Normani Kordei is a member of one of the biggest girl groups out right now, Fifth Harmony, but the group’s busy schedule hasn’t stopped her from competing on Dancing With the Stars, where she slays the competition.
ESSENCE spoke to the singer and dancer about the dance competition, where she revealed that her family can’t get enough of the show, how she bounced back after racist trolls forced her to take a social media hiatus, and her 21st birthday plans.
“I actually grew up watching the show with my grandma, it’s her favorite television show,” Kordei shares after being asked about how she landed on Dancing With the Stars.
Her family have been her biggest supporters, catching every episode and calling right after with their praise.
“My phone blows up. It blows up every single Monday. They’re super supportive and they’re super proud. My uncle, he’s in New Orleans, he texted me and my grandma, and he said, ‘I’m going to print out 5,000 copies with your voting number and I’m going to pass it out at the jazz fest.’ They go hard. That’s what family does. And they just love to see me happy too.”
Her family, as well as members of Fifth Harmony, were also there for her when racist trolls attacked the singer online in 2016, forcing her to take a hiatus from social media.
Reflecting on the disturbing situation, Kordei says, “A lot of the time, it’s really hard to accept yourself when you feel that others around you don’t, and that was a really devastating time in my life.”
“Having to step away from social media and having self doubt and wondering why people hated me so, and would blatantly post images of me being beaten or abused. I think that at the end of the day it’s just listening to your own voice and silencing everyone else. Really surrounding yourself with people who genuinely love you.”
Normani will be surrounded by tons of love May 31st, her 21st birthday, which she plans to spend in what many 21-year-olds might consider heaven. “I’m going to go to Vegas.”