Early Monday morning, the popular girl group took to social media to announce that Cabello was exiting the group — and the now solo singer says she was caught off guard by the Twitter revelation.
“I was shocked to read the statement the Fifth Harmony account posted without my knowing,” Cabello, 19, wrote in a lengthy statement posted to her social media Monday afternoon.
“The girls were aware of my feelings through the long, much needed conversations about the future that we had during our tour. Saying that they were just informed through my representatives that I was ‘leaving the group’ is simply not true. Just like the other girls said in their statement about their plans, I did not intend to end things with Fifth Harmony this way. As sad as it is to see this chapter ending this way, I will continue to root them all on as individuals and as a group, I wish nothing but the best for them, all the success in the world and true happiness.”
“Just as I said to them during those conversations, and just like I try to encourage you guys, I want to lead by example when I say to each of you guys to be courageous in the pursuit of what makes your heart pound and what makes you come alive with purpose. Our happiness is our own responsibility,” the statement continued. “As scary as it is to take the leap, I am excited and full of joy because I know that no matter what happens, I am following my heart.”
Fifth Harmony’s remaining members — Ally Brooke, Normani Kordei, Dinah Jane and Lauren Jauregui — posted the revelation online shortly after they and Cabello performed their final show in the 2016 iHeartRadio Jingle Ball tour in Miami.
“After 4 and a half years of being together, we have been informed via her representatives that Camila has decided to leave Fifth Harmony. We wish her well,” the four women wrote in the post. “We are excited to announce that we will be moving forward with the four of us. … We are four strong, committed women who will continue with Fifth Harmony as well as our solo endeavors. We are excited for our future, and we can’t wait for what the new year brings.”
The R&B-pop quintet was assembled in 2012 by Simon Cowell on season two of The X Factor and released two full-length albums, Reflection and this year’s 7/27, which included the award-winning smash hit “Work from Home.”
In the past year, Cabello has pursued collaborations outside the group, releasing duets last year (“I Know What You Did Last Summer” with Shawn Mendes) and this fall (“Bad Things” with Machine Gun Kelly).
As an insider told PEOPLE, Cabello and the rest of Fifth Harmony “hadn’t gotten along” and that “Camila never made it a secret she planned to do her own thing eventually.”
Added another source: “The girls will be making huge announcements for the group and their solo endeavors in January.”