|“||My first passion is music, because it comes naturally to me. Acting has been like a hobby.||”|
— Demi, March 2009
Lovato was born on August 20, 1992, in Albuquerque, New Mexico to parents Dianna De La Garza (née Hart), a former Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader and country singer, and Patrick Lovato, who died in June 2013. She has an older sister, Dallas, a younger half-sister, actress Madison De La Garza, and an older paternal half-sister whom she first spoke to when she was 20. She is of English, Mexican, Irish, and Portuguese-Jewish descent. Raised in Dallas, Texas, Lovato, alongside eventual friend Selena Gomez, began her acting career on the PBS children's television series Barney & Friends portraying Angela at the age of 7. She started playing piano at the age of seven and guitar at the age of 10, at which time she also enrolled in dancing and acting classes.
In an interview with Ellen DeGeneres, Lovato revealed that she was bullied so severely that she requested a home-schooled education. Her classmates even signed a suicide petition for them. Lovato earned a high school diploma through homeschooling in April 2009. She later became a spokesperson for anti-bullying organization PACER and appeared on America's Next Top Model to speak out against bullying. Lovato had suffered from eating disorders and self-mutilation of her wrists to cope with her emotions and depression. In 2006, she appeared on Prison Break, and she was on Just Jordan the following year.
2007 - 2008
In 2007 and 2008, Lovato played the role of Charlotte Adams on the Disney Channel short series As the Bell Rings. On the same day in summer 2007, she auditioned for the channel's television film Camp Rock and the television series Sonny With a Chance, and got both parts. Lovato received the lead role in Camp Rock, playing aspiring singer Mitchie Torres. The movie premiered on June 20, 2008 to 8.9 million viewers, and was complimented by David Hinkley of Daily News for following a storyline similar to that of High School Musical. Its soundtrack was released on June 17, 2008, though its music was deemed less current than that of High School Musical. Gillian Flynn from Entertainment Weekly opined that Lovato's acting skills were underwhelming, commenting that she "has the knee-jerk smile of someone who is often told she has a great smile". She provided vocals for four of the songs featured on its soundtrack, including "We Rock" and "This Is Me". That summer, Lovato embarked on her Demi Live! Warm Up Tour prior to the release of their debut album; she also appeared during the Jonas Brothers' Burnin' Up Tour.
2009 - 2010
In 2009, Lovato, with Selena Gomez, Miley Cyrus, and the Jonas Brothers, recorded "Send It On", a charity single that served as the theme song for environmental organization Disney's Friends for Change. All of the song's proceeds were sent to environmental charities supported by the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund. Bill Lamb of About.com was pleased to see the network's talents collaborate for the cause, but felt that the track itself was "tedious". On February 8, Lovato's Disney Channel sitcom Sonny With a Chance premiered, in which her character Sonny Munroe became the newest cast member on the show-within-a-show So Random!. Lovato's acting abilities were described by Robert Lloyd of The Los Angeles Times as being "very good" and drew favorable comparisons to Hannah Montana actress Miley Cyrus, while Carey Bryson of About.com placed particular praise on the respectful and self-confident role model set by her character Munroe. That June, she co-starred in the Disney Channel film Princess Protection Program as Princess Rosalinda, alongside Selena Gomez. It is the third highest-rated Disney Channel Original Movie, premiering with 8.5 million viewers. The film was appreciated by Bryson for incorporating a "cheesy, unrealistic, and sometimes downright silly" plotline typical of Disney films with a positive message of valuing friendship.
Lovato's second studio album Here We Go Again was released on July 21, 2009. She described its acoustic-sounding styles as being similar to the works of John Mayer. The album received favorable reviews from critics; she appreciated the enjoyable nature and pop rock elements of the record, echoing sentiments expressed for Don't Forget. It debuted atop the Billboard 200 with 108,000 copies in first-week sales, becoming her first number one album in the country. Prior to the album's release, Lovato embarked on the Summer Tour 2009 for promotion. Its singles "Here We Go Again" and "Remember December" were recognized by Stephen Thomas Erlewine as highlights from the project. Having peaked at number 15 on the Billboard Hot 100, the former became Lovato's first top 40 hit as a solo artist; the latter peaked at number 80 on the UK Singles Chart.
In March 2010, Lovato and Joe Jonas recorded "Make a Wave" as a second charity single for Disney's Friends for Change. Later that year, she headlined her first international tour, the South American Tour; she later joined the Jonas Brothers Live in Concert tour as a special guest. In May, Lovato appeared as a guest star on the episode "Shiny Happy People" during the sixth season of the medical drama series Grey's Anatomy; she portrayed a teenage schizophrenic patient named Hayley. Critics complimented the versatility attempted in portraying a foreboding character, but were underwhelmed by their acting and felt that her appearance was designed to attract
viewers. Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam premiered on September 3, 2010, where Lovato reprised their role as Mitchie Torres. Critics were ambivalent towards its storyline; the film holds a 40% critical rating on Rotten Tomatoes. However, Lovato's performance was noted by Jennifer Armstrong from Entertainment Weekly as "dependably appealing". It premiered to 8 million viewers, becoming the number one cable television movie of the year by number of viewers. Its accompanying soundtrack was released on August 10; Lovato provided vocals for nine songs, including "Can't Back Down" and "Wouldn't Change a Thing". The soundtrack debuted at number three on the Billboard 200, with 41,000 copies in first-week sales. The Jonas Brothers' 2010 World Tour was reworked to incorporate Lovato and the rest of the film's cast; it
began on August 7, two weeks later than planned. The Sonny with a Chance soundtrack was released on October 5; Lovato provided vocals for four tracks, including "Me, Myself and Time". It debuted at number 163 on the Billboard 200, making it Lovato's lowest debut and peaking soundtrack there.
Lovato's debut album Don't Forget was released on September 23, 2008. Max Paradise from Sputnikmusic appreciated the enjoyable nature of the record, while Michael Slezak of Entertainment Weekly was more critical of its lyrical content and Lovato's vocals. It debuted at number two on the Billboard 200, with 89,000 copies in first-week sales. Ten of its songs were co-written with the Jonas Brothers. The album has since been certified Gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), having sold over 500,000 units in the country. Its lead single "Get Back" was praised for displaying prominent pop rock styles, and reached a peak position of number 43 on the US Billboard Hot 100. Similarly, the second and final single "La La Land" was appreciated for its strong showing of rock elements. The track peaked at number 52 in the United States.
2010 - 2012
On November 1, 2010, Lovato withdrew from the Jonas Brothers Live in Concert to enter a treatment facility to confront "physical and emotional issues". Reports indicated that Lovato decided to enter treatment after punching female back-up dancer Alex Welch during a confrontation which led to an intervention by her family and management; she later took "100 percent, full responsibility" for the incident. A financial settlement was reached in December, a portion of which was donated to charity. On January 28, 2011, Lovato completed her inpatient treatment at the Timberline Knolls facility and returned home to Los Angeles, where she would "continue to see doctors" to "help her work on the issues she confronted in treatment". Lovato later acknowledged having suffered from bulimia, self-injury, and "self-medicating" with drugs and alcohol, which she stated was "like a lot of teens do to numb their pain". Lovato added that she had "basically had a nervous breakdown" and was diagnosed with bipolar disorder during treatment, also noting that she had gained weight during the process. In April, she became a contributing editor for Seventeen magazine, where she discussed her personal struggles, directed towards teenage girls.
Also that April, Lovato announced her departure from Sonny with a Chance, effectively putting her acting career in hiatus and ending the series; she commented that "...it's kind of sad for me that a chapter of my life has ended but there couldn't be a better time for me to move on...I don't think going back to Sonny would be healthy for my recovery...Being in front of a camera would make me nervous." She later stated she was willing to return to acting when she felt confident about doing so. Her exit led to the creation of the spin-off So Random!, which focused on the sketches of the former show-within-a-show. The show featured the former Sonny cast members (with exception of Lovato), however was later cancelled after one season.
Lovato's third studio album Unbroken was released on September 20, 2011. Having begun work on the record in July 2010, she featured less pop rock styles and experimented with R&B elements. The transition received mixed reviews from critics, who identified a growth in musicianship in light of her personal struggles, but opined that the music was more generic than her previous efforts. Its lead single "Skyscraper" received universal acclaim for its message of self-worth and confidence, and peaked at number 10 on the Billboard Hot 100. Its second and final single "Give Your Heart a Break" drew favorable comparisons to the works of Cyndi Lauper and Madonna from the 1980s, and peaked at number 16 in the United States. Both singles were certified platinum in the United States. Lovato held her Summer Tour 2012 from June through September. In July 2012, "Skyscraper" was nominated for "Best Video With a Message" at the 2012 MTV Video Music Awards, which they won.
2012 - 2013
In March 2012, MTV aired a documentary special, Demi Lovato: Stay Strong, about Lovato's time in rehab and recovery. In April, Lovato began work on their fourth studio album. At the Minnesota State Fair in August, they announced plans to continue work after their pre-show performance at the 2012 MTV Video Music Awards, with a single to be released by December, though this never came to be. Lovato commented that they were "tired of all the dubstep that's on the radio right now" and "[wanted their] music to grow with [them]". In May 2012, Lovato was hired as a judge for the second season of the American version of The X Factor with a reported salary of $1 million, joining fellow new judge Britney Spears and returning judges Simon Cowell and L.A. Reid; their hire was speculated to be in hopes of luring a younger audience. They mentored the Young Adults category; their final act, CeCe Frey, finished in sixth place. In March 2013, Lovato was confirmed to return for the third season. Their salary has reportedly doubled.
On December 24, 2012, Lovato released a video of her performing "Angels Among Us" on her YouTube account, which they dedicated to the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. On February 24, "Heart Attack" was premiered on On Air with Ryan Seacrest as the lead single from her fourth album DEMI. It was applauded for incorporating both electropop styles and acoustic instrumentation by way of guitars and drums. The song debuted at number 12 on the US Billboard Hot 100 with first-week sales of 215,000 copies. In doing so, it became the third-highest opening-week sales figure of 2013, behind Justin Timberlake's "Suit & Tie" and Ariana Grande's "The Way". Since, the track peaked at number 10 in the United States, becoming Lovato's third top ten success in her primary market. Additionally, it attained international success in several markets, including Australia and Spain. They performed at the Twin Towers Alive Concert 2013 at the Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on March 22, 2013 alongside Backstreet Boys.
DEMI was released on May 10, 2013. Straying from the R&B styles featured in Unbroken, the record predominantly incorporates electropop and teen pop elements. The transition was appreciated by Jon Carmichael from The New York Times for its fun nature, though Entertainment Weekly opined that it developed a less-mature image for Lovato. It debuted at number 3 on the Billboard 200 with first-week sales of 110,000 copies, becoming their best-selling debut week of their career. The record attained acceptable international success, appearing in the top ten in territories including New Zealand and Spain. On June 11, Lovato released an iBooks-exclusive e-book, also titled DEMI. They also contributed to The Mortal Instruments soundtrack album by recording the song Heart By Heart.
On September 9, 2013, Lovato announced plans to release a book titled Staying Strong: 365 Days a Year on November 19, 2013. They have also signed a deal to write a memoir, which is expected for release in 2014. On 22 August is was announced that Demi will appear for 6 episodes of the fifth season of Glee portraying a struggling New York-based artist called Dani who befriends Rachel Berry and Santana Lopez. They will make their debut during the second episode which is scheduled to air on October 3, 2013.
Lovato announced the Neon Lights Tour in support of their album DEMI on September 29, 2013, including a North American and Canadian leg. The tour dates listed ranged from February 9, 2014 in Vancouver, British Columbia to March 30 in Indianapolis, Indiana, with tickets going on sale October 5, 2013. They later went on to announce a South American leg on October 14, including shows across Brazil and Mexico in April and May 2014, with tickets going on sale November 20, 2013. On October 21, 2013, Lovato released the song "Let It Go" for the Disney film Frozen, which was released in theaters on November 27, 2013. The song was announced as the official single for the film's soundtrack. The song's music video was released on November 1, 2013. The third single from Demi, "Neon Lights", was released on November 19. On that same day their book Staying Strong: 365 Days a Year was released, topping the New York Times Bestseller list.
In January 2013, it was reported that Lovato had been residing in a sober living facility in Los Angeles for more than a year, feeling it was the best way to avoid returning to their addictions and eating disorder.
On December 18, 2013, Lovato confirmed that they would not return to the The X Factor for its now-defunct fourth season in order to focus on touring and recording there fifth studio album. Demi talked about their upcoming album saying "I've already started recording for my new album, and I have plans to record during the tour, The sound just evolves into everything that I've been and everything that I want to become." Lovato has also said "I've never been so sure of myself as an artist when it comes down to confidence, but not only personal things, but exactly what I want my sound to be and what I know I'm capable of and this album will give me the opportunity to show people what I can really do."
On February 9, 2014, Lovato began their third headlining concert tour, The Neon Lights Tour. The tour lasted until May 17, taking place in North America and South America. On April 28, Lovato also announced plans to embark on their next tour, the DEMI World Tour. On May 11, 2014, Lovato announced the fourth single from their album Demi as
"Really Don't Care". The announcement came as part of the one year anniversary celebrations of the album, which had been entitled #demiversary. The lyric video for the song was released on May 14, 2014.
On May 18, 2014, it was announced that Lovato would be featured on the song "Somebody To You" from The Vamps' debut album Meet the Vamps. On May 29, Lovato announced their fourth concert tour, and first world tour, shortly after the closing of the Neon Lights Tour entitled DEMI World Tour. Along with the announcement were the first North American dates where they would cover 25 cities in total. In November 2014, Lovato will serve as the opening act for the UK dates of Enrique Iglesias's Sex and Love Tour.
They also worked with their long time friend Nick Jonas on a song for his self-titled album called "Avalanche," released November 2014. Lovato was also featured on "Up", the second single from Olly Murs' fourth studio album, Never Been Better. Lovato announced their skincare line called Devonne by Demi in September 2014 that would be available in December 2014. They released a music video of their song "Nightingale" on December 24, 2014 as an early Christmas present for their fans.
Lovato's fifth album, Confident, was released on October 16, 2015. During the album's production, Lovato commented: "I've already started recording for my new album, and I have plans to record during the tour. The sound just evolves into everything that I've been and everything that I want to become." They further stated, "I've never been so sure of myself as an artist when it comes down to confidence, but not only personal things, but exactly what I want my sound to be and what I know I'm capable of and this album will give me the opportunity to show people what I can really do." In May 2015, Billboard revealed Lovato was in the process of starting an "artist-centric" new record label, Safehouse Records, of which they were a co-owner. The label was a partnership between them, Nick Jonas, and Lovato's manager Phil McIntyre, and was a part of a new collaborative arrangement with record label Island. Confident was Lovato's first studio album to be released through this venture deal. This was Lovato's second multi-label venture of their career; they were formerly part of Jonas Records, a UMG/Hollywood/Jonas Brothers partnership, which is now defunct.
Lovato was also featured on the re-release of "Irresistible", the fourth single from Fall Out Boy's sixth studio album American Beauty/American Psycho. The same month, they signed with the major modeling agency, Wilhelmina Models. Lovato released the music video for her R&B-influenced song "Waitin for You" featuring American rapper Sirah on October 22, 2015. On October 26, 2015, Lovato and Nick Jonas announced that they would tour together on the Future Now Tour. They were honored with Billboard Women in Music Rulebreaker Award on December 11, 2015.
On April 2, 2016, Lovato received GLAAD Vanguard Award for making a significant difference in promotion equal rights for LGBT people at the 27th GLAAD Media Awards ceremony. In June 2016, Lovato signed an open letter to stop gun violence, created by Billboard. In an interview with Refinery29, Lovato stated that they had already recorded songs for their upcoming sixth studio album and will perform them on Future Now Tour.
In June 2016, the Human Rights Campaign released a video in tribute to the victims of the 2016 Orlando gay nightclub shooting; in the video, Lovato and others told the stories of the people killed there. On June 29, 2016 Lovato debuted the lead single Body Say from their sixth studio album.
In February 2017, Lovato executive-produced a documentary, Beyond Silence, which follows three individuals and their experiences with mental illnesses including bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, depression, and anxiety.
Lovato featured in Cheat Codes' song "No Promises", released in March 2017, and Jax Jones's "Instruction" along with Stefflon Don, released in June 2017. In 2017, Lovato was included in Time's annual list of the 100 most influential people. It was announced that they will appear on YouTube's new show titled 'Best.Cover.Ever'. On May 5, 2017, Lovato announced release of their documentary, I Am: Demi Lovato set to launch on YouTube. On May 8, 2017, Lovato announced a collaboration with sportswear line Fabletics to support the United Nations' initiative, Girl Up.