Normani, Cosmopolitan, December 2019

Ellen von Unwerth

It's hard to believe Normani—record-setting gymnast, former Fifth Harmonymember, star of a 69 million-viewed music video—is shy. 

As was revealed in a newly published interview in Cosmopolitan, the 23-year-old "Motivation" singer has actually had "lifelong shyness," an attribute that struck during her first solo performance as a young dancer. 

According to the magazine, she "made her way to the spotlight, froze, and ran straight back to the wings."

Of course, the star songstress has come a long way from that moment, having graced the stages of Ariana Grande's Sweetener World Tour, the MTV Video Music Awards, the Billboard Music Awards and many others.

As fans well know, she got her star in stardom thanks to The X Factor and the resulting group, Fifth Harmony. For more than five years, the women worked together, spawning hits like "Worth It," "Sledgehammer" and "Work From Home" and weathering the exit of member Camila Cabello until their "indefinite hiatus" in 2018. 

While Normani is now handling the spotlight solo, that wasn't initially the shy star's intention. "I remember always being asked, ‘Why do you wanna be in a girl group? So you can hide?'" she recalled to Cosmopolitan. "And that's exactly what I was trying to do."

Eventually, however, she didn't want to hide anymore.

 

Normani, Cosmopolitan, December 2019

Ellen von Unwerth

"I'm not sure what that turning point was," she said, "but I was like, Normani is enough. You can be onstage and perform and you can be enough."

Judging by her solo success, Normani was certainly not wrong. As for her former colleagues, they're all seizing the opportunities they worked toward together. 

"People do what people do—take the information they have and blow it up," she told the magazine of the breakup rumors about the group. "I'm happy everyone has an opportunity 'cause we worked our a off. We do our own things. We're good."

The "Decembuary" issue of Cosmopolitan hits newsstands on Dec. 3. 

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