There are very few stars as open and raw as Demi Lovato. The singer has gone through various trials and tribulations to become the towering talent and unequivocal inspiration her legions of fans always knew she was. After well over a decade in the entertainment and music industry, we’re taking a look back at where she started and her transformation into the vocal powerhouse she is today.
Demi began her acting career in 2002 after landing the role of Angela on Barney & Friends (which saw her act alongside Selena Gomez, who portrayed Gianna.) A few years later, Demi skyrocketed to fame when she appeared in the 2008 Disney Channel TV movie Camp Rock. While it was definitely a task for the young star to shine bright alongside her co-stars — the already established Jonas Brothers — Demi was wholly embraced by the young audience, who recognized her singing talents as soon as she uttered the first words of the film’s standout tune “This Is Me.”From there, Demi became a Disney darling, appearing in the TV series Sonny With A Chance and reprising her role as Mitchie Torres for the 2010 sequel to Camp Rock — Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam. From there, Demi was ready to shed her Mouse House ears and become her own solo artist. Having debuted two albums already, Demi’s 2011 release Unbroken cemented her as a true pop star with tunes like “Skyscraper” and “Give Your Heart a Break.”
Demi began abusing drugs and alcohol early on, trying cocaine in 2009 and quickly falling in “love” with it. At age 18, she entered a treatment center for self-harm, an eating disorder, and other issues. She reached a point of sobriety in 2012 and would maintain it for six years. During that time, Demi released three more albums after Unbroken — her self-titled 2013 album, 2015’s Confident, and 2017’s Tell Me You Love Me.
But while Demi was touring and making music, she was struggling. She broke her sobriety in 2018 and detailed the relapse in her very real song, “Sober.” A few months after sharing the song, Demi suffered a near-fatal overdose, prompting fans to hope that the star would recover.Thankfully, Demi not only recovered from her 2018 overdose but immediately pushed herself to seek the help she deserved. However, she didn’t come through the ordeal unscathed. As detailed in her 2021 YouTube Originals docuseries Demi Lovato: Dancing With The Devil, Demi suffered “three strokes,” a “heart attack,” and “brain damage.” She can no longer drive a car due to “blind spots” in her vision. “I also had pneumonia because I asphyxiated and multiple organ failure.” Demi also claimed that the drug dealer who provided her with the near-fatal cocktail sexually assaulted her.
Every day is another step in her recovery and comeback. Demi gave a blisteringly emotional performance of “Anyone” at the 2020 Grammys and has continued to be as open as possible about her life, struggles, and successes. We cannot wait to see how she conquers this next chapter. To see more images of Demi through the years, check out the gallery above!