Demi Lovato says there was a time she did not believe she would make it to age 21.
The pop star, now 23, had battled drug and alcohol addictions, bipolar disorder and an eating disorder for years and underwent rehab in 2010, at age 18. She has spoken about her personal struggles before and revisits them in July’s edition of American Way magazine for American Airlines.
She recalls how she used to self-medicate with alcohol, cocaine and OxyContin.
“I lived fast and I was going to die young,” Lovato says. “I didn’t think I would make it to 21.”
Lovato made headlines in 2010 when she punched a backup dancer on her tour with the Jonas Brothers, her co-stars from the Disney Channel’s Camp Rock film series. The singer then checked into rehab for three months, where she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and also treated for bulimia.
“So now I’m in rehab,” Lovato tells American Way, “and I thought, ‘Oh great, now the world thinks I’m just another stereotype.'”
“I thought, ‘I’m not in treatment for a drug and alcohol problem,’ ” she adds. “But once I started eating again, the other issues got worse. It was like whack-a-mole.”
In January 2013, it was revealed Lovato had checked into a sober house. She remained there for about a year. Lovato had said on Access Hollywood that December that before she sought treatment for substance abuse, she “couldn’t go without 30 minutes to an hour without cocaine” and would even sneak some onto airplanes.
American Way says the singer took her last drink in January 2012 and continues to attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, as many past addicts do. Lovato celebrated her fourth year of sobriety this past March.
Lovato’s body image battle began long before she was officially diagnosed with bulimia. The singer recalled looking down at her belly as a small child and wondering if it would ever be flat. She had made similar comments in an interview on Katie in 2012.
Her mother, a former Dallas Cowboys cheerleader, and Lovato’s grandmother had both struggled with bulimia, American Way said.
“Even though I was 2 or 3 years old,” the singer tells the magazine. “Being around somebody who was 80 pounds and had an active eating disorder…it’s hard not to grow up like that.”
Her mother’s eating disorder worsened after Lovato’s father, who also battled bipolar disorder and alcoholism, separated when Lovato was a toddler, American Way reported. He died at age 54 in June 2013.
“Hopefully my kids won’t have it, but it’s kind of like addiction,” the singer says about bulimia. “It’s hereditary.”
Lovato also tells American Way about how she would compete in child beauty pageants until age 12 and that she attributes some of her insecurities to “being onstage and judged for my beauty.” She said she began binge-eating when she was 9 and later started binging and purging as she gained weight with age and compared herself to skinny models. She was also being bullied in school and began cutting herself.
Lovato nowadays uses her fame to raise awareness for body image acceptance. She is known for slamming the “thigh gap” trend and has embraced a healthy gym regimen, as seen in videos posted on her Snapchat.
Lovato has over the years inspired scores of her fans by overcoming her struggles.
“When I have meet-and-greets, I can’t tell you the amount of times that girls will show me their arms covered in scars or cuts,” Lovato tells American Way. “They’ll tell me, ‘You helped me get through this. Because of you, I stopped self-harming,’ or ‘I got sober.’ Hearing those things gave my life new meaning.
She also tells the magazine she did not enter treatment thinking she was going to become “an inspiration.”
“At times I was resentful for having that kind of responsibility,” she says. “But now, it’s really become a part of my life. It holds me accountable.”
The music video for Brad Paisley’s song “Without A Fight,” which features Demi, has just been released and I’ve added screen captures into the gallery. You can also watch the video below!
Demi performed on Good Morning America earlier today. You can check out high quality photos of her performance in the gallery. Keep checking back later for more! If you missed her performance, you can watch the videos below as well!
The second wave of of nominations for Teen Choice 2016 has been announced. Demi has been nominated for several more categories! The awards will take place on Sunday, July 31, LIVE on FOX.
Voting for Wave Two is now officially open via TeenChoice.com, the FOX NOW app and Twitter. Starting today through Thursday, June 23 at 12:00 PM PT, fans can vote once each day per category, per platform user ID, for their favorite TEEN CHOICE 2016 Wave Two nominees. Vote via Twitter by tweeting a category hashtag (please see below) with the nominee’s name (either @nominee, or if the nominee does not have a Twitter account, please use #nominee). Fans may only vote for one TEEN CHOICE nominee per Tweet.
Choice Country Song (#ChoiceCountrySong)
Kelsea Ballerini – “Peter Pan”
Florida Georgia Line, “H.O.L.Y”
Sam Hunt – “Make You Miss Me”
Brad Paisley feat. Demi Lovato, “Without a Fight”
Blake Shelton feat. Gwen Stefani, “Go Ahead and Break My Heart”
Carrie Underwood, “Church Bells”
Choice Break-Up Song (#ChoiceBreakupSong)
Justin Bieber, “Love Yourself”
Selena Gomez, “Same Old Love”
Zara Larsson & MNEK, “Never Forget You”
Demi Lovato, “Stone Cold”
Shawn Mendes & Camila Cabello, “I Know What You Did Last Summer”
Charlie Puth, “We Don’t Talk Anymore” (feat. Selena Gomez)
Choice Song from a Movie or TV Show (#ChoiceMovieTVSong)
Fifth Harmony, “I’m In Love with A Monster” (“Hotel Transylvania 2”)
Halsey, “Castle” (“The Huntsman: Winter’s War”)
Demi Lovato, “I Will Survive” (“The Angry Birds Movie”)
P!nk, “Just Like Fire” (“Alice Through The Looking Glass”)
Shakira, “Try Everything” (“Zootopia”)
Justin Timberlake, “Can’t Stop The Feeling!” (“Trolls”)
Choice Summer Music Star: Female (#ChoiceSummerMusicFemale)
Choice Summer Tour (#ChoiceSummerTour)
Justin Bieber, “Purpose World Tour”
5 Seconds of Summer, “Sounds Live Feels Live Tour”
Selena Gomez, “Revival Tour”
Fifth Harmony, “7/27 Tour”
Demi Lovato & Nick Jonas, “Future Now Tour”
Shawn Mendes, “World Tour”