During Fifth Harmony’s 2017 performance at MTV’s Video Music Awards, the band appeared to throw some shade towards Cabello, who had publicly left the successful girl group to embark on a solo career at the end of 2016 amid reports that she “hadn’t gotten along” with bandmates Ally Brooke, Lauren Jauregui, Normani Kordei and Dinah Jane.
At the very beginning of their performance of “Down,” the singers took the stage with five members, before one appeared to be yanked off stage from behind.
“It definitely hurt my feelings,” Cabello said during an interview with The New York Times, adding that her eyes welled up with tears as she watched the performance live at home with her mother.
“I wasn’t expecting it, I wasn’t prepared for it,” she continued, adding that “at that point I’d moved on from [the split]. I was just like, ‘What? Why?’ ”
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The “Work From Home” singers later said the VMA stunt wasn’t intended to be a dig towards Cabello, but a celebration of how the four remaining members of Fifth Harmony were stronger than ever.
“We get asked all the time if we’re getting a fifth member and we wanted to show the world in an artistic way that hey, the four of us are Fifth Harmony,” Brooke told host Lara Spencer on Good Morning America. “And we’re stronger and better than we’ve ever been.”
But no matter what Fifth Harmony meant by including that moment in their performance, Cabello doesn’t plan on holding it against them.
“I have to make space for the good stuff to happen in my life,” she told The New York Times. “I don’t like holding onto the past, especially when it’s stuff that, in my opinion, is just petty.”
The “Havana” singer also opened up for the first time about why she decided to leave the successful pop group.
Cabello told the Times that the trouble started after she became the first member of the group to release music outside of the band — 2015’s “I Know What You Did Last Summer” with Shawn Mendes.
As tensions started building, Cabello claimed she tried to become more involved with Fifth Harmony’s songwriting process, but was denied the opportunity.
“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,” she said. “I just wanted to do that and it did not work.”
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Cabello also added that the tension between her and her bandmates only got worse as she began working with more producers, like Diplo and Cashmere Cat.
“It became clear that it was not possible to do solo stuff and be in the group at the same time,” Cabello explained, claiming that she was eventually given an ultimatum between working on solo material and staying in the band. “If anyone wants to explore their individuality, it’s not right for people to tell you no.”