Selena Gomez for Vogue Australia in 2016. Source: Gracie Otto, Wikimedia Commons.

The acting and music career of Selena Gomez

What is she famous for?

Selena Gomez is famous for being an American singer, songwriter, actress and television show producer. She began her career with appearances as a child actress in the children’s television show ‘Barney & Friends’ and later gained attention as Alex Russo on the ‘Wizards of Waverly Place’ which aired between 2007 and 2012. Selena Gomez also later made film appearances on ‘Another Cinderlla Story’, ‘Princess Protection Program’, ‘Monte Carlo’ and later during her adult career ‘Spring Breakers’, ‘Getaway’, ‘The Fundamentals of Caring’ and ‘The Dead Don’t Die’. She has also leant her voice to the animated film franchise ‘Hotel Transylvania’ and produced the Netflix television series ’13 Reasons Why’ and the documentary series, ‘Living Undocumented’.

The singer has achieved a great deal of success over the course of music career, achieving platinum status on her first album and having a number of number one hit singles. The singer has sold more than 22 million records around the world and she has earned many awards including Billboard’s woman of the year award. In addition to her singing and acting career she has also pursued a number of other business ventures including a makeup line, a clothing line, a handbag line, a fragrance line and her own production company; July Moonhead Productions.

Selena Gomez early career
Selena Gomez & the Scene performing Love You Like a Love Song during soundcheck on Good Morning America in June. Source: Dephisticate, Wikimedia Commons.

Early Career

Selena Gomez is the daughter of Ricardo Joel Gomez and Amanda Dawn Cornett, a former actress. Gomez first started to express an interest in a career in the entertainment industry after watching her mother take part in stage productions. The singer first began auditioning for roles at a young age, and met Demi Lovato during an audition for ‘Barney & Friends’. She was featured in thirteen episodes of the children’s television series and made a short cameo in the children’s film ‘Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over’ in 2003.

The young actress was given a role on the series Hannah Montana in 2007 (which also starred Miley Cyrus) and later auditioned for a role on ‘The Wizards of Waverly Place’, winning the lead role. The series became very popular and was nominated for a number of awards. The theme song was recorded by Selena Gomez and during her time on the television series she appeared on the music video for the song ‘Burnin’ Up’ by the Jonas Brothers.

The singer did a cover of the song ‘Cruella de Vil’ for the compilation album titled ‘Disney Mania 6’ and took the leading role in the film ‘Another Cinderella Story’.

At the age of 16, Selena Gomez signed a contract with Hollywood Records which had already signed Miley Cyrus and Demi Lovato. It was planned that she would be involved in two films, ‘What Boys Want’ and ‘Thirteen Reasons Why’ but neither film was green lit, although she would later be responsible for producing the television adaptation of ‘Thirteen Reasons Why’.

The actress continued making appearances in Disney television shows such as ‘The Suite Life on Deck’ and ‘Sonny with a Chance’. She later appeared in the film adaptation of ‘Wizards of Waverly Place’ which premiered to an audience of 11.4 million viewers and won the Emmy award for Outstanding Children’s program.

In a bid to successfully cross-over into music Gomez started a po-rock band called ‘Selena Gomez & The Scene’ and released a debut album in 2009. The album debuted at number nine and received mixed responses from fans and critics.

In 2010 she appeared in the film ‘Ramona and Beezus’ which was met with positive reviews, she also released her second album ‘A Year Without Rain’ which debuted at number four. In the same year she also announced plans to launch her own fashion label called Dream Out Loud.

The actress appeared in the film ‘Monte Carlo’ which premiered in 2011. She played the character of Grace who was mistaken for a socialite whilst travelling in Paris. Her relationship with Justin Bieber also started in 2011, the couple remained together until 2014 and had an on-again, off-again romance in the following years. The actress also made a short appearance on the film ‘The Muppets’ and also made some brief appearance on the Disney shows ‘So Random!’ and ‘PrankStars’.

Her music group released their third and final album in 2011, the album was certified four times platinum and achieved moderate commercial success. It was also announced that she was working on a fragrance with lifestyle brand Adrenalina.

Selena Gomez career breakthrough
Selena Gomez during the Stars Dance Tour, Norway, September 2013. Source: Lisa Bjorheim, Wikimedia Commons.

Career Breakthrough

Gomez confirmed in 2012 that she would be taking some time away from her music career and put her band on hiatus. In the same year ‘Wizards of Waverly Place’ also officially ended its run after four highly successful seasons. Deciding to focus on her film career beyond Disney the actress took part in the animated film ‘Hotel Transylvania’ before taking a role in the more mature and controversial film ‘Spring Breakers’ which starred James Franco. The following year she made an appearance in the film ‘Getaway’ which earned her a Raspberry Award.

Despite claiming that she was taking a break from music, it was confirmed that the singer was working on new material in October 2012. She released her debut single ‘Come & Get It’ as the lead single on debut solo album. The single was the singer’s first top ten hit on the Billboard Hot 100 charts. Her album, titled ‘Stars Dance’ was released in July 2013, the album debuted at number one and sold more than 97,000 copies. The album received mixed responses with many critics noticing her lack of musical identity. She began touring through North America and Europe and was planned to continue through 2014 but cancelled the Australasian leg of the tour in late 2013, reportedly because she was a patient at a treatment centre for addiction and trauma. In 2015 the singer confirmed that she had been diagnosed with the auto-immune disease lupis and that she had cancelled the tour so that she could undergo chemotherapy.

She made an appearance in the film ‘Behaving Badly’ which was widely panned, even by the author of the novel that the film was based on. The singer fired her mother as he manager in 2015 and signed with WME and Brillstein companies as her managers. The singer released a surprise single, ‘The Heart Wants What It Wants’ in late 2014 and released a compilation album ‘For You’ to finish out her contract with Hollywood Records. In December 2014 the singer signed with Interscope Records. While working on her second studio album she collaborated with Zedd on the song ‘I Want You To Know’ which received platinum certification. In 2015 she released the lead single for her album titled ‘Good for You’ which sold more than 179,000 copies in its first week and became the first of her songs to reach the top five on the Billboard charts. In the same year she also reprised her role as Mavis in the ‘Hotel Transylvania’ series.

The singer’s second album, ‘Revival’ was released in October 2015. The album debuted in the top spot on the charts and sold more than 117,000 album units in its first week.

The singer began her worldwide tour to promote her album in May 2016 but cancelled the European and South American leg of her tour due to poor mental health as a result of her lupus. The singer once again checked into rehab to focus on her mental health after pulling out of the tour.

Selena Gomez continuing career
Selena Gomez at the 2019 American Music Awards. Source: Cosmopolitan UK, Wikimedia Commons.

Continuing Career

More recently the singer has been involved in producing the television adaptation of ’13 Reasons Why’ and the Netflix documentary series ‘Living Undocumented’. She debuted her new album ‘Rare’ at the start of 2020, it became her third number one album in a row.

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