The Untold Truth Of Camila Cabello

Camila Cabello bet on herself and won. The Cuba-born pop star left her cushy gig with Fifth Harmony during the band's peak in 2016 to pursue a solo career and the gamble paid off, with Cabello scoring a No. 1 song and No. 1 album in her solo debut. 

The music industry has taken notice, including Sir Elton John. He told Apple Music's Beats 1 (via People) that Cabello's records make him happy and make him smile, which, wow, really? That's high praise. And to think, she got her start on X-Factor and only managed to come in third with her 5H bandmates. But you probably already knew that. Here are some facts about Cabello, one of pop music's fast rising stars, that you may not know.

It's been a while since she's visited Havana (ooh na-na)

Cabello gave us the Cuban anthem we never knew we needed with her chart-topping hit "Havana" — a catchy love letter to the city located minutes from where she was born. And in the sultry music video, Cabello brings the song's Cuban flavor to life with bongos, fedoras, salsa dancing and an antique car. The only thing missing was the city Cabello was singing about.

The petite singer filmed the nearly seven-minute video in Los Angeles, not Havana. She told Elvis Duran and the Morning Show that she hasn't been to Cuba since she was 14: It "was before I started singing, like, professionally." Obviously, that means she didn't film the Cuba-set "Hey Ma" music video in her homeland either. If you were fooled, you're not alone. "There's this part of Miami and it's called Española Way," Cabello told 92.3 AMP Radio about the "Hey Ma" video. "And it looks exactly like Cuba."

Cabello didn't specify why she hasn't returned to Cuba in recent years, but one might assume complex travel regulations might have played a role. J Balvin — who collaborated with Cabello and Pitbull on "Hey Ma" — alluded to the difficulties of traveling to Cuba to film "Hey Ma" in an interview with E! News. "It was supposed to be Cuba," Balvin said. "But for our agenda, it was kind of hard to go there."

She was good enough for Simon Cowell, but not her elementary school choir

Who knew elementary school choir was so competitive? Cabello's singing career got off to a rocky start when she sang "My Country, 'Tis of Thee" for her fourth grade choir audition. She told Elvis Duran that her anxiety kicked in during the try out, causing her to forget the words. Because her teacher told her it would be okay, she felt like she still had a chance of making the cut. "But then I showed up two days after to see my name on the list. Nope. No name on the list. Didn't make it," Cabello said. "But I made it the next year. Perseverance, people."

The tale is reminiscent of Cabello's journey to X-Factor, which also involved rejection. As the story goes, producers from the singing competition designated her as an alternate during auditions and repeatedly told her it wasn't worth showing up. She persisted and eventually got to audition for the judges, including Cowell and L.A. Reid, presumably remembering the words this time. We can't say for sure since her audition never aired.

All these years later, Cowell still says her name wrong

There's a correct way to pronounce Cabello's first name, and then there's a Cowell way. The correct way to say it is Ca-ME-la. See, it's not that hard. But Cowell for some reason has never said it right, calling her Ca-MILL-a. "When I first met Simon like five years ago, that's what he called me," said Cabello, who has been signed to both Cowell's Syco Entertainment and Epic Records since her Fifth Harmony days, in an interview with the UK's 95-106 Capital FM. "And I was too shy to say anything, so he still to this day calls me Ca-MILL-a. And now it's like we've known each other for so long, that I actually look stupid if I correct him."

Cabello's nombre has been butchered so often that she used to include the phonetic spelling in her Twitter name, but that doesn't give Cowell a pass for anglicizing it. Surely he heard the correct pronunciation a hundred times when dealing with people who work closely with Cabello. Did he not notice? Or maybe, as Cabello told Capital FM, it's a British thing.

She has a perfectly good reason for not getting a tattoo

Cabello is ink-free and plans on keeping it that way — probably. She told Lmnola that she'd consider getting a bow tattoo on her pinky toe (perhaps a tongue-in-cheek reference to the oversized pink bow she wore on X-Factor?), but overall she seemed lukewarm on the whole thing.

When KTU 103.5 FM asked if she'd ever get a tattoo, Cabello responded "I don't think so because, for me, I feel like I go through different phases in my life and, for me, like everything has to change. ... I just like to transform. I don't even like to wear the same clothes or like the same bracelet. When I move on from something, it's very drastic." Yeah, Camila, we know.

She hasn't learned to drive, but says it's not her fault (spoiler: it is)

Music has given Cabello everything she could ask for and then some. She has fame, wealth and a highly coveted membership to Taylor Swift's squad. But there is a certain drawback to Cabello's busy career, albeit a small one: She doesn't know how to drive. "I went to Los Angeles for X Factor when I was 15 years old and I've been working nonstop ever since," Cabello told Sound Exchange. "So honestly, I haven't had the time! I'm also way too clumsy and distracted to drive a car. I think... at least for now."

Cabello talks about learning to drive the way many of us talk about the gym. She often says she is going to go through with it, only to continue putting it off. Oh well, she can always just ride a bicycle to get around — wait, nevermind.

She dreaded the first few interviews after her Fifth Harmony exit

Cabello felt the wrath of some die-hard Fifth Harmony fans over her exit from the group and received much of the blame for the fall out with her former band members in the media, fair or not. So when it came time for Cabello to do her first interviews following the messy break-up, she was understandably terrified.

"I remember the first few interviews, I had so much anxiety that I had to go to the bathroom to breathe," Cabello told Spain's Los40. "Obviously the first few interviews, you know what kind of questions you're going to get. ... Now I feel like I'm just kind of like, you know what? Whatever. I feel like ... when you get older, you get a more realistic perspective of what should matter. So what scared you before, you're kind of just like, it's not a big deal. There are bigger things."

Tell that to the remaining members of Fifth Harmony. While Cabello has repeatedly addressed the topic when prompted in interviews, her ex-bandmates have been petty and visibly annoyed by the subject, which may cost them the battle they were once winning in the court of public opinion.

Her post-Fifth Harmony career got off to a flat start

Now that Cabello has become a pop darling, it's easy to forget that she stumbled out of the gate with the underwhelming "Crying in the Club," her first single after the Fifth Harmony split. The pressure was on for Cabello to make a statement as a solo artist, but the dull dance track co-written by Sia never really caught on, peaking at No. 47 on the Billboard 100.

Cabello eventually ditched the song, leaving it off her album, Camila. Her manager, Roger Gold, told the New York Times: "The reality of that song is it doesn't feel or sound like Camila. The most important learning in this whole thing was that we were most successful when Camila trusted in her own instincts." Joey Arbagey, executive vice president of A&R at Epic Records, made similar remarks in the New York Post: "'Crying in the Club' was not Camila's absolute first choice of music to release. We were all very nervous about it."

Believe it or not, label higher ups also had major doubts about Cabello's next single, "Havana," according to producer Frank Dukes, but the song became a hit and gave her solo career the boost it needed. Crisis averted.

She isn't shy about her flatulence

Breaking news: Camila Cabello farts. It's true. That might be hard for some to believe, but she has confirmed the news herself in interviews. She initially seemed embarrassed when talking about the subject — like during a 2013 Fuse interview when her then-bandmates called out her flatulence — but now she's pretty open about it. Some might say too open.

During an interview with Bop (via Press Party), Cabello recalled passing gas in front of her fourth grade crush: "I panicked and blamed it on the chair I was sitting on ...." She also confidently told Hot 97, "in the studio, when it's really quiet — that's just when it happens. And sometimes you just got to own it. You just got to be like 'I farted.'"

The toilet talk doesn't end there. She told Elvis Duran "... a great way to not be intimidated by people, is to like picture them pooping. ... I have started to do that more and more often and it works. It means we're all human." Moving on.

She fangirls over her friendship with Taylor Swift

Imagine that you've somehow managed to get an invite into Swift's squad. Congrats! You must be really pretty. Now, do you act like you belong and play it cool or do you recite facts about Swift's career only a stan would know and risk looking like a fangirl? Believe it or not, Cabello, a long time Swiftie, opted for the latter.

"[Swift will] be like, 'When this happened...' and I'll be like, 'That's what you wrote 'Love Story' about!'" Cabello told Glamour. "I feel like she knows, because I'll randomly text her when I'm listening to 'Enchanted' and be like, 'This song is so good!' It's cool that I get to be on the inside of the 'thing' because I was a big fan of it for so long."

The lesson, as always: Famous people can get away with anything.

She has a favorite US city, and it's not the one she calls home

Cabello has a lot of love for Miami. It's where she has lived since coming to the US when she was 6 years old. But it's not her favorite city in the US. That honor goes to New York. "New York is definitely ... my favorite place [in the United States]..." Cabello told KTU 103.5. "I live in Miami and I love Miami, there's just an energy [in New York] that's just magical."

Sex and the City might have something to do with her infatuation. She admitted in the interview that she had been binge-watching the show (she said she's Carrie, even though others might think she's Charlotte, FYI).

Cabello is so hung up on the Big Apple that that she dreams of living there one day. "I want to go to New York and get my apartment," she told Rolling Stone, "and I want to fall in love." But just to be clear, Cabello's romantic fantasy doesn't involve the winter months. "I could not do it in the winter, though," she told SiriusXM Hits 1. "I don't know how you guys do it." See, Cabello is still a South Floridean at heart.