Demi Lovato is a warrior. The pop star turns 28 on Thursday, and to celebrate, ET is looking back at the former child star’s impressive comeback following years of ups and downs.
The GRAMMY-nominated singer, who got her start on Barney & Friends and the Disney Channel, has spent the last two years inspiring her Lovatics by taking full advantage of her second chance at life after her overdose in 2018.
Here’s how Lovato has managed to go from rock bottom to a skyscraper in the past two years.
In the year after her overdose, Lovato mostly stayed out of the spotlight to focus on herself and her recovery. After struggling with an eating disorder, Lovato has been focused recently on not letting food or her weight bring her to a dark place again.
“I’m tired of running myself into the ground with workouts and extreme dieting,” she told Ashley Graham in February 2020 on the Pretty Big Deal podcast. “I thought the past few years was recovery from an eating disorder when it actually was just completely falling into it.”
Lovato has also spoken up for herself when she’s been publicly criticized for her weight. After a tabloid posted about the performer’s “fuller figure,” she fired back in a post on her Instagram Stories, writing, “I’m angry that people think it’s OK to write headlines about people’s body shapes, especially a woman who has been so open about being in recovery from an eating disorder. I’m not upset for myself but for anyone easily influenced by the diet culture. Too many people today base their ideal body weight off of what OTHERS tell us we should look like or weigh. Articles like these only contribute to that toxic way of thinking.”
Later in 2019, she did her part to show her fans that it’s OK to be comfortable in the skin you’re in, posting an unedited bikini photo on Instagram.
“I’m just literally sooooo tired of being ashamed of my body, editing it (yes the other bikini pics were edited – and I hate that I did that but it’s the truth) so that others think I’m THEIR idea of what beautiful is, but it’s just not me,” she wrote. “This is what I got.”
Lovato also opened up about coming out on the other side of her overdose during a March interview on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.
“Ultimately, I made the decisions that got me to where I am today. It was my actions that put me in the position that I’m in,” she admitted at the time. “I think it’s important that I sit here on this stage and tell you at home or you in the audience or you right here that if you do go through this, you yourself can get through it. You can get to the other side and it may be bumpy, but you are a 10 out of 10, don’t forget it. And as long as you take the responsibility, you can move past it and learn to love yourself the way you deserve to be loved.”
Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for The Recording Academy
As fans anxiously await the release of Lovato’s seventh album, they’ve been gifted with three emotional and empowering new singles, “Anyone,” “I Love Me,” and “I’m Ready” (featuring Sam Smith). The new music is particularly powerful as Lovato admitted earlier this year that she wasn’t even sure that she would return to her singing career following her overdose.
In January, Lovato performed her song, “Anyone,” at the GRAMMYs, and had to momentarily stop and restart after getting emotional onstage. She was able to pull it off and wowed viewers with the raw performance. A few days later, Lovato dazzled yet again, singing the national anthem at the Super Bowl.
Moments after the widely praised performance, Lovato told ET, “I don’t remember anything! I blacked out. I was so excited.”