So, we all know Fifth Harmony are currently MIA at the moment, following on from Camila Cabello’s departure from the group, but don’t be fooled into believing that the remaining members didn’t achieve anything as a four-piece.
Despite the fact that the four surviving members, Ally Brooke, Normani Kordei, Lauren Jauregui and Dinah Jane Hansen, managed to release their third studio album, filmed five beautiful music videos and toured Asia and South America, some people still seem to forget that the group continued working super hard making music for a little over a year after Camila’s exit, before taking a hiatus themselves to focus on solo projects.
Camila announced she was going to begin a solo career at the end of 2016, which was the biggest year for the girls following the success of “Work From Home” and “That’s My Girl”. After her departure, the girls did not stop creating new music and became closer as a group throughout 2017 and the beginning of 2018. The girls only decided to fully break up the group in March 2018, and there’s definite proof that those 15 months spent together as a group of four were not wasted.
Here we look back at the 10 best highlights of Fifth Harmony’s time as a foursome:
1. Winning Favourite Group and performing “Work From Home” (for one of the first times without Camila) at the People’s Choice Awards
January 2017 – just 1 month since becoming a foursome
With the wound of Camila’s exit still fresh, this was the moment all eyes were on the girls, as we wondered what they were going to do, and where they were going to take the group next. It’s safe to say, they smashed the performance of “Work From Home” styling saucy black outfits, and proved to the world that they are a fully-fledged unit of strong women. Covering Camila’s parts in the song, they harmonised beautifully indicating that they were all going to take a little extra weight now that they were one member down, but were ultimately stronger together.
As the girls had performed “Work From Home” multiple times during 2016 as it dominated the music scene, the People’s Choice Awards debuted a new dance routine and new harmonies and riffs making the performance a fresh production of a song that was almost a year old. As well as bringing back what we all loved about the group, they switched it up, made it their own and made the performance flow confidently, so it wouldn’t feel as though someone was missing. There appearance made it feel like there had always been just four of them. They received their award for Favourite Group after the song, which shows that their fans were still supporting their endeavours.
2. Normani placing third in Dancing with the Stars (and all four girls performing “Impossible” during Week 4)
April 2017 – 4 months since becoming a foursome
As well as music, Normani has always shown an interest in dance, and is definitely the most versatile in the group. 2017 was the year this member decided to compete in Dancing with the Stars and stunned everyone with her talent, making it all the way to the final and coming third. This was clearly something Normani was passionate about and wanted to be involved with and the other girls showed all their support.
During week 5 of the show, Normani’s fellow group members joined her on the stage, as she danced the Rumba with her partner, to sing a rendition of “Impossible” which was also the first song they ever sang together as a group. The show also highlighted how important the girls were to Normani and how meeting them had changed her life. It was a really moving performance that allowed the group and their fans to look back fondly at their humble beginnings.
3. Performing “Down” on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon
July 2017 – 7 months since becoming a foursome
This performance was super important because, not only did the girls deliver a kick-ass version of their lead single “Down” alongside Gucci Mane, but Jimmy Fallon exclusively revealed that their first album as a four-piece group would be self-titled. The decision from the girls to name the next chapter in their careers Fifth Harmony was a way of screaming to the world “this is us”, and “we ain’t going anywhere”.
As the girls are usually accompanied by an awesome dance routine, stripping this song down (no pun intended) back to just their pure vocals with four mic stands was a great choice, and showed their bravery and vulnerability in doing something they’re not used to. The lyrics and harmonies were more crisp because all four girls were concentrating solely on the music and the message, and I think they really proved to everyone how good they actually are, without all the frills.
4. Performing at the MTV Video Music Awards
August 2017 – 8 months since becoming a foursome
The girls delivered their most controversial performance at the MTV VMAs as they visually gave a reference to Camila’s exit from the group during a medley of “Angel” and “Down”, once again being briefly accompanied by Gucci Mane. Everyone was talking about this performance which is pretty awesome, regardless of whether the girls took a horrible stab at their former member or just wanted to artistically illustrate their journey so far.
In the performance, the girls used a stand-in to represent a fifth member, but the figure falls of the platform before the girls start singing. Switching to their second song, the girls also fall from the platform and are then shown in individual boxes which they break out of. All of these images, as the group later explained, were to visually show their recent struggles working as a foursome and to send a statement that they were not getting a fifth member to replace Camila. Whether they were trying to throw shade or not, it got everyone immediately interested and let’s not forget Normani pulled off full-on splits. The performance also had a killer of a climax as the group finished with a united mic drop underneath a downpour of stage rain. They did throw everything into that performance and it arguably payed off.
5. Performing “He Like That” on The Late Late Show with James Corden
September 2017 – 9 months since becoming a foursome
This performance makes every other performance look like no contest. “He Like That” was, in my opinion, the best song on Fifth Harmony’s third album which should have blasted the charts. For whatever reason, the track didn’t do as well as everyone anticipated however this performance captured everything the song and music video represented, including the sexiness.
The girls really challenged themselves with this one and conquered their demons when it came to the choreography, performing moves that we have never seen them do before. The outfits were amazing and each girl had their moment to shine in the spotlight. It was really incredible and a testament to their growth and their development towards a more R’n’B vibe.
During the show, the girls also took part in James Corden’s game Flinch, whereby Dinah Jane was given milk rather than a martini because she was not yet 21 years old, and Lauren was compared to a bond girl because she’s just that fine.
6. Releasing “Can You See?” for The Star movie soundtrack
October 2017 – 10 months since becoming a foursome
Whether you watched the Christmas film or not, this song is very beautiful. The melodies and the messages of God and love are really inspiring. All of the girls show off their vocal talents in the song and it was nice to see the group branch out and work on a movie soundtrack alongside many other artists.
The slow pace of the song really suits their individual sounds, and when they perform the track it is really well put together and beautiful to watch, which is perfect for the holiday season. Being featured on a movie also allowed more publicity and the girls were given a platform to a audience they previously might not have had.
7. Collaborating with Pitbul and singing in Spanish for “Por Favor”
October 2017 – 10 months since becoming a foursome
Being able to work with Pitbull, who is a massive name, was a huge achievement for the group, proving that the girls are well-respected within the music industry and amongst other artists. “Por Favor” is super catchy and up-beat. The group recorded a Spanish and English version of the song but normally performed a merged ‘Splanglish’ version live. Ally and Lauren, being familiar with the language, led the vocals for the Spanish track, which subsequently meant Dinah and Normani took a backseat and their voices are hard to distinguish.
However, in the English edition, and in live performances, all four members sing equal parts, including each taking a line of the chorus. Having Ally and Lauren sing in a different language to Dinah and Normani during the same song sounds really cool and promotes diversity. Branching out to that Latino and Spanish audience also shows how powerful the group is and how far their influence can reach. The accompanying music video is also really sexy and the girls look amazing.
8. Featuring on Carpool Karaoke with Sam Smith and James Corden
November 2017 – 11 months since becoming a foursome
“That’s made my year” was the reaction from Sam Smith after praising Fifth Harmony for about 3 minutes straight during James Corden’s Carpool Karaoke, and getting the surprise of his life when the group turned up to sing “Work From Home” with him in the car. Sam Smith was so sweet when he talked about his love for the girls and announced, I think on behalf of all of us, that the group and their music makes him feel “free”, “alive” and like the “woman in me is on fire”. He even admitted that he wants “Work From Home” to be his wedding song and, to be honest, same here.
Sam’s reaction when the girls actually turned up was adorable and they performed a really good rendition of “Work From Home” together with Sam’s riffs and dance moves. Despite struggling in 2017 to keep their momentum going without Camila, Sam’s support and loyalty for the girls is so great and that’s all because Sam felt that Fifth Harmony’s music empowered him and made him feel confident and free.
After the group announced their hiatus, Sam had to tweet about his devastation:
He’s definitely going to be a strong supporter of the girls for a very long time to come.
9. Competing on the Lip Sync Battle
February 2018 – over a year since becoming a foursome
Lip Sync Battle has had a bunch of famous guests and memorable performances, including from Channing Tatum and Tom Holland, and Fifth Harmony were added to that list of stars when they each performed in an episode. Ally showed off her flexibility and twerking ability imitating Jennifer Lopez, Normani worked her booty to perform as Beyonce from the Destiny’s Child era, and Lauren re-enacted an Amy Winehouse performance nailing the mannerisms and expressions.
Although, I think the performance which surprised everyone was Dinah’s set. Dinah mixed it up and floored her competition by getting fixed up into a full-on muscly and tattooed male suit to imitate Maui from Moana, and lip-sung Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s number, “Your Welcome”. As well as smashing the choreography and the rap in the song, the song choice could also have been a reference to the fact that Dinah auditioned for the role of Moana before the film was made but was obviously unsuccessful. Watching the girls have so much fun and so many laughs warms the heart.
10. Don’t Say You Love Me
May 2018 – 1 year and 5 months since becoming a foursome
and 2 months since announcing their hiatus
After the girls revealed through social media back in March this year that they would be taking a break from the group and pursuing solo projects, you may have believed that we wouldn’t hear from them again for a while. However, the group had one more surprise up their sleeve when they posted their music video for “Don’t Say You Love Me”, a song deep in their fans hearts due to it’s emotional message which really pulls at your heart strings.
The release of this music video was a shock because the girls had already filmed four other music videos for their four-piece album, which had all come out way back in 2017. However, this visual turned out to be very important because the group decided to use the opportunity to say a non-permanent goodbye to Fifth Harmony. The music video showed the girls performing the song individually and grouped close together, hugging and holding hands showing that, despite their individual characters, they will always have their bond and friendship. Then the video closed with each girl travelling through a door, finally giving their last farewell to that era of their life.
Is this the end? “Don’t Say You Love Me”s music video would suggest otherwise as the last frame quite literally leaves the door open to the possibility of reuniting the group. The song itself is so powerful that the accompanying music video, released during a very unstable time for the group and the fans as a beacon of hope, most likely brought a lot of tears and powerful feelings to the surface.
What was your favourite moment of Fifth Harmony as a four-piece group? Let us know in the comments!