I Know What You Did Last Summer.” Tension intensified when Cabello expressed interest in writing lyrics for future Fifth Harmony tracks and was shot down.

The artistically frustrated Cabello told the Times that she wanted to stay in Fifth Harmony as she worked on her own album, but “the other members shut her out instead.”

“I was just curious and I wanted to learn and I saw all these people around me making music, writing songs and being so free,” Cabello told the newspaper. “I just wanted to do that and it did not work.”

Things hit a boiling point when Cabello began attending writing sessions with artists like Diplo, Cashmere Cat and Benny Blanco and the group gave her an ultimatum.

“It became clear that it was not possible to do solo stuff and be in the group at the same time,” she said.

Cabello left in December 2016 and decided to follow her heart (which, at the time may or may not have been in Havana), believing that “if anyone wants to explore their individuality, it’s not right for people to tell you no.”

Cabello echoed these sentiments to Billboard in February of 2017, saying she had always been “super open [that] I couldn’t just sing other people’s words and be totally happy with that.”

This week, the 20-year-old singer hit a pop chart milestone when her single “Havana” hit the seven week-mark at the top of Billboard’s Pop Songs radio airplay chart. The last song by a solo female artist in a lead role to reach that particular milestone was Taylor Swift’s “I Knew You Were Trouble” in 2013.

All feelings aside, it seems like Cabello made a good choice.

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