Pop princess Demi Lovato’s introduction into show biz was a gig at age 10 on the kids’ TV show “Barney & Friends,” along with good friend Selena Gomez. She went on to find success in the vast Disney universe along with peers Miley Cyrus and the Jonas Brothers, parlaying starring roles in the hit film “Camp Rock” and the TV show “Sonny with a Chance” into a recording contract at sweet 16.
And like so many child stars before her, she succumbed to the pressures of fame and found trouble with drugs and alcohol, cutting and bulimia. But instead of giving up, she got help.
Today, in addition to topping the pop charts, Lovato has been a judge on “The X Factor,” had a recurring role on “Glee,” become a New York Times best-selling author (for last year’s “Staying Strong: 365 Days a Year”), and will release the memoir “A Journal” next month.
Lovato takes the stage Sunday at downtown Miami’s AmericanAirlines Arena in support of her fourth studio album, “Demi,” along with openers Christina Perri and MKTO. You’ll hear all her hits, including “Skyscraper,” “Heart Attack,” “Here We Go Again,” “Neon Lights” and “Really Don’t Care,” plus her more rocking version of “Let It Go,” Idina Menzel’s hit song from the Disney smash film “Frozen.”
She talked to Miami.com about the show, her journey from rough times back to prominence, and what she thinks of Miami.
What’s a Demi Lovato concert like?
You’ll have to come out to see. I can promise that you’ll have fun – the show will definitely be heartfelt and full of surprises. At my show in Albany, there was even a proposal. I also recently announced that motivational speaker Spencer West will be joining my tour, which I’m so excited about. People will definitely leave the show feeling inspired!
In addition to your usual hits, will we hear “Let It Go”?
I can’t give away all of my secrets, but I can tell you that during my Neon Lights tour I performed “Let It Go,” and it was a crowd favorite.
How did you end up recording it?
Well, I’m signed to Hollywood Records, which is owned by Disney, so it all came around full circle. When I first heard the song I fell in love with everything about it – the lyrics especially spoke to me, as it has such an inspirational message and truly stands for everything I believe in.
Are you a fan of the film?
Yes! When I attended the premiere, I was blown away. It’s definitely one of my favorite Disney films to date, and Idina Menzel’s performance of “Let it Go” was spectacular.
I guess your relationship with Disney is still strong?
I’ll always have a special place in my heart for Disney.
You’ve always gotten critical praise for your singing voice – when did you realize you could sing well, and did it come naturally?
It definitely takes a lot of practice and work, just like anything else – nothing in life comes easy. But I’ve always loved to sing – since I was little, it’s been one of my favorite things to do, so for me, the work was worth it.
Who are some of your musical idols, and why?
Kelly Clarkson has been an idol of mine since a young age – she’s incredibly talented.
What inspired you to write “Staying Strong”?
I’m always looking for new ways to connect with my fans. My “Lovatics” are incredible and have been there through everything, and writing this book was a way for me to give back to them. Not only was this a therapeutic experience for myself, but it’s also a reminder for others to stay strong and persevere.
When will “A Journal” come out, and what can your fans expect from it?
My journal will be available on Oct. 7, and it’s a follow-up to “Staying Strong.” Keeping a journal is so important when expressing yourself. The goal is to inspire my fans to also write down their thoughts and feelings daily, with an encouraging quote to coincide.
You’ve been through more than most 21-year-olds – do you feel perhaps a bit wiser than your peers?
I’ve definitely been through a lot and learned so much over the past couple of years. I wouldn’t say I feel wiser, because everyone has a different journey, but I’ve learned a lot about myself and the world and I now have a different outlook on life.
As a West Coast girl, how often do you get to visit Miami, and what do you think of the city?
Unfortunately, I don’t get to visit as often as I’d like because I’m always traveling, but I do love Miami. It has some of the most beautiful beaches, and I love Cuban food!