Ally Brooke Hernandez cried last summer when she met the rapper Macklemore at the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards.

She cried again after she met Ellen DeGeneres last November.

And her mom cried when Hernandez and her Fifth Harmony bandmates were tapped by Mattel this month to sing the girl-power anthem for Barbie and to get their own line of the iconic dolls.

There’s a lot of tears coming from the Hernandez family these days, and they are all joyful.

“I just get so excited about things,” Hernandez said last week during a call with bandmate Normani Kordei from California as Fifth Harmony was about to embark on its first arena tour. “I know that at one point I only dreamed of it and I hoped that it would happen. And now that things are starting to happen, I’m like, oh my gosh. How can I not be excited?”

On Saturday, Fifth Harmony, the all-girl quintet put together by music impresario Simon Cowell for the 2012 “X Factor” talent show, will open for Demi Lovato on her “The Neon Lights” arena tour. It’s one of the biggest tween/teen concert draws of the year behind the world tour by boy band One Direction — another Cowell “X Factor” product — that pulls into University of Phoenix Stadium Sept. 16.

“Coming from our first tour, which we were performing in malls, and now performing in arenas in front of thousands and thousands of people almost every night, I think that that’s just incredible and mind-blowing,” said Kordei. “Plus, we’re sharing the stage with Demi Lovato, who we’ve looked up to since we were in our Disney Channel days.”

The five girls are barely out of their Disney Channel days: Kordei and Lauren Jauregui  are 17; Dinah Jane Hansen and Camila Cabello are the youngest at 16; and Hernandez is the oldest at 20.

Fifth Harmony placed third in the 2012 “X Factor” and signed with Cowell’s Syco Music and Epic Records. The group quickly began a torrent of social media to connect with their fans — dubbed Harmonizers. To date, the quintet has 1.7 million likes on Facebook, more than a million Twitter followers and nearly 400,000 Instagram followers.

The group’s EP “Better Together” debuted at No. 6 on the Billboard 200 last October. The group quickly released five versions, including two in Spanish.

Fifth Harmony is in the studio working on its first full-length album, which is set to be released this year.

“Coming into recording our full-length album, we know what we want,” Hernandez said. “Our sound is maturing as we are maturing as people, and as girls.”

Hernandez said she thinks the group will get enough time on the Lovato tour for a full set that will showcase the girls’ new dance moves. They also have a couple new songs in their arsenal.

“I don’t want to give too much away, but our show is going to be bigger than it has in the past,” she said.

Tween and teen girls make up a bulk of the group’s Harmonizers, a fact not lost on Fifth Harmony in its social media interactions or live shows. Kordei said their families and their faith help keep the girls grounded.

“It’s really important to know what’s important at the end of the day. It’s your family, love and God,” she said.

Contact reporter Cathalena E. Burch at or 573-4642.

I cover music for the Arizona Daily Star.