Demi Lovato turns 24 today, but the wise-beyond-her-years pop star has already experienced so much that she might as well be celebrating a birthday three times that number.
After her humble beginnings prancing around with Barney, Lovato shot to stardom in the late 2000s with movies on The Disney Channel, a couple hit albums, and her show Sonny with a Chance. The intense gaze of the spotlight and a grueling tour schedule eventually took its toll though, and in 2010 she checked herself into rehab for depression, an eating disorder, and self-harm.
She emerged from the experience with a grace and courage rarely seen in young stars today. Instead of clamming up about what she'd gone through, she became a powerful advocate for mental health issues. Today she's back on top with a major world tour with her friend Nick Jonas, a new hit album, "Confident," and almost 45 million Instagram followers to boot. Here are 11 times Lovato ruled the world.
1. When she made the MTV documentary Stay Strong.
A chronicle of her return from rehab, this deep look into her life is filled with incredibly raw and honest observations about her recovery. "I cannot tell you that I have not thrown up since treatment," she says at one point. "I cannot tell you I've not cut myself since treatment. I'm not perfect. This is a daily battle that I will face for the rest of my life." That's about as real as it gets.
2. When she became a New York Times bestselling author with her book, Staying Strong: 365 Days a Year.
Lovato wrote this book of daily affirmations to help anyone in recovery get through his or her first year of sobriety.
3. When she dreamed up #NoMakeupMondays.
"Let's start a new Twitter/Instagram trend: #NoMakeupMonday," she posted in January 2015. "Why? Cause we deserve to show the world our beauty and our confidence!!!"
4. When she created her own skincare line, Devonne by Demi.
Because if you're posting no makeup selfies, it helps to have awesome skin.
5. When she celebrated her 21st birthday by volunteering in Kenya.
What did you do?
6. When she was the grand marshal at L.A. Pride.
You know you've made it when this happens.
7. When she started her own record label with Nick Jonas.
Called Safehouse Records, they describe it as an "artist-centric label."
8. When the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Association gave her a Special Recognition Award for being a young adult advocate.
Even the government knows how cool she is!
9. When she started a scholarship for people with mental health and/or addiction issues.
Lovato partnered with CAST Recovery to help cover clinical services and transitional living costs for those in need.
10. When she made a difference with a tweet.
Lovato tweeted her disapproval of an eating disorder joke she saw on an episode of The Disney Channel show Shake It Up, and Disney responded almost immediately by taking the episode off the air, along with an episode of So Random that also made light of the issue. Now that's power.
I find it really funny how a company can lose one of their actress' from the pressures of an EATING DISORDER and yet still make joke about..— Demi Lovato (@ddlovato) December 24, 2011
@ddlovato - we hear you & are pulling both episodes as quickly as possible & reevaluating them (1 of 2 messages)— Disney Channel PR (@DisneyChannelPR) December 24, 2011
@ddlovato - It’s NEVER our intention to make light of eating disorders! (2 of 2 messages)— Disney Channel PR (@DisneyChannelPR) December 24, 2011
11. When she delivered singing telegrams with James Corden.
With all she's been through and all the hard work she's done, she's kept a totally goofy sense of humor. Have an awesome birthday, Demi—you deserve it.