Demi Lovato is revisiting her discography — or, rather, revamping it.
The former Disney Channel star released her new record Revamped on Sept. 15, which features rock versions of some of her iconic tracks. Now, Lovato’s 2015 song “Cool For the Summer” — which she performed in a medley with “Heart Attack” and “Sorry Not Sorry” at MTV’s Video Music Awards (VMAs) on Sept. 12 — is once again getting people talking, with Lovato teasing that the track is about a secret romance with a famous woman.
Here’s what to know about Lovato’s latest project.
Why is Demi Lovato recording her old songs?
Though she got her start in pop, Lovato has long been a fan of edgier music, which she returned to with her 2022 album Holy Fvck. In an April 2023 interview with CBS, the Emo Nite regular said, "I grew up listening to this music, and so I wanted to go back to my roots. Whether you're going through depression or you're having fun with your friends, there's so many emotions that's in this music. I think this generation is hungry for it."
On last year’s HOLY FVCK tour, the Sonny with a Chance star began playing harder versions of fan favorite pop tracks.
“I started putting together these rock versions of the songs last year when I was heading out on tour,” Lovato told Billboard this week. “I had to figure out the puzzle of how to make [songs] like ‘Sorry Not Sorry’ and ‘Heart Attack’ work with all of the new rock songs I was doing. So, the thought was, ‘Why don’t we edge them up a little bit and see what what they sound like?’ We did that, and they just ended up sounding great. I performed them on tour, and the fans really loved them. I thought, ‘Why don’t I rerecord and release them?’”
Another reason, she said, was because she was getting tired of performing some of her biggest hits in the exact same way.
“I think that anytime you’ve been like performing a song for a long time — for me, like you said, it’s been 15, 16 years, since I put out some of these records — it’s appealing to get to really reinvent them,” she added. “It’s also a cool challenge, which is exciting. For me, the challenge was, ‘How can I go in and make this better vocally?’ Because the producing was largely done by my incredible production team [Oak Felder, Alex Nice and Keith Sorrells], so I didn’t really have to challenge myself with that.”
What songs are on the new album?
Unlike, say, Taylor Swift, who is rerecording her old songs one album at a time, Lovato’s Revamped is a mix of songs from different eras.
Here’s the tracklist:
“Heart Attack” (Rock Version)
“Confident” (Rock Version)
“Sorry Not Sorry” ft. SLASH (Rock Version)
“Cool For The Summer” (Rock Version)
“Tell Me You Love Me” (Rock Version)
“Neon Lights” ft. The Maine (Rock Version)
“Skyscraper” (Rock Version)
“La La Land” ft. Nita Strauss (Rock Version)
“Give Your Heart A Break” ft. Bert McCracken (Rock Version)
“Don’t Forget” (Rock Version)
Who is Demi Lovato collaborating with?
One person Lovato teamed up with for Revamped is Slash, who contributed guitar to the Rock remix of “Sorry Not Sorry.” He spoke to Yahoo Entertainment earlier this year about what brought the two musicians together.
“She and I know each other because we're both… we've been through that,” Slash told Yahoo’s Lyndsey Parker. “We were introduced a long time ago and we had that relate to — we were both struggling addicts and all that. … I'd been sober for a little while and she was still struggling a little bit, having just gone through a relapse. And then I talked to her just post-that, and she was sort of trying to get it back together and whatnot. That's how we initially started sort of talking, and she's just really cool and she's a really intelligent and talented girl. And so, we’ve just been friends ever since then.”
Why is everyone talking about "Cool For the Summer" again?
In a new interview with Howard Stern, Lovato revealed that the woman at the center of “Cool For the Summer” is famous — but she’s not interested in naming names.
“I’m in a relationship now, and I feel like that would be inappropriate,” Lovato, who is currently dating musician Jutes, explained to Stern. “I missed the moment. I should have said it back then.”
Lovato, who identifies as non-binary and now uses she/her pronouns, hadn’t yet come out as pansexual when “Cool For the Summer” was released in 2015, and had only publicly dated men. However, with lyrics like “Don’t be scared ‘cuz I’m your body type,” and “Got a taste for the cherry I just need to take a bite,” some suspected the song may be about a summer fling with a woman.
In a 2021 conversation on her 4D With Demi Lovato podcast with JoJo Siwa, Lovato explained, "When I did 'Cool for the Summer,' that song for me was actually my way of sharing with the world without confirming that I was bisexual. Because like I said, I didn't come out until 2017. But 'Cool for the Summer' was like 2014, 2015. So that to me, it was my way of saying, 'I'm not ready to come out but...'"
In a July 2023 interview with SiriusXM, the Camp Rock alum shared, "It took me until I was 25 to come out to my mom. At the time I was bisexual and then I realized I was pansexual. It took me a while."