Shawn Mendes had a hand in Camila Cabello's sudden exit from Fifth Harmony, though neither artist could have predicted it at the time. The pop girl band went strong for five years, but rumors that Cabello was pursuing a solo career created fractures they couldn't recover from. Mendes' role in this drama was small, but very impactful.
In December 2016, Fifth Harmony's Instagram account revealed the shocking news that Cabello had chosen to leave the group. According to an interview Cabello gave the New York Times, this decision came as a surprise to her as well. The "Havana" singer admits she was working on several solo projects, but that she planned to stay with the group.
Apparently, tensions in the group began to rise after Cabello's 2015 collaboration with Shawn Mendes on the song "I Know What You Did Last Summer." It was the first time any member of Fifth Harmony had released music under their own name. After that, the dynamics of the group changed and Cabello came to the realization "that it was not possible to do solo stuff and be in the group at the same time."
While she was still part of the group, Cabello says she wanted to try her hand at writing lyrics for Fifth Harmony songs, but her request was denied. Her relationship with the other group members also soured after she began attending writing sessions with famous producers like Diplo and Benny Blanco. "I was just curious and I wanted to learn and I saw all these people around me making music, writing songs, and being so free," Cabello recalled. "I just wanted to do that and it did not work."
In the end, going solo was the only path forward that Cabello saw for herself, especially after her bandmates' reactions to her attempts to branch out musically. This decision was based on her conviction that "if anyone wants to explore their individuality, it's not right for people to tell you no." After Cabello left the group in December 2016, the remaining group members continued on for almost two more years before going their separate ways in early 2018.
Cabello's fame has made her a favorite target of trashy celebrity gossip sites like HollywoodLife. The disreputable site claimed in 2018 that Selena Gomez was "jealous" that Cabello was chosen by Taylor Swift to go on tour with her. A supposed insider told the site that Gomez was happy for both of her friends, but "Taylor's her best friend and she can't help but wish she was going on tour with her."
Gossip Cop investigated the rumor and determined it was false. At the time, both Swift and Cabello had recently released albums, while Gomez was still working on her own. The "Lose You To Love Me" singer didn't have a collection of music that needed support during that period. The story just didn't hold up to scrutiny.