Normani on Parents Being Diagnosed With Cancer: 'This Is Bigger Than the Music'

The singer, who announced her upcoming solo debut album, spoke candidly with 'Who What Wear' about her parents' cancer diagnosis.

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Normani went through an emotional rollercoaster during the timeline that it took to announce her debut solo album, Dopamine.

One day after unveiling her upcoming LP, the 27-year-old appeared on the cover of the digital fashion magazine Who What Wear, detailing the lengthy road to Dopamine. Amid the pauses between her singles "Motivation," "Wild Side" featuring Cardi B and "Fair," all of which may not be on the Dopamine tracklist, the singer's parents underwent cancer treatment.

Normani's mother, Andrea Hamilton, was diagnosed with breast cancer for a second time in 2020, roughly two decades after being in remission from the disease, and completed her last round of chemotherapy in 2021. Shortly after her mother's second round of treatment, Normani's father, Derrick Hamilton, was also diagnosed with cancer.

Normani opened up about the heartbreak in her Who What Wear story, sharing that her parents' health was her main priority in the last five years. “Fuck all of this. This is bigger than the music. It’s bigger than what I’m trying to accomplish. This is life or death. All I wanted to do was be there for them," she said.

The former Fifth Harmony member also detailed music being healing to her parents as they underwent treatment.

“Honestly, music got them through the cancer treatments. I remember being on FaceTime with my mom while she was undergoing chemo and her asking me, ‘How’s the studio today? How’s the music coming?’” Normani said.

She added, “As hard as it was for me to not be with them as much as I wanted to, ultimately, pushing through made the circumstances of the last few years feel a bit lighter for my parents.”

The wait has been worth it. After years of anticipation, @Normani is stepping back into the spotlight on her own terms. Having just announced her debut album, Dopamine, she says it “feels like liberation, like a season of freedom. Not just because the record is finally coming…

— Who What Wear (@WhoWhatWear) February 22, 2024
Twitter: @WhoWhatWear

During this process, I heard God say to me, ‘Trust me. I know you’re afraid, but trust me anyway. Dare to trust me anyway. Now is the time.’@WhoWhatWear

— Normani (@Normani) February 22, 2024
Twitter: @Normani

The artist added that her parents' diagnosis allowed her to comprehend her purpose as an artist.

“It was in those moments with my parents that made me realize that I have an opportunity to make an impact in this lifetime,” she said. “I know everything I’ve been through isn’t in vain. There’s always something that God wants me to see in the season. It’s all in service of making me better for all that he actually has in store for me.”

In 2021, Normani publicly celebrated her mother completing radiation therapy on X, formerly known as Twitter. Although it's unclear whether the singer's father is still battling the disease, in 2022, Normani spoke to Elle about her mother being diagnosed with cancer a second time, the first time occurring when she was five years old.


— Normani (@Normani) August 2, 2021
Twitter: @Normani

"I felt incredibly helpless because I wasn’t able to cure her. I could not change the circumstances," she said.

With her mother's cancer now in remission, Normani said she learned to “maximize every single moment and prioritize actually living instead of just existing.”

“I know for a fact that I have already experienced the scariest time in my life with the thought of having to exist here without my mom,” she continued. “The things that scared me before no longer do.”

With Normani now braver within her personal life and music career, Dopamine is expected to drop before the end of 2024.

cryingg typing this rn. DOPAMINE THE ALBUM

— Normani (@Normani) February 21, 2024
Twitter: @Normani

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