One spot away.
When USA TODAY reached Camila Cabello on the release week of her debut album Camila (out Friday), her breakout hit Havana had climbed back to No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100, tantalizingly close to topping the charts.
“I hoped that it would happen for a really long time,” the 20-year-old told USA TODAY about the runaway success of the track, originally released as an unofficial promotional single before fans seized on it. “Obviously, I didn’t know it would be such a success that’s gone so far. And it’s, like, my first, it’s my highest position ever on the Billboard Hot 100, which is super-cool as it is. But it would definitely be amazing to go No. 1, because I know how rare that is. You never know when it’s going to happen again.”
Havana is one of 10 songs that appear on her debut, the product of Cabello’s first full year as a solo artist following her departure from her former group, Fifth Harmony, at the end of 2016.
For all of the post-split drama, Cabello is quick to dispute the idea that 2017 was the most difficult year of her career.
“Not at all,” she says. “I mean, obviously, the stuff in my career was hard to balance and was really, really intense. But definitely, it was the best year of my life. I think the hardest year in my life was the year before, and 2017 was this very free, independent, really fun (time). I just felt very alive.”
Yet, a friendship breakup can invoke as many painful feelings as a romantic one. Debunked rumors about a relationship with fellow rising pop star Shawn Mendes aside, Cabello’s split from Fifth Harmony is the personal drama that’s most dominated her headlines, and a year later, it’s impossible to find an interview with Cabello that doesn’t mention the breakup.
While her various…