Birth Name: Karla Camila Cabello Estrabao
Birthplace: Cojímar, Cuba
March 3, 1997 – Present
Years Active: 2012 – Present
At six years old, award-winning pop singer Camila Cabello immigrated with her mother from Cuba to Miami. Cabello’s mother, an architect in Cuba, found work at a department store in Florida. A year later, Cabello’s father joined the family, swimming across the Rio Grande river to arrive in the United States.
As a child, Cabello would regularly sing along with a karaoke machine in her basement. Her first singing audition was for a school musical, where she performed Beyoncé’s “Listen.” At 15, Cabello and her family drove from Miami to North Carolina to audition for Simon Cowell’s The X Factor. She was chosen as an alternate, and months later, was invited by Cowell to be part of a girl group that would come in third in the competition. The group, Fifth Harmony, would go on to become one of the most successful girl groups since Destiny’s Child, releasing chart-topping albums Reflection (2015) and 7/27 (2016) and hits like “BO$$,” “Worth It,” and “Work from Home.”
While on tour with Fifth Harmony, Cabello began writing music on her own, often using her laptop to produce beats and rehearsing lyrics in hotel bathrooms. She also began collaborating with other artists, producing the song “I Know What You Did Last Summer” with Shawn Mendes and “Bad Things” with Machine Gun Kelly.
In 2017, Cabello left Fifth Harmony and began working on her first solo album, collaborating with producers and writers such as Frank Dukes, Pharrell, Benny Blanco, Ryan Tedder, Skrillex, Ed Sheeran, Jarami, Jesse Shatkin and Happy Perez. While working on the album, she also collaborated with Cashmere Cat on the song “Love Incredible” and with Pitbull and J Balvin on “Hey Ma,” on the Fate of the Furious soundtrack. She also released the single “Crying in the Club,” written by Sia Furler, and joined Bruno Mars as the opening act on his 24K Magic World Tour.
Her debut album, Camila, was released January 2018, and was streamed over a billion times in the first month. The first single on the album, “Havana,” featured Young Thug and peaked at #1 on U.S. and U.K charts. Following the release of Camila, Cabello performed as a solo artists on the Never Be The Same Tour, and joined Charli XCX on Taylor Swift’s 2018 Reputation Stadium Tour. That year she also released a second version of the song “Never Be the Same,” featuring country singer Kane Brown.
On December 2019, Cabello released her second album, Romance, which featured collaborations with Shawn Mendes and DaBaby and songs produced by Finneas O’Connell, RØMANS, Andrew Watt, Justin Tranter, and Jon Bellion, among others.
Cabello’s music might best be described as pop with a heavy Latin and Caribbean influence. She often draws from styles such as Reggaeton, Dancehall, and Calypso, and regularly sings in Spanish. She has listed Latin and Carribean music artists such as Celia Cruz, Shakira, Alejandro Fernández, Rihanna, Calle 13, and J Balvin as sources of inspiration, in addition to U.S. to artists such as Black Eyed Peas, Michael Jackson, Madonna, Fergie, and Avril Lavigne. She mentioned the British Rock Band Queen as being an influence for the album Romance.
Cabello has been an advocate for movements such as #MeToo and #BlackLivesMatter. With producer Benny Blanco and members of the nonprofit arts organization OMG Everywhere, she helped to create the charity single “Power in Me.” In 2017, she performed at Zedd’s WELCOME! Fundraising Concert to raise money for ACLU, and joined Lin-Manuel Miranda and other Latin artists on the song “Almost Like Praying” for Puerto Rico Hurricane relief after Hurricane Maria. In 2018, Cabello and Ryan Seacrest visited Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, signing autographs and taking pictures with patients. Later that year, she became an ambassador for the organization Save the Children, and announced she was donating all proceeds of “Havana” to the ACLU for DREAMers.