For the ladies of Fifth Harmony, every moment since the group’s formation on “X Factor” in 2012 with Simon Cowell’s encouragement has been both precious and incredible as they’ve rocketed into music fan’s consciousness this year. One of those moments recently has found the five young singers — who recently landed on Billboard’s annual 21 Under 21 ranking of musical minors — stopping by our New York studio to cover a tender song close to their hearts, Rihanna’s 2013 hit “Stay” — which was the Barbadian super star’s record 10th No. 1 on the Pop Songs chart.
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The quintet’s rendition of Rihanna’s ballad finds each of their unique voices blending sweetly, accompanied by just an acoustic guitar. The choice came from 17-year-old member Normani Kordei who explains, “When we do our covers… we each find a song that represents each of us. And my selection was “Stay” by Rihanna and I chose it because I absolutely fell in love with it the moment that I heard her perform it live. She captivated me and I couldn’t stop watching.”
The selection may have been Normani’s, but her fellow Fifth Harmony members whole-heartedly agreed with doing it. “I think there’s something really magical in the simplicity of it,” 16-year-old Camila Cabello says. Rihanna, “has so much emotion in it. You can feel what she’s saying.”
As the quintet got ready for the Billboard Candid Covers shoot, they were quick to soak it in as one of the latest experiences of their ascent since being anointed by Simon Cowell last year, which has also included a well-received EP, a tour opening for Cher Lloyd, and much more. “I’m in a girl group with four other girls and we’re getting our hair and makeup done to go do something huge and amazing in front of a bunch of people,” 17-year-old Lauren Jauregui says. “I’m literally doing what I love.”
“I never thought that people our age would fan girl over us,” says 16-year-old Dinah Hansen. “We’re all 16, 17 year-olds. It’s crazy that we’re living our dream at this age.”
As a bonus, while Fifth Harmony were in the Billboard studios the ladies also performed their own song, “Miss Movin’ On.” Check out the video of that performance below.