Though 2018 is just a few weeks old, pop music has a new queen. After releasing her debut album two weeks ago, twenty-year-old Camila Cabello just became the first woman to lead Billboard’s Artist 100, Hot 100 song chart and Billboard 200 albums chart since Adele over two years ago. And the world will get to know her a bit more this weekend, as she’s slated to duet with Ke$ha at the Grammy Awards in New York City.
Cabello’s rise has been swift in the last several years, but she had to make some tough choices early on, including dropping out of high school to try and make it as a pop star. Here’s how she did it.
Cabello was born in Cojímar, a small village in the east of Havana, Cuba to a Cuban mom and a Mexican dad. She moved back and forth between Cojímar and Mexico City until age 6, when her family immigrated to the U.S., she told the New York Times.
Cabello’s mom had been an architect in Cuba and worked in a shoe department at Marshall’s in Miami. Cabello attended Miami Palmetto High School, but left while she was still in the 9th grade to pursue a singing career.
For her 15th birthday in 2012, Cabello asked her parents to drive her to Greensboro, North Carolina to audition for the second season of The X Factor, the reality TV competition based created by Simon Cowell.
At first, Cabello said she received a letter from the show telling her she was an alternate and <a href="
“>was not guaranteed an audition in front of the judges. As staff was telling her that she would not get an audition slot, Simon Cowell walked by and told her she should audition, and the X Factor staff later allowed her to.