Who is Ally Brooke?
Ally Brooke is an American singer and the oldest member of the girl group 'Fifth Harmony', also known as '5H', which is the most successful group to come out of 'The X Factor US'. Brooke loved music since she was a child, and started performing at events when she was in school. Determined to follow a musical career, she originally auditioned for 'The X Factor' as a solo artist. However, after she was eliminated from the competition early on, the judges, confident about her abilities, gave her a second chance to compete as part of a group. Despite being put into a group, she and her band-mates, Lauren Jauregui, Dinah Jane Hansen, Camila Cabello and Normani Kordei, quickly proved that they can work together as friends and earned everyone's admiration. As part of the group, she has worked with stars like Meghan Trainor, Kid Ink, Tyga and Missy Elliott. The group has also earned numerous prestigious awards and nominations. Following some of her band-mates, she might soon release her own solo music, as hinted by a recent tweet from her parents.
Childhood & Early Life
Allyson Brooke Hernandez was born on July 7, 1993, in San Antonio, Texas to Patricia Ann (Castillo) and Jerry Mesquite Hernandez. She is of Mexican descent and has a younger brother named Brandon.
She was interested in singing since she was a child. Growing up in Texas, she has been heavily influenced by the legendary singer, Selena, also known as the Queen of Tejano music.
She started performing as a singer when she was only nine years old. She performed at her high school, charity events and sports events.
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The X Factor
With the aim of establishing herself as a singer, Ally Brooke auditioned for the second season of 'The X Factor US' in 2012 in Austin, Texas. She performed the song 'On My Knees' by pop singer Jaci Velasquez and received praise from all four judges, with Simon Cowell proclaiming her to be a future superstar. Her quiet but controlled performance was later praised by 'Huffington Post'.
After being eliminated from the competition during bootcamp, she was brought back by the judges, along with four other girls, to form the group 'Fifth Harmony' on July 27, 2012. Apart from Brooke, the group consists of Lauren Jauregui, Dinah Jane Hansen, Camila Cabello and Normani Kordei.
The group passed the semifinals with "a finals-caliber performance" of Ellie Goulding's 'Anything Could Happen', and made it into the top 3. However, on their next performance, they did not receive enough votes from the public to advance to the Top 2.
Despite not being the finalists of 'The X Factor', Ally Brooke and her group impressed judges Simon Cowell and L.A. Reid with their performance. On January 17, 2013, the group was signed jointly by their record labels, Syco Music and Epic Records.
They started their post-competition career by posting cover versions of songs by singers like Ed Sheeran, Ariana Grande and Mikky Ekko on YouTube, and received praise from the original artists. They sang covers of 'Mirrors' by Justin Timberlake and 'When I Was Your Man' by Bruno Mars for Boyce Avenue's 2013 EP 'Cover Collaborations, Volume 2'.
On October 22, 2013, they released their first EP titled 'Better Together', led by the single 'Miss Movin' On'. The EP was a commercial success and reached number 6 on the 'Billboard 200', while its Spanish version peaked at number 2 on the 'Billboard Top Latin Albums' chart.
'Fifth Harmony' released their debut studio album, 'Reflection', on February 3, 2015 and supported its release with their first headlining tour, the 'Reflection Tour'. The album featured artists like Meghan Trainor, Kid Ink and Tyga as guests. It peaked at number 5 on the US 'Billboard 200', and became their first top 20 entry in the UK.
The group named their second studio album '7/27', referring to the date on which the 'Fifth Harmony' was created. The album was released on May 27, 2016 and features guest vocals from Ty Dolla Sign, Fetty Wap, and Missy Elliott. This album was supported by the '7/27 Tour', which started in June that year.
'Miss Movin' On', the lead song of the debut EP of 'Fifth Harmony', became the highest charting single from a 'The X Factor' contestant, reaching number 76 on the U.S. 'Billboard Hot 100' chart. The song also sold over 500,000 copies and was certified gold by RIAA.
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'Worth It', the third and final single from the album 'Reflection', ranked 12 on the 'Billboard Hot 100' and was certified as triple platinum by RIAA. Other two singles from the album, 'Boss' and 'Sledgehammer', also achieved platinum certification in the US.
The album '7/27' became the group's highest charting album, ranking number four on the US 'Billboard 200'. At the same time, the album's lead single, 'Work from Home', peaked at number four on the 'Billboard Hot 100', becoming their highest charting single in the US. This album was also certified Gold by RIAA.
Awards & Achievements
Ally Brooke, as part of the group 'Fifth Harmony', has till date won 37 awards from 72 nominations. Their list of awards includes 2 'Kid's Choice Awards', 6 'MTV Music Awards', 2 'People's Choice Awards', 6 'Radio Disney Music Awards' and 7 'Teen Choice Awards'.
In 2014, their debut single 'Miss Movin' On' earned the group their first nomination for a 'Teen Choice Award' for 'Choice Break-Up Song'. It also earned them their first award for 'Best New Artist' at the 'MTV Video Music Awards'.
Personal Life & Legacy
Ally Brooke's mother suffers from a serious case of scoliosis, a sideways curvature of the spine that varies in severity, which significantly inhibits her movement. She used to take care of her mother at home before her stint on the music talent show.
Her grandfather passed away during the time she was on the show 'The X Factor'. She and her group performed the song 'What Doesn't Kill You (Stronger)' by Kelly Clarkson on the show a few days later, and dedicated it to her grandfather.
She had been linked with another 'The X Factor' contestant, Drew Chadwick, for a short period of time. She started dating YouTube personality Troy Ogletree in 2012. They ended their three-year-old relationship in November 2015.
Ally Brooke was born six weeks premature and weighed 1 pound and 4 ounces at the time of her birth. However, despite her premature birth, she came out screaming, which made her father think she was born to sing.
She is the oldest and also the shortest member of 'Fifth Harmony'. For that reason, she is known as the 'Little Big Sister'.
Their girl group was initially named 'LYLAS' (acronym for Love You Like A Sister). The named was later changed to 1432 (which stands for I Love You Too), to avoid conflict with another group, and was finally named 'Fifth Harmony' after the audience voted for that name.