Where so many celebrities of her ilk are fiercely guarded, Demi Lovato has shared her struggles with the world.
As one of the Disney Channel’s breakout superstars, she starred on the 2009 hit show Sonny With a Chance and in the made-for-TV movies Camp Rock (2008) and its 2010 sequel. She’s released top-selling albums, starting with 2008’s Don’t Forget; her newest single, “No Promises,” is out now.
But she’s been open about the price of such early success and fame, detailing her battles with depression, bulimia, cocaine use, self-harm, and bullying. She left a tour with the Jonas Brothers in 2010 to enter rehab to deal with emotional and physical problems. But interestingly enough, for someone who spills her guts to her fans, she’s intensely guarded and wary in interviews, parsing every word and answering each question precisely as it was asked.
“I got to this place because I figured that my life wasn’t going to change on its own. I was headed down a dark path. I’m glad I turned my life around,” she tells Yahoo Style.
In March, she celebrated the five-year anniversary of her sobriety.
“I definitely think that I have the responsibility of being a role model. I think anyone in my position is a role model. It comes naturally for me,” she says. “I try to live an honest and open lifestyle. I’m very opinionated and stand up for the things I believe in.”
She uses her social media platforms — she has almost 60 million followers on Instagram alone — to promote confidence, body positivity, and living a sober life.
“I decide to share a lot with people because the less I keep secrets the easier my life is. I don’t worry about things leaking and getting out. It’s pretty simple,” she says.
On Friday, her voice work as a strong, spunky Smurfette in Smurfs: The Lost Village opens in theaters. It’s an entirely animated movie romp that Lovato says she made mainly to entertain her younger sister.
“She’s confident and was very independent and I like that about her. It was pretty easy,” says Lovato of the character. “This project appealed to me because I thought it was so cute. It’s lighthearted.”
She doesn’t sweat her career, judging each offer as it rolls in. “Things just kind of come to me. If I feel like they’re a good fit, I say yes,” she says.
Lovato released her last album, Confident, in 2015. It features mostly music she co-wrote herself and showcases her powerhouse pipes. Lately she’s been back in the studio, recording her sixth release.
“I’m just trying to figure out my sound. I want to go more soulful,” she says. “I write poetry, and I take the words and try to turn them into lyrics. I’m pretty far along. I won’t stop until it’s done. Yes, I’m a perfectionist.”
“When I’m kickboxing or doing jujitsu is when I feel the most confident. I wouldn’t say I’m really good at it, but I enjoy doing it,” she says. “I just started training at my gym. I fell for jujitsu.”
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