Saturday, February 4, 2023

Demi Lovato Confronts Her Demons


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Story by Peyton Tranas / Core Writer

Photos by Pitchfork

From Disney Channel star to mega-pop sensation, Demi Lovato has gone through more than the average young star. Having openly dealt with addiction for years, Lovato is ready to finally come completely clean and tell her story. 

Lovato has premiered a four episode documentary on YouTube: “Dancing with the Devil.” 

Accompanying the documentary, Lovato has also released her seventh studio album, “Dancing With the Devil… The Art of Starting Over.”

Lovato’s documentary recounts her stories of substance abuse and eating disorders leading up to her 2018 overdose and the rehabilitation and personal, as well as professional life growth she has gone through since then.

This is not the first documentary Lovato has made revolving around her sobriety struggles and eating disorders that she often lied in to cover up the fact she wasn’t actually sober. 

In 2017, Lovato released her documentary “Simply Complicated,” which revealed that she had been lying to the public about her sobriety and how finally at that point in time, she was sober. However, the world came to find out that was not the case. 

So, what makes this documentary different? And what makes the world believe that this time things will be different, instead of one day tuning into the news and seeing that Lovato has overdosed again?

For starters, Lovato is in a very different position than she was when she overdosed. She had a very overruling management team and was constantly on the go with her “Tell Me You Love Me” tour. 

Being a pop star, she was constantly under the scrutiny of the public eye. There was absolutely no room for her to mess up. 

After her overdose, she took a break from the public to try and get the help she needed. She needed a new team around her that she felt comfortable with confiding in if she messed up. She signed a new contract to be managed by Scooter Braun, manager of Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande. Finally, in early 2020, Lovato returned to the stage by performing at the 2020 Grammy Awards. She then gave a fantastic performance of the National Anthem at the Super Bowl in 2020 as well. 

Lovato was finally ready to get her career back on track now that she physically and mentally was getting actual help. 

But then, COVID-19 happened.

It’s unknown which plans Lovato had that may have been derailed by the coronavirus pandemic.

However, she took the time to isolate herself from the fast-paced music and entertainment industry. Many of her friends and family said quarantine was one of the best things to happen for her. 

While she did have a whirlwind romance that ended with a broken off engagement, Lovato took the time to better herself so her “comeback” could be stronger than ever. 

Nearly one year after the coronavirus outbreak was officially declared a pandemic, Lovato announced that her seventh studio album, “Dancing with the Devil… The Art of Starting Over,” would be released on April 2, 2021.

“Dancing with the Devil” features 22 songs, which is more tracks than any previous album Lovato has done. The album features collaborations with Ariana Grande, Sam Fischer, Marshmello, Sam Smith, Noah Cyrus, and Saweetie. 

Four songs on the album– “Anyone,” “I Love Me,” “I’m Ready,” ft. Sam Smith, and “OK Not to be OK” ft. Marshmello– were released prior to the album’s official release. With a perfect mix of pop anthems and emotional ballads, this album in the short amount of time it’s been out has become one of Lovato’s most highly acclaimed musical works.

With “ICU (Madison’s Lullaby),” Lovato sings about her love for her younger sister, Madison, and the reality-check she had after waking up from her overdose and not being able to see her sister– even though Madison was right next to her. 

In “Met Him Last Night,” ft. Ariana Grande, you can for sure hear the influence Grande had on the song. It sounds like it would fit perfectly on one of Grande’s own albums with its R&B sound.

In her song “15 Minutes,” Lovato sings about her now ex-fiance, Max Ehrich. In her documentary, she mentions how she came to learn that his intentions weren’t genuine and in this song, she sings about he essentially just wanted his fifteen minutes of fame.

While the album is a pop album, you can clearly hear the influences of artists like Ariana Grande, Kacey Musgraves, and even Jack Antonoff-produced music with the use of synthesizers. 

Lovato has overcome more than nearly any other modern-day pop artist, yet continues to persevere and shine. If you are interested and hearing her story firsthand, I would highly recommend watching her new documentary, “Dancing with the Devil.” I personally would suggest watching the documentary in its entirety before listening to the album in order to have a better understanding of the lyrics and personal connection Lovato has cultivated with each song.

To contact Lifestyles Editor Ashley Barrientos, email

For more updates, follow us at, on Facebook at MTSU Sidelines and on Twitter at @Sidelines_Life

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