Camila Cabello might not have known just how fast her star was going to rise after she split from Fifth Harmony, but it certainly has in record time. Her breakout solo single, “Havana,” reflects her Cuban-American heritage and dominated charts in multiple countries all over the world. Her 2018 eponymous debut solo album followed suit.
One striking thing about Camila is she exudes a fun, “girl-next-door” persona, despite her mounting fame. The “Never Be the Same” songstress realized a dream when she became friends with Taylor Swift (who threw her an 18th birthday party). Then she opened for her, along with Charli XCX, on the record-breaking Reputation Stadium Tour.
Among dozens of other awards and accolades, Camila earned her first two solo Grammy Award nominations for Camila for Best Pop Vocal Album and Best Pop Solo Performance for her Young Thug collab hit “Havana” at the 61st annual Grammy Awards. She’ll also make her Grammy Awards debut solo performance at the live ceremony.
We’ve put together a list of five things you may or may not know about Camila Cabello below.
1. She gets really nervous at award shows.
In an interview with Variety for the 2018 American Music Awards, Camila shared that she was happy to see five fans who she’s known since she was 16 there. She went to their seats, thanked them for coming and told them “Oh my God, I’m so happy you guys are here because I get really nervous at these things.” When she received an award, she’d see them and making them proud helped her get past her nerves.
Overall, she feels like she and her fans all over the world are taking a journey together and she gets a lot of joy from making them proud. (She won four AMAs in 2018, one for Best New Artist and three for her smash hit “Havana.”)
2. There was some doubt about releasing “Havana” as a single.
“Havana” was released as a promo single from Camila’s self-titled debut album. It went on to smash records, topping charts in multiple countries and earning seven-times platinum status in the U.S. It seems crazy to think there was initially some doubt about putting it out as a single.
Camila discussed concerns about the unconventionality of the song in an interview with Ryan Seacrest. She said, “With a song like that, it either works or people just don’t get it at all. So, I think that was just scary for people … because it didn’t really sound like anything on the radio at the time. And, it didn’t follow the formula that was already working.” Ryan remarked it was a good thing she trusted her gut instincts with the track and he’s right!
3. There were over 30 potential songs for her debut album. Some didn’t make it because she outgrew them.
Most artists probably have a lot of songs that never make it to the album or never get “heard” by the public. Camila told Ryan Seacrest there were over 30 songs that could have been on the record. In another interview with Dan Wootton of Lorraine, she told him some songs didn’t make the cut because she felt like she had “outgrown certain emotions and certain songs.” She ultimately wanted the album to represent “a perfect picture of that time.”
4. Camila learned Brazilian slang from Anitta.
Brazilian singer Anitta joined Camila on stage at a concert in Brazil last October. They sang “Paradinha” and “Real Friends” together. At one point, Camila called Anitta the “Queen of Brazil!” and later showed her mad love on Instagram.
A couple months later, Anitta did a “Growing Up Latino” segment for Billboard, during which she revealed her favorite Brazilian slang word is “babado,” as in “Oh my god, your style is babado.” Anitta said she taught Camila Cabello babado and “mara,” which is like “marvelous” in Spanish.
5. She cried when she heard Barack Obama loves “Havana” and considers herself an “uglier crier.”
President Barack Obama posted a list of his favorite songs of 2017 on Facebook and “Havana” was high on his list. When asked during an interview with 99.7 NOW FM KMVQ what Obama's praise meant to her, she said, “I cried and then I made a video and sent it to all my friends.
She said she never posted the video because she’s “not a pretty crier.” She added, “I’m like a really ugly crier.” She mimicked her ugly cry face and then called attention to her mom, who was watching her and laughing. She also stressed she tries to live her life like “a normal girl.”