‘Free Fifth Harmony’ Trends After Alleged Lauren Jauregui Audio Surfaces
Fifth Harmony and their Harmonizers are still grappling with the fact that, as of midnight on December 19, they've been "informed via her representatives that Camila [Cabello] has decided to leave" the group that was formed on X Factor back in 2012. And as we wonder whether they'll change their name to reflect the shrinking group size and ponder the group members' burgeoning solo careers, some fans are pointing to an unearthed bit of audio for clues on how it all went so wrong.
#FreeFifthHarmony became a Twitter trend after the recording, which allegedly captured a venting session by group member Lauren Jauregui, surfaced on the social media site.
"...decisions on a regular basis to f--- us over, to make us literal slaves. Like literally slaves," the voice attributed to Jauregui says, as someone can be heard saying "I know" in the background.
"We were doing f----ing labor every day, and we see nothing," the voice continues, audibly emotional. In support of their 7/27 sophomore release in May, the group has been on a world tour since June in addition to many performances on awards shows and promotional appearances. Only one single from the album, the triple-platinum "Work From Home," has cracked the Hot 100 Top 10, peaking at No. 4.
"After hearing Lauren be so broken is proof there is more to the story being told. Stay woke," one fan tweeted, echoing others' #FreeFifthHarmony speculation that being overworked by their management is what recently drove a wedge into the group.
Not only is it not clear when exactly this audio was recorded, Fifth Harmony have shown signs of wear throughout 2016, prompting their co-founder Simon Cowell to say he "hoped" they'd be okay last spring. A Billboard profile found all five members struggling with the stress of promo and their grueling schedule back in early 2016 — wrote author Chris Martins, "by 11 a.m. at the hotel, everyone is crying." Camilo Cabello's anxiety prompted her to flee the stage at a September show, and Lauren was visibly crying during a live performance of "No Way" shortly after (she later claimed the lyrics made her particularly emotional that evening).
While some may crave a deeper answer than "Camila wanted to focus on her solo career" — and Cabello said in a statement that she "did not intend to end things with Fifth Harmony in this way" — the collective 5H exhaustion described in the above audio clip has been manifesting itself for some time.
Check out more #FreeFifthHarmony reactions, including calls for a management change, below.
See photos of Camila's final performance with Fifth Harmony at Y100's Jingle Ball, plus her solo performance with Machine Gun Kelly:
Fifth Harmony Through the Years, from X Factor USA to Today
From the PopCrush Vaults: Fifth Harmony's Imaginary Dating Profiles