Ally Brooke Hernandez's life changed forever when she auditioned for the X Factor: U.S. in 2012. While some may think it was always Hernandez's intention to use her vocals in a girl group, it wasn't. Hernandez spent her whole life training as a solo artist, and she auditioned as one on the show, but fate led her to be grouped with her Fifth Harmony bandmates Camila Cabello, Normani, Dinah Jane, and Lauren Jauregui. These life lessons Ally Brooke Hernandez learned from Fifth Harmony are so impactful, and now she's sharing them with her fans in a new tell-all memoir.
On Oct. 13, Brooke released her new book Finding Your Harmony, in which she dishes on life in the spotlight, her personal choice to abstain from sex until marriage, her family life, and everything in between. Hernandez also recounts what it was like being thrust into the biggest girl group in the world in the blink of an eye.
"I worked my whole life for a solo dream," Hernandez tells Elite Daily. "But trusting, hanging on, being positive, and trying to be the best leader and example really helped to get me through each day." Through Fifth Harmony, Hernandez says she learned to "trust the plan and to trust God and his work."
Since being in a group was never Hernandez's goal, she says she used to think about how life would be different if she hadn't agreed to be a part of Fifth Harmony. She'd ask herself questions like, "'What if I was too scared to be in a group and quit?'" It's when Brooke and her bandmates reached the height of their fame in 2015 with their hit track "Worth It" that she realized she made the right choice taking a chance on Fifth Harmony. "I would have never seen the future ahead [and gotten this] amazing platform [otherwise]," she says.
But not everything was rainbows and butterflies as Fifth Harmony's star power rose. Hernandez says she and her members were being pulled in so many different directions, with record executives and managers trying to dictate their career moves. Hernandez found trusting her gut instinct was the only answer to dealing with it.
"I learned that even at the top, [you can't] lose yourself," Hernandez says. "It's very easy for people in this business to try to take away your voice ... and try to bully you. Remembering who I am and my values and my faith in that God has a greater plan beyond what I can see. That is what got me through the hard times, you know, the grueling times, but also the amazing times."
Hernandez really had to trust her gut in December 2016, when Fifth Harmony faced a public shakeup after Cabello made the decision to leave the group amid speculation of behind-the-scenes drama between the ladies. How the remaining ladies would move forward without Cabello was a monumental choice, one the label executives around them had many opinions about.
“There were a lot of ideas from our management," she recalls. Some of those were to start a reality show to find Cabello's replacement, or even replace her with an already established singer. "[We were] just like, ‘No, that would be really weird … we've been through a lot, there's a history we have together, so it's definitely best to stay us four.’ We learned to follow our gut and stay true to that, even when different opinions were coming to us. That was a lesson I would learn many times: To listen to what I’m feeling, and I was proud of us for sticking to that.”
Fifth Harmony announced they were taking an indefinite hiatus in March 2018. Hernandez took every life lesson she learned in the band and applied it to her solo career. The shift hasn't been easy, but it's made her realize there's power in vulnerability, something she says she didn't have the confidence to embrace early on in her career.
"I thought that by being vulnerable, people might see me as weak, but it's the opposite," she says. "Beautiful things happen when you're open and honest with people and your fans ... Just recently in my life, I've really honed into the vulnerability and really cherished that."
Hernandez has truly come into her own as a soloist in 2020, after releasing songs like 2019's "Low Key" featuring Tyga. She's currently hard at work on new music, which includes her new original Christmas track, "Baby I’m Coming Home," which will be available to stream on all major platforms on Oct. 29.