The 20-year-old singer is most well known for her work with the pop band, but is currently enjoying success on U.S. TV talent show Dancing With the Stars.
Monday night’s (08May17) episode saw Normani perform a contemporary number with professional partner Val Chmerkovskiy, which she admitted was symbolic of the times that she’s felt “helpless and desperate” – including when fans accused her of being disrespectful to former bandmate Camila Cabello during a Facebook Live stream interview.
“I got bullied terribly on social media. I did an interview. It was taken out of context completely and there were images. People were calling me the N word. It was really ugly,” she explained. “It was every time I went online it’s ‘Oh, how much we hate you. How talentless you are.’ They actually made images of me being whipped, beaten, hung.
“I shouldn’t want to change the colour of my skin or texture of my hair or the fact that I’m a woman. I felt really alone. And just like everybody hated me. We all want to be loved. We all want to feel accepted, but when that doesn’t happen, then it just breaks you.”
Normani became a “super guarded person” because of the cyber bullying, but has done her utmost to push past the negative comments.
Her performance with Val saw her awarded a perfect 40/40 from the judges, with Julianne Hough praising the singer for being so open about her cyber bullying experience.
“You’re doing more than just dance. You’re creating art and you’re creating history,” Julianne gushed about the dance, while Carrie Ann Inaba added: “Not only did you heal – you offered all of us healing and I think at this moment in life, we could all use that. So I thank you for such a profound moment tonight. ”
Bull rider Bonner Bolton was eliminated from Dancing With the Stars on Monday night, meaning that Normani, David Ross, Rashad Jennings and Simone Biles will compete in the programme’s semi-finals next week.