The name Selena seems to be synonymous with stardom. Selena Gomez was named after late Tejano superstar Selena Quintanilla-Pérez. Both Latina artists share more than just a first name — they’ve each achieved massive success and have a devoted fan base.
Gomez’s road to fame began alongside another famous Latina, Demi Lovato. In 2002, they appeared on the kid-friendly show Barney & Friends. Gomez, who says her mom is her inspiration, started her career with one special motto in mind: “My mom is always like be nice, be kind and be humble.”
Five years later, she got her own show on the Disney Channel, Wizards of Waverly Place. The series, in which Gomez played a teen with serious magical powers, lasted for four seasons and 106 episodes. The final episode aired in 2012 and set a record as the most-watched series finale in the Disney Channel’s history. “I was very happy when I read the script for the last episode,” Gomez said in a 2011 interview. “I felt like it wrapped up the series in the best possible way without disappointing anybody.”
Wizards of Waverly Place won two Primetime Emmys and Gomez received eight Kids’ Choice Awards: five for Favorite TV Actress and three for Favorite Female Singer. That’s right, Gomez doesn’t only act, she can also sing. She signed her first record deal at 16.
She’s also one of the top celebrities on Instagram with more than 144 million followers. She has more die-hard fans (Selenators, as they’re known) than Kim Kardashian (122 million) and lip kit queen Kylie Jenner (120 million). Even Beyoncé doesn’t come close to Gomez’s fandom, with 121 million. “I’ve been very vulnerable with my fans, and sometimes I say things I shouldn’t. But I have to be honest with them. I feel that’s a huge part of why I’m where I am,” she told Vogue last year.
Gomez has been in more than 28 films and is an executive producer on the Netflix series 13 Reasons Why, with Season 3 premiering next year. As for music, Gomez teased last summer that her new album is done: “My album’s coming out later. I’m done with it.” The pop star and her squad of loyal Selenators are so ready for it. “I have so many exciting things coming,” she said. “I’m not trying to throw a bunch of music in people’s faces until I’m ready.”
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