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Pop Shop Podcast: Fifth Harmony on Gaining Respect & Proving Themselves With 'Fulfilling' New Album

Fifth Harmony photographed on June 15 at The Mountain Mermaid in Topanga, Calif.
?Joe Pugliese

Fifth Harmony photographed on June 15 at The Mountain Mermaid in Topanga, Calif.

Welcome to the new episode of the Billboard Pop Shop Podcast, your one-stop-shop for all things pop on Billboard's weekly charts. In addition, you can always count on a lively discussion about the latest pop news, fun chart stats and stories, new music, and guest interviews with music stars and folks from the world of pop.

Casual pop fans and chart junkies can hear Billboard co-director of charts Keith Caulfield and Billboard music editor Jason Lipshutz every week on the Pop Shop Podcast, which can be streamed on Billboard.com or downloaded in iTunes (click here to listen to the previous Tuesday’s edition of the show on Billboard.com).

On the latest show, we welcome our very special guests Fifth Harmony! The pop group stopped by to talk about their new just-released self-titled album, how they truly love their new music (“We have our own music on repeat, which never happens,” says the group’s Ally Brooke Hernandez) and of course their buzzed-about MTV Video Music Awards performance on Sunday (Aug. 27). 

“It's such a fulfilling feeling as an artist to be able to put something out that you genuinely do believe in, and it be received so well,” Fifth Harmony’s Normani Kordei tells Billboard about the new self-titled album, which was released on Aug. 25. “And then also, just for us, internally, as artists, we haven't been able to create and do this and share, you know, what's really on our minds or what's really in our hearts for so long. We've always had the ideas but I think that it was just a matter of gaining respect and kind of proving ourselves, which we've definitely done, and we worked our ass off for. So I think that it's really, really nice to kind of gain that respect from the people that work around us.” (Listen to the show, below.)

“And it makes the process way more fun, to be honest,” adds the quartet's Lauren Jauregui. “All the press, and all the sleepless nights, and all of the touring, and creative process -- like, all of it, is so much more fun when you actually like your music. [Laughs.] You know what I mean?”

We also asked the ladies about their performance on the MTV Video Music Awards, where they took to the stage to perform a medley of the new album’s “Angel” and “Down.” While the entire performance garnered a lot of attention (Normani's splits! The rain on stage!), there was a particular quick moment at the top of the performance that drew a lot of buzz, involving a fifth individual that made a quick departure from the stage.

Was the group surprised by how many people were talking about those few seconds? Did they know people were going to be talking about it?

“I couldn't say that was necessarily the intention,” says Jauregui, “because I feel like the whole performance was just a creative capture of our story -- from beginning to end, there's so many different elements that told that story. So I don't know if we particularly thought that people would only focus on that, but it was an element that was important to our storytelling, so … it's cool that people talked about it. Hey, if people were talking about our performance that's what matters, right?"

In addition to our interview with Fifth Harmony, we also discuss news about Taylor Swift’s new single, “Look What You Made Me Do,” how Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee's “Despacito,” featuring Justin Bieber, hits a historic 16th week at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, and how Brand New notches its first No. 1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart.

Listen above and click here to subscribe/rate the Pop Shop Podcast on iTunes.

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