Also Credited As:Demetria Devonne Lovato
|Demetria Devonne Lovato on August 20, 1992 in Dallas, Texas, USA|
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Demetria Devonne "Demi" Lovato was born on August 20, 1992 in Dallas, TX. One of three sisters, which included Dallas - also an actress and singer and five years her senior - and Madison, who was ten years younger. Lovato's mom was a professional cheerleader for the Dallas Cowboys and had a brief career as a country recording artist. Lovato attended school in the Grapevine-Colleyville Independent School District, where she sang in the choir at Cross Timbers Middle School for three years. The young star competed and won various talent competitions and pageants in Texas, and was further exposed to entertainment when she was asked to perform at a Dallas Cowboys Thanksgiving Day Halftime Show. After the acting bug bit Lovato at the age of six, she soon found herself auditioning for a recurring role on "Barney & Friends" (PBS, 1992- ). During the auditions, Lovato met and befriended fellow actress Selena Gomez, who - along with Lovato - also became a regular on "Barney." Over the years, the two became best friends; even going on to co-star in the Disney Channel movie, "Princess Protection Program" (2009). Lovato and Gomez also appeared in the third annual Disney Channel Games (2008), a competition-based series where the network's teen stars battled each other in various games and obstacle courses.
Lovato's career post-"Barney" consisted of appearances in the drama "Prison Break" (Fox, 2005-09) and in the Nickelodeon sitcom "Just Jordan" (2007- ). In January 2007, the former Texas pageant girl landed the role of Charlotte in "As The Bell Rings," a Disney Channel short series. The wheels started turning fast for the young star after getting cast in the lead role in "Camp Rock," the movie that many expected to surpass the ratings record previously held by "High School Musical 2" (Disney Channel, 2007). Though it ended up scoring some 12 million viewers over its premiere weekend and set in motion immediate plans for a sequel, it did not come close to touching the ratings set by "HSM2." "Camp Rock" was a fairy tale for the MySpace generation - a girl goes to a summer music camp, meets the boy of her dreams (played by heartthrob Joe Jonas), tries to fit in with the mean girl clique, and follows her heart all the way to the end-of-summer talent show. Along with showcasing her acting, singing and dancing abilities, she also demonstrated through Mitchie, a relatable and likeable charm.
The Mouse network touted Lovato as "The Next Big Thing" during a press conference held in New York in the spring of 2008. It was around this same time, that it was announced that she signed a recording contract with Hollywood Records, the label that had launched the careers of Hilary Duff, Jonas Brothers, and Miley Cyrus into the stratosphere. Like a few of her contemporaries, not only was she an actress and singer, but Lovato also played guitar and piano. Her musical talent and growing popularity earned her a spot touring with the Jonas Brothers in the summer of 2008 as well as beginning the recording of her debut album. No dummies when it came to the tween set, Disney suits recognized a potential goldmine in yet another wholesome Disney Channel star. Thus, in September 2008, production started on Lovato's very own TV series "Sonny with a Chance," in which she played Sonny, a 15-year-old girl who is discovered during a casting call and given her own sketch comedy show. The program was a hit with young viewers whose interest in the young actress intensified, particularly while she began dating Joe Jonas for a few months in early 2010 before they broke up for unspecified reasons. While on tour with the brothers in October, Lovato shocked the world by bowing out of the Camp Rock 2 tour and admitting herself to rehab for unspecified reasons beyond "emotional and physical issues." Tabloids and even fans had a field day trying to decipher the meaning behind the cryptic press release.
The impetus for Lovato's entering rehab had stemmed from an incident on board the Camp Rock tour plane in which the angry and defensive teen star punched one of the Jonas Brothers backup dancers after he commented to tour managers about the star's recent troubling behavior. In January 2011, after completing her treatment, Lovato left the Illinois-based facility, but spent the next six months out of the public eye as she regained both strength and confidence. In a television interview from April, the actress-singer confirmed her stint in rehab had been for treatment of her ongoing struggle with bulimia and self-inflicted injuries, referred to as "cutting." Characterizing the period that led up to her entering the treatment facility, Lovato admitted that she suffered what was essentially a nervous breakdown and was later diagnosed with bipolar disorder while undergoing therapy. Explaining that her self-image issues made being on camera a very uncomfortable experience, Lovato announced that she would be leaving "Sonny with a Chance" in 2011, just prior to the release of her third studio album, Unbroken.
The following spring the young entertainer was seen as the focus of "Demi Lovato: Stay Strong" (MTV, 2012), a revealing documentary detailing her post-rehab efforts to get her life back on track and reignite her music career. As she geared up for a planned 2012 summer concert tour, it was announced that Lovato would be returning to television as one of the judges on the musical competition series, "The X-Factor" (Fox, 2011- ) for its second season, alongside Simon Cowell, LA Reid and fellow pop princess Britney Spears.