Camila Cabello’s Havana has been named 2018’s best-selling digital single.
The track fended off competition from God’s Plan by Drake and Shape Of You by Ed Sheeran for the accolade, which is handed out by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI). The organisation represents the recorded music industry around the world.
Havana, which features rapper Young Thug, was 22-year-old Cuban-American singer Cabello’s lead single from her debut solo album, her first since leaving girl group Fifth Harmony.
The song, released in 2017, and the subsequent remix version with Spanish lyrics by Daddy Yankee topped the chart in 95 countries and, in June 2018, it became Spotify’s most-streamed song ever by a solo female artist, with 888 million streams.
Cabello did recently use her voice loudly — along with an army of 45 million Twitter and Instagram followers — to defend her friend Taylor Swift. At issue: the sale of Swift’s former label, Big Machine, to Justin Bieber manager Scooter Braun, a purchase that came with ownership to master rights of Swift’s first five albums. Why speak now? “Because she is my friend,” Cabello says.
“And someone in her position — which is, like, on another level — I can’t imagine how many times she’s been let down by people, or gotten disappointed by friends who were just using her, or people who just wanted to be friends with Taylor Swift or whatever. I’m happy to be there for her as a person. Like, ‘Even when it’s not popular, I’ve got you. I’m, like, your real friend.’ With the Scooter thing, I one-hundred-percent feel her frustration. An artist of her caliber just being F–ed over like that, and not being able to have her masters? That sucks. It’s heartbreaking for her. And I do believe a lot of the systems in place for the music industry are kind of … messed up. When you think about how artists have to slave to make these things, and then you don’t own them, that is kind of a ridiculous concept.”
Cabello would know: She was in a similar situation coming into “The X Factor” as a teenager. The Fox show was notorious for its oppressive contract, which required contestants — or their parents — to sign away a wide array of rights long before the first episode had aired. Fortunately, Cabello says, gloating, her manager is a lawyer by trade. “He renegotiated my contracts to the point where it’s, like, incredible,” she says. “I’m really lucky to have that. Because the thing that’s worth the most is the art.”
It’s a perfect summer day in the Hollywood Hills, and while the 22-year-old Cabello is typically as upbeat and bubbly as her Latin-flavored pop hits, this afternoon, news headlines are weighing on her. Specifically, President Trump’s racist taunting of four congresswomen — Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib and Ayanna Pressley — telling them to “go back to where you came from.”
It’s worth noting that three of the representatives are American-born and one a naturalized citizen, and none had to immigrate to the U.S. illegally — like Cabello’s family did upon escaping Cuba in 2003. “That could have been me,” she says matter-of-factly. “That’s also what I was thinking as I was looking at the images of kids being held against their will. I was, like, there is literally no difference between these people and my mom.”
In a new interview with Variety, Camila Cabello reacted to the Taylor Swift and Scooter Braun feud. The “Señorita” singer opened up about her childhood, her opinions on our current POTUS, and her forthcoming album, which she says is inspired by her love life. (Will we be hearing lyrics that point to Shawn Mendes? Fingers crossed). But one of her other major talking points was the drama between Swift and Braun. And Cabello is entirely in full support of Swift. She spoke is strong defense of the “Shake It Off” singer during her recent interview, speaking with first hand experiences on an unfortunate aspect of the music industry.
“She is my friend,” the “Señorita” singer, 22, said in Variety Opens a New Window. ’s “Power of Young Hollywood” issue, published on Tuesday, August 6. “And someone in her position — which is, like, on another level — I can’t imagine how many times she’s been let down by people, or gotten disappointed by friends who were just using her, or people who just wanted to be friends with Taylor Swift or whatever. I’m happy to be there for her as a person. Like, ‘Even when it’s not popular, I’ve got you. I’m, like, your real friend.’”
Braun, 38, made headlines in June after purchasing Swift’s former label, Big Machine Records, from founder Scott Borchetta for a reported $500 million. In turn, he also acquired the “Shake It Off” songstress’ master recordings from her first six albums. Swift, 29, called the sale her “worst case scenario” in an explosive Tumblr post, in addition to accusing the music manager of “incessant, manipulative” bullying.
Let’s be honest: We’ve all come a seriously long way since Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello’s duet, “Señorita,” first came out. Can you believe that the video dropped literally TWO WHOLE MONTHS AGO??? Um, probably not! Somehow, I feel much older in the time since the video has dropped because Shawn and Camila are the kinda-sorta-maybe music couple gift that keeps on giving (say that five times fast!).
So when Shawmila hit the stage to perform “Señorita” at the 2019 MTV VMAs last night, literally everyone and their mother was waiting with bated breath to see exactly what would go down between the two. Sadly, they didn’t kiss (even though they’ve had zero problem with PDA in the past), but dammit, they were so freakin’ close. If only they had closed the gap between their faces by just a few more millimeters!!