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The singer is opening up about her queerness, her near fatal overdose and her journey to living her truth. By Caryn Ganz.
Demi Lovato woke up legally blind in an intensive care unit after the July drug overdose that nearly killed her. Blind spots made it nearly impossible to see head-on, so she peered at her phone through her peripheral vision and typed using voice notes. I just was like, how do I fix it? Lovato, the year-old singer, songwriter, actress and budding activist who has been in show business since she was 6 and a household name since her teens, is not just adaptable — she is one of the most resilient pop cultural figures of her time.
Documentaries from pop stars about themselves have become a cottage industry, but most feel like sanitized marketing tools and grasp for friction, like the stress of fame or loneliness.
She reveals excruciating details about a history of sexual assault, self-harm and family trauma, one troubling scenario colliding into another like dominoes. The film and album are part of a comeback attempt that puts a core part of the Demi Lovato proposition to the test: How honest can she really be? Pop stardom is a high-wire act on the continuum between fantasy and reality, spectacle and authenticity, escaping and relating. A lot depends on how much a musician reveals to her audience. And Lovato has always been a sharer.
Her overdose came after six years of sobriety, during which Lovato felt increasingly hemmed in by the measures her longtime managers took to help her stay on track. It caused three strokes, a heart attack and organ failure. She had pneumonia from asphyxiating on her vomit; she suffered brain damage from the strokes, and has lasting vision problems. She can no longer drive and described the lingering effects as resembling sunspots.
The drug dealer who brought her heroin that night sexually assaulted her, then left her close to death. The Demi Lovato perched in front of her laptop for two lengthy video interviews from her airy new home in Los Angeles in February and early March barely resembled the pop star narrating her recent history in the documentary, though she spoke candidly with the same disarming charm.
Unlike the longhaired, glam-squadded Lovato on film, this one served dorm-lounge pandemic realness: a close-cropped haircut, big, clear-framed eyeglasses and oversized sweats. Lockdown, like the recovery time following her overdose, forced Lovato to take a breath, though she spent its first seven months in a whirlwind romance that ended in a broken engagement. More on that later. She had a new team led by Scooter Braun, the manager and entrepreneur who oversees the careers of Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande, and returned to performing at the Grammys and the Super Bowl.
There would be no album or tour in But the changes Just hook up dirty devil dating has undergone — particularly since her August birthday, she said — have put her on a different course. That same date seven years later, Lovato began the night of partying that ended in the I. When she was a Disney star, Lovato had an edgy candor that distinguished her from the pack. Lovato recalled worrying that she would get in trouble.
At 18, she attended rehab for physical and emotional issues after being caught doing drugs and assaulting a dancer on tour, and was told that she had bipolar disorder; she went public both to explain her actions and help dispel the stigma around discussing mental health. Lovato says she never received that diagnosis again, and now believes it was incorrect.
Because if I told you my secrets, you had nothing on me. Looking back at her days of teen stardom through the lens of an adult, Lovato has compassion. Exposing her imperfections to the world did little to alleviate internal pressures, though. Behind the scenes, Lovato pushed herself to be the idealized version of a successful pop star as her career progressed. Her first two albums from and were filled with spunky pop-punk in the mode of Ashlee Simpson and Avril Lavigne. I was like, I might have a shot now!
And then I put out another album — nothing. Discouraged by the reaction, she recalibrated. So I played that role for a minute. Maybe I should tell mom. She did, but not until two years later, before she went on a date with a woman and pd photos would end up online.
In March, she started seeing a male actor, and the relationship progressed quickly in quarantine, resulting in a July engagement. But in September — a month after her birthday — Lovato called it off. But a new generation of artists, including Billie Eilishis pushing back against long-held expectations. I embraced the balance of both masculine and feminine parts of me. It was even shorter by the time we spoke.
Her new album has its share of vocal pyrotechnics, but is a far more intimate LP, focused on telling the story of the past several years. And that will be the death of me. In many ways, Lovato has always shared more of herself outside of her music than inside of it — something that is changing with her new album, particularly as she wrote from a more queer perspective. You can also find resources at findtreatment. Supported by.Just hook up dirty devil dating
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