Gomez has made a name for herself in the music industry with hits like “Lose You to Love Me,“ “Come & Get It,” “Back to You,” “Who Says” and “The Heart Wants What it Wants,” among others, but she is equally popular for her starring role as Alex Russo in the Disney TV show “Wizards of Waverly Place” (2007-12). Here’s a look at some key highlights from the career of the singer, actress and producer.
Gomez was born on July 22, 1992, in Grand Prairie, Texas, U.S. to actress Mandy Teefey (pictured) and Ricardo Joel Gomez. She started off her acting career with frequent appearances as Gianna in the hit Disney series “Barney & Friends” (2002-04).
Her big-screen debut came with Robert Rodriguez-directed “Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over” (2003), in which she had a minor role credited as Waterpark Girl.
Following the end of her role in “Barney & Friends,” she went on to feature in a number of TV movies, including “Walker, Texas Ranger: Trial by Fire” (2005) and “House Broken” (2006), as well as an episode of “The Suite Life of Zack & Cody” in 2006. She also made guest appearances in the TV show “Hannah Montana” in 2007-08.
However, it was with her role as Alex Russo, a tomboy with magical powers, in Disney’s “Wizards of Waverly Place” (2007-12) that Gomez gained global recognition. She also sang the show’s theme song, “Everything is Not What It Seems.” For her portrayal of the humorous and clever Alex, Gomez picked up a number of awards, including multiple Blimp Awards at Kids’ Choice Awards for Favorite Television Actress.
Gomez continued to appear in various teen videos, TV movies and feature films during her five-year stint in “Wizards of Waverly Place.” She also voiced the character of Helga in the animation comedy “Horton Hears a Who!” (2008).
The year 2008 saw Gomez form the pop-rock band Selena Gomez & the Scene with members Ethan Roberts, Greg Garman, Joey Clement and Nick Foxer. Their debut studio album “Kiss & Tell” was released in 2009. In the following years, the band dropped two more albums, “A Year Without Rain” in 2010 and “When the Sun Goes Down” in 2011. The group disbanded in 2012, with the final lineup consisting of Gomez, Dane Forrest, Drew Taubenfeld, Garman and Clement.
(Pictured) Selena Gomez & the Scene accept the Favorite Breakout Artist honor at the People’s Choice Awards on Jan. 5, 2011.
In September 2009, a 17-year-old Gomez was appointed UNICEF ambassador – making her the youngest person ever to receive that honor. Her record was broken only in 2018 when 14-year-old Millie Bobby Brown became the youngest to be named UNICEF ambassador.
The singer-actress added the tag of “designer” to her resume in 2010 with the launch of her own clothing line “Dream Out Loud” (pictured) at Kmart department store chain in 2010. The clothes were made from recycled or eco-friendly materials and were sold until 2014. Later, she became a part of creative collaborations with brands such as Coach and Puma to launch perfumes, clothes and bags.
On the acting front, in 2010, she landed the lead role in the theatrical film “Ramona and Beezus,” which was based on Beverly Cleary’s children’s novels. The following year she was seen in another lead role, this time in the adventure comedy “Monte Carlo” (pictured) alongside Katie Cassidy (R) and Leighton Meester (L).
In 2012, she joined (L-R) Ashley Benson, Vanessa Hudgens and Rachel Korine to star in the crime drama “Spring Breakers,” which is about four college friends robbing a restaurant to procure funds for their spring break vacation. This movie was seen as a marked departure from her previous family-friendly outings.
That year, Gomez also voiced the character of Mavis in the animated “Hotel Transylvania” and its sequels in 2015 and 2018.
She released her debut solo studio album “Stars Dance” in 2013 with hit numbers like “Come & Get It,” “Birthday,” “Like a Champion,” “B.E.A.T.” and “Slow Down.” The album became her first to debut at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart, selling 97,000 copies in its first week. She also continued her movie career with “Rudderless” and “Behaving Badly” – both released in 2014.
To promote her first solo studio album, the singer planned the Stars Dance Tour that launched in August 2013 and was to continue until February 2014. However, the Asia and Australia leg of the tour, slated for early 2014, were later canceled. The reason cited at the time was that she wanted some personal time. She later opened up about her lupus diagnosis in an interview with Billboard in August 2015 ahead of the release of her next album. “I was diagnosed with [autoimmune disease] lupus, and I’ve been through chemotherapy. That’s what my break was really about. I could’ve had a stroke,” she said.
Success in music followed with her second studio album “Revival” (2015), which became her second consecutive album to debut at the top spot on the Billboard 200. Additionally, Gomez executive produced the album and wrote six songs for it.
In August 2016, in the midst of her Revival world tour, Gomez announced that she was taking a career break to deal with depression and panic attacks thought to be a side effect of lupus disease. “I want to be proactive and focus on maintaining my health and happiness and have decided that the best way forward is to take some time off,” she said at the time.
A year later, in September 2017, she announced via Instagram that she had received a kidney transplant from her friend Francia Raisa (pictured). Gomez shared a photo of with her friend holding hands from their hospital beds and wrote, “I’m very aware some of my fans had noticed I was laying low for part of the summer and questioning why I wasn’t promoting my new music, which I was extremely proud of. So I found out I needed to get a kidney transplant due to my Lupus and was recovering. It was what I needed to do for my overall health.”
Despite the career breaks, the singer continued to feature in singles, most notably with Charlie Puth for “We Don’t Talk Anymore” in 2016, Kygo for “It Ain’t Me” in 2017 and Marshmello for “Wolves” in 2017. While “We Don’t Talk Anymore” and “It Ain’t Me” peaked at #9 and #10 position, respectively, on Billboard Hot 100, “Wolves” was No. 1 on the Hot Dance/Electronic Songs chart.
During this time her solo singles “Bad Liar” and “Fetish” with rapper Gucci Mane also came out.
In 2018, she recorded the lovelorn track “Back to You,” which was part of the soundtrack for the second season of Netflix’s “13 Reasons Why.” In the same year, she collaborated with DJ Snake, Cardi B and Ozuna for the hit single “Taki Taki.”
She made a return to feature films in 2019 with the zombie movie “The Dead Don’t Die” and the romantic comedy “A Rainy Day in New York.”
Her third solo album, “Rare,” will be released on Jan. 10, 2020 – nearly five years after her last full length album “Revival.” Included in the album’s 13 tracks is her first No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart “Lose You to Love Me.”
The year 2020 will also see her voicing the character of Betsy in Stephen Gaghan’s adventure comedy “Dolittle.”
Selena Gomez has slammed Facebook for allowing “lies” to be spread on the site.
The ‘Lose You To Love Me’ hitmaker hit out at the social media giant and claimed they would be “responsible for thousands of deaths” if they don’t install tighter measures to prevent false information about the coronavirus pandemic from being shared on their platforms.
Selena shared a BBC News interview with Center for Countering Digital Hate CEO Imi Ahmed, who claimed social media firms like Facebook claim to be doing everything they can to remove misinformation about the pandemic but “in reality, they’re doing absolutely nothing.”
Selina then wrote: “Scientific disinformation has and will cost lives. @Facebook said they don’t allow lies about COVID and vaccines to be spread on their platforms.
“So how come all of this is still happening? Facebook is going to be responsible for thousands of deaths if they don’t take action now!(sic)”
This is the second time in a month the 28-year-old star has criticised Facebook.
A few weeks ago, the ‘Wolves’ singer claimed she was left “speechless” after the Center of Countering Digital Hate accused the organisation of continuing to allow “Neo-Nazis” to sell “racist products” on Instagram and Facebook, despite the platforms having been notified about the posts.
Selena wrote: “I’m speechless. @Facebook @Instagram how are you tolerating this hate? There’s still accounts there even though you have been notified!! (sic)”
And in September, she shared a private message that she’d written to Facebook bosses Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg, urging them to stop the spread of “hate” on social media.
In the note, which she posted on her Instagram Story, she wrote: “Facebook and Instagram are being used to spread hate, misinformation, racism, and bigotry. I am calling you both to HELP STOP THIS.
“Please shut down groups and users focused on spreading hate speech violence and misinformation. Our future depends on it.”