"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."
The ongoing she said-they said has been a hotly debated topic for much of Monday, with Harmonizers speculating on the circumstances of the split. In speaking with multiple sources, Billboard has been able to confirm that talks among the group members had broken down some time ago, even after prompting an intervention-like sit-down with Epic Records chief L.A. Reid to get all five members back on board and moving forward as a group. Cabello, according to a source, did not show. "It was made very clear on numerous occasions that [Cabello] wanted out," says an insider close to the situation, who adds that efforts included hiring a therapist on tour. The group's management was informed back in November that December 18 would be Cabello's last day with Fifth Harmony, says the insider.
Fifth Harmony have been together since 2012, when the five members were placed together in a group by Cowell on the second season of the American X Factor. In addition to two top five albums (Reflection and 7/27) and a top five Billboard Hot 100 hit ("Work From Home"), Cabello has two hits outside the group: the top 20 song "I Know What You Did Last Summer" with Shawn Mendes and her current Machine Gun Kelly duet "Bad Things," which cracked the Hot 100 top 10 last week.
Read Cabello's full statement below:
When I turned 15, I had the blessing of being put into a group with four very talented girls. We were 5 strangers that weren't even aware of each other's existence that were given a shot at one dream together. It's been almost 5 years and the most important chapter of my life thus far. I am so proud of everything we've achieved together as a group and will always be proud of being a part of it.
I was shocked to read the statement the Fifth Harmony account posted without my knowing. The girls were aware of my feelings through the long, much needed conversations about the future that we had during 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 had also planned to continue with my own solo endeavors in the new year but 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 just 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. We only have one life and we never know ho much time we really have. WE don't carry money, trophies, social media followers, fame, or success with us. We carry the memories that made us feel alive and the moments that made us fall in love with life. New chapters are scary, but conforming to what's safe and looking back with regret is even scarier.
Next year I will be working on my own music and giving you a big chunk of my heart. To our amazing fans, I will always be so thankful for the opportunities being this group has given to me. I am even more thankful for the times that we've gone to get frozen yogurt together and talk about music, for the times we've locked eyes during a lyric, for the hugs that put pieces back together in both of us, for more love than I can put into words, and for showing me the way to myself. You took 5 ordinary girls and made their dreams come true – and together, us and you guys, we've written an amazing story – of girls from all different cultures, backgrounds, colors, shapes, languages, music tastes, all going for one dream – a dream I will never forget. The memories we've made together will last a lifetime. Now I gotta walk the walk. I have always encouraged you to be fearless, to live your life in the name of love and to do what makes you happy…. 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. I hope to see you on my journey.