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Normani Describes Her Experience Dealing With Racism in Fifth Harmony

“The girls don’t experience things the way I did,” the “Love Lies” singer says, explaining that she was also the only relegated to background vocals

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - DECEMBER 01:  (EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NO COMMERCIAL USE) Normani performs onstage during WiLD 94.9's FM's Jingle Ball 2018 Presented by Capital One at Bill Graham Civic Auditorium on December 01, 2018 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images for iHeartMedia)

Normani performs onstage during WiLD 94.9's FM's Jingle Ball on December 1, 2018 in San Francisco, California.

Rich Fury/Getty Images

Normani has no problem being honest. In a new interview, she doesn’t shy away from the hurdles she faced being a black woman in the world’s most successful girl group. At one point the “Love Lies” singer shares that she would cry during certain sessions, naming “No Way” as an especially difficult song to record. She was the only member of Fifth Harmony who was relegated to singing background vocals.

“It was a ­subconscious thing,” Normani explained. “You think, ‘Why am I the least-followed in the group?’ Even if you don’t recognize that you’re paying close attention to it, it takes a toll on your confidence. You worry — is it me? Is it because I’m black? Or am I just not talented?”

“They tried to be there for me as best as they could,” she continued. “But I don’t think they had the tools that they needed, because it’s not their experience. I can give them credit for trying to be there for me, but at the same time…The girls don’t experience things the way I did.”

Normani didn’t give a definitive release date for her upcoming album, but did speak openly about what her success means for other black artists.

“There’s a responsibility I have as a black woman — one of the very few to have the power to kill it. Even in the mainstream, there’s not many of us. Especially ­chocolate girls. Like, being African-American is one thing, but girls [with] my complexion. It’s unheard of. It’s me, and SZA. Who else?”

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