Demetria Devonne "Demi" Lovato (born August 20, 1992) is an American actress and singer. She made her debut as a child actress in Barney & Friends. In 2008, she came to prominence as a starring cast member in the television film Camp Rock. She signed to Hollywood Records the same year, and released her debut studio album, Don't Forget, in September 2008. The album sold 89,000 copies in its first week, debuting at number 2 on the Billboard 200. It has since been certified Gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for sales of over 530,000. In 2009, Lovato was commissioned her own television series, Sonny with a Chance. That July, her second album, Here We Go Again, became her first to debut atop the U.S. Billboard 200, selling 108,000 copies in its first week and spawning the single of the same name which became her first to break the top 20 of the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at number 15.
After the release of additional television films and their accompanying soundtracks in 2010, Lovato's personal struggles sent her acting career into hiatus, and saw the closure of Sonny with a Chance after its second season. She released her third album, Unbroken, in September 2011. The album addresses several of her difficulties, notably her lead single "Skyscraper" which became her first single to be certified platinum by the RIAA. The second single, "Give Your Heart a Break", was later certified double-platinum in the United States. The album had been certified Gold by the Recording Industry Association of America. Lovato served as a judge and mentor on the American version of The X Factor from 2012 to 2013. She released fourth album, Demi, in May 2013 to critical success, selling 110,000 copies within its first week, becoming her highest opening week to date. The album was preceded by its lead single, "Heart Attack", that February and was certified double-platinum by the RIAA. In September 2013, Lovato announced plans to go on a North American leg of her third headlining concert tour, The Neon Lights Tour in promotion of Demi. Lovato has said that her fifth studio album will be recorded in 2014 and she is hoping to release it in the same year.
Throughout her music career, Lovato has embarked on several concert tours. In 2008, she served as the opening act for the Jonas Brothers' Burnin' Up Tour and Avril Lavigne's Best Damn Tour. Later that year, she embarked on her first promotional tour, the Demi Live! Warm Up Tour. Since then she has held two headlining concert tours, Demi Lovato: Live in Concert and A Special Night with Demi Lovato. Her work has additionally earned several accolades, including one MTV Video Music Award, twenty five Teen Choice Awards nominations, eleven of which she has won, four People's Choice Awards, one ALMA award, a Billboard Touring Award and several others. In 2013, Maxim ranked her 26th on their Hot 100 while Billboard ranked her second on their Social 50 Artists of the Year. Outside of her work in the entertainment industry, Lovato is involved in philanthropic activities through charity work and various social and environmental causes. In May 2013, she was awarded for her dedication as a mentor to teens and young adults with mental health challenges at a National Children's Mental Health Awareness Day hosted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration in Washington, D.C..
Life and career
Early life and career beginnings
Demetria Devonne Lovato was born on August 20, 1992, in Albuquerque, New Mexico to engineer/musician Patrick Martin Lovato (1960 — June 22, 2013) and former Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader Dianna Lee Hart (born Dianna Lee Smith on August 8, 1962). She has an older full sister named Dallas (born February 4, 1988), a younger maternal half-sister, actress Madison De La Garza, and an older paternal half-sister named Amber, whom she first spoke to when she was 20. Her parents divorced in mid-to-late August or early September of 1994 shortly after her second birthday. Patrick was of Mexican and Spanish descent. She also has Irish, Italian, and English ancestry. Patrick's patrilineal great-grandmother Maria Cristina Perea was a daughter of Civil War Union veteran Francisco Perea (1830–1913) and great-granddaughter of Santa Fe de Nuevo México governor Francisco Xavier Chávez.
Lovato was raised in Dallas, Texas. Alongside friend Selena Gomez, she began her acting career on the children's television series Barney & Friends portraying Angela. She started playing piano at the age of seven and guitar at the age of ten, 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. 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 depression, an eating disorder, and cut herself before going to rehab in November 2010. In 2006, she appeared on Prison Break and was on Just Jordan the following year.
2007–08: Camp Rock and Don't Forget
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. 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 her debut album; she also appeared during the Jonas Brothers' Burnin' Up Tour.
Lovato's debut album Don't Forget was released on September 23, 2008. Michael Slezak of Entertainment Weekly commented "Demi Lovato might satisfy her 'tween fans but she won't be winning any rockers over with Don't Forget". 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.
2009–10: Sonny With a Chance and Here We Go Again
In 2009, along with friends Selena Gomez, Miley Cyrus, and the Jonas Brothers, Lovato 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. 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 Los Angeles Times as being "very good" and drew favorable comparisons to Hannah Montana actress and friend Miley Cyrus. 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.
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; they 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 of AllMusic 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.
Lovato held her first concert tour, Live in Concert, in support of Here We Go Again. The national tour began on June 21, 2009, and ended August 21, 2009, covering a total of 40 cities. Opening acts included David Archuleta,KSM, and Jordan Pruitt. Lovato and Archuleta were later awarded the Choice Music Tour during the 2009 Teen Choice Awards. In 2010, Lovato continued touring throughout South America, with the renamed South American Tour.
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 her 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 her 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' 2012 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.
2010–12: Personal struggles, acting hiatus, and Unbroken
On October 30, 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. On January 28, 2011, Lovato completed her inpatient treatment at the Timberline Knolls facility and returned home. She 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. She later revealed that she would use cocaine multiple times a day and would smuggle cocaine and alcohol onto airplanes and use them during her flights. 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, putting her acting career on hiatus and ending the series. 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, it was cancelled after only one season.
Lovato released her third studio album, Unbroken, 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 single "Give Your Heart a Break" peaked at number 16 in the United States. Skyscraper has since been certified Platinum in the United States, while Give Your Heart a Break has been certified double-platinum in the country. Lovato held her Summer Tour 2012 from June through September, and was later continued as the renamed A Special Night with Demi Lovato. It visited various cities throughout the United States. In July 2012, "Skyscraper" was nominated for "Best Video With a Message" at the 2012 MTV Video Music Awards, which she won.
2012–2013: The X Factor, Demi, and return to acting
In March 2012, MTV aired a documentary special, Stay Strong, about Lovato's time in rehab and recovery. In April, Lovato began work on her fourth studio album. At the Minnesota State Fair in August, she announced plans to continue work after her pre-show performance at the 2012 MTV Video Music Awards, with a single to be released by December, though this never came to be. 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; her hire was speculated to be in hopes of luring a younger audience. She mentored the Young Adults category; her final act, CeCe Frey, finished in sixth place. In March 2013, Lovato was confirmed to return for the third season. Her salary has reportedly doubled.
On December 24, 2012, Lovato released a video of her performing "Angels Among Us" on her YouTube account, which she dedicated to the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. 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 her addictions and eating disorder. On February 24, "Heart Attack" debuted 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. She 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 her best-selling debut week of her career. The record attained acceptable international success, appearing in the top ten in territories including New Zealand and Spain and the UK. On June 11, Lovato released an iBooks-exclusive e-book, also titled Demi. Lovato co-directed the accompanying music video for the second single "Made in the USA", which also served as her directorial debut. She also contributed to the The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones soundtrack album, recording the song "Heart by Heart".
In October 2013, Lovato announced plans to release a book titled Staying Strong: 365 Days a Year, which was released on November 19, 2013. She has also signed a deal to write a memoir, which is expected for release in 2014. The third season of The X Factor premiered two days later, with Lovato returning as a mentor. For the third season, she mentored the Girls category. Her final two acts Rion Paige and Ellona Santiago finished in fifth and sixth place, respectively. On August 22, it was announced that Lovato had signed on to appear in at least 6 episodes of the fifth season of Glee. Lovato played a struggling New York-based artist named Dani who befriends Rachel Berry (Lea Michele) and Santana Lopez (Naya Rivera) and also interacts with fellow newcomer Adam Lambert's character. Lovato made her debut during the second episode of the season, which aired on October 3, 2013.
Lovato announced the Neon Lights Tour in support of 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. She 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 her book Staying Strong: 365 Days a Year was released, topping the New York Times Bestseller list.
2014: Upcoming fifth studio album
On December 18, 2013, Lovato confirmed that she would not return to the The X Factor for its now-defunct fourth season in order to focus on touring and recording her fifth studio album. Demi talked about her 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."
In May 2009, Lovato was awarded Honorary Ambassador of Education by the American Partnership For Eosinophilic Disorders. As part of her involvement with the environmental organization Disney's Friends for Change, Lovato, Selena Gomez, Miley Cyrus, and the Jonas Brothers recorded the charity's theme song "Send It On" in 2009. It debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 at number 20. The proceeds from the song were directed to environmental charities to the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund. Lovato and Joe Jonas recorded another song for the charity, "Make a Wave", in March 2010. Lovato is also the spokesperson for the Join the Surge Campaign!, DoSomething.Org, and Joining the Surge by Clean & Clear, the latter of which is a national campaign that empowers teenagers to take action in their communities.
She was featured in a January 2010 public service announcement for Voto Latino to promote the organization's "Be Counted" campaign for the 2010 United States Census. In October 2010, she served as the spokeswoman for the anti-bullying organization PACER. Lovato was also part of the "A Day Made Better" School Advocacy Campaign, and has supported DonateMyDress.org, Kids Wish Network, Love Our Children USA, ST. Jude Children's Research Hospital, and City of Hope. In April 2012, Lovato became a contributing editor for Seventeen magazine, where she discussed her personal struggles, directed towards teenage girls. In October, she was named the new Ambassador of Mean Stinks, an anti-bullying campaign focused on eliminating bullying among girls. In May 2013 she was awarded for her dedication as a mentor to teens and young adults with mental health challenges at a National Children's Mental Health Awareness Day hosted by Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration in Washington. In late June 2013, she announced the creation of the Lovato Treatment Scholarship Program, named for her late father, to help people suffering from mental illness by paying for treatment. In August 2013, she traveled to Kenya for her 21st birthday to participate in a program created by international charity organization Free the Children.
Lovato has listed Kelly Clarkson, Christina Aguilera, Aretha Franklin, Gladys Knight, Billy Gilman, and Billie Holiday among her musical influences. She said of Gilman: "We had the same voice range when I was young. I would practice to his songs all the time." Lovato listened to metal in her teens. She has said that John Mayer's songwriting has been a "huge influence" and inspires her. Following the release of Unbroken, she commented that her musical styles have shifted towards hip-hop and R&B. Lovato said of her admiration for Clarkson "I just thought she was a great role model. She was never publicly seen drinking and driving or wearing really scandalous clothes or anything like that. I feel like she set a really great example and she was extremely talented." Her Neon Lights Tour was inspired was Beyoncé.
Nick Levine of Digital Spy commented that Lovato's vocals on Don't Forget were "consistently impressive". Becky Brain of Idolator wrote Lovato has a "killer voice and the A-list material to put it to good use".The Hollywood Reporter writer Sophie Schillaci stated she "has a voice that can silence even the harshest of critics. Something not often found in her peers."
Lovato is a Christian and prays with her band before they perform. She is an active supporter of gay rights, tweeting "Gay, straight, lesbian, bi..... No one is better than any one else. What an incredible day for California AND for equality." in June 2013 when DOMA was repealed. She later said: "I believe in gay marriage, I believe in equality. I think there's a lot of hypocrisy with religion. But I just found that you can have your own relationship with God, and I still have a lot of faith." In an early November 2013 interview with Latina magazine, she stated "I'm the closest I've ever been with God. I have my own relationship with God and that's all that matters." and that she finds spirituality to be important part of maintaining balance in life.
In March 2009, Lovato stated "My first passion is music, because it comes naturally to me. Acting has been like a hobby." In 2010, Lovato briefly dated Joe Jonas. Later that year, on her eighteenth birthday, she bought a Mediterranean-style house in Los Angeles. However, she decided to live in a "sober house" in Los Angeles after leaving rehab in January 2011.
On December 23, 2011, Lovato posted a message on Twitter criticizing her former network for airing episodes of Shake It Up and So Random! which featured characters making jokes about eating disorders. Disney Channel publicity officials quickly took action and apologized to Lovato, then removed those episodes from the network's airing cycle and video on demand sources, after further criticism in the wake of Lovato's message to the network's public relations account.
Lovato had no interest in forming a relationship with her late estranged father Patrick after his divorce from Dianna. He is the subject of her song "For the Love of a Daughter", which was reportedly prompted by a series of interviews given by her father to benefit himself from her fame. He died from cancer on June 22, 2013, at the age of 53. Shortly after his passing, Lovato revealed he had been suffering from a mental illness, and that in his honor she created the Lovato Treatment Scholarship Program.
|2008||Camp Rock||Mitchie Torres||TV film (Disney Channel Original Movie)|
|2009||Jonas Brothers: The 3D Concert Experience||Herself||Concert film|
|2009||Princess Protection Program||Princess Rosalinda/Rosie Gonzalez||TV film (Disney Channel Original Movie)|
|2010||Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam||Mitchie Torres||TV film (Disney Channel Original Movie)|
|2012||Demi Lovato: Stay Strong||Herself||MTV Documentary|
|2002–04||Barney & Friends||Angela||Recurring role|
|2006||Prison Break||Danielle Curtin||Episode: "First Down"|
|2007–08||As the Bell Rings||Charlotte Adams||Main role (season 1)|
|2007||Just Jordan||Nicole||Episode: "Slippery When Wet"|
|2008||Jonas Brothers: Living the Dream||Herself||2 episodes|
|2008||Studio DC: Almost Live||Herself||The Second Show|
|2009–11||Sonny with a Chance||Sonny Munroe||Lead role; Disney Channel Original Series|
|2010–11||Extreme Makeover: Home Edition||Herself||2 episodes|
|2010||Grey's Anatomy||Hayley||Episode: "Shiny Happy People"|
|2011||Keeping Up with the Kardashians||Herself||Episode: "Kim's Fairytale Wedding: A Kardashian Event, Part 2"|
|2012||Punk'd||Herself||Episode: "Nick Cannon"|
|2012–13||The X Factor||Herself||Judge/mentor|
|2013–14||Glee||Danielle "Dani"||Recurring role; season 5 (4 episodes)|
- Don't Forget (2008)
- Here We Go Again (2009)
- Unbroken (2011)
- Demi (2013)
- Staying Strong: 365 Days a Year, Feiwel & Friends (19 November 2013) ISBN 978-1-25-005144-8
Awards and nominations
- List of best-charting music artists in the United States
- List of people with bipolar disorder
- at the Internet Movie Database
- on Twitter
- on Facebook