Selena Gomez (Courtesy Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)
Selena Marie Gomez ( ; ; born July 22, 1992) is an American actress and singer. Having appeared as a child in the children's television series Barney & Friends, Gomez rose to fame as the leading role in the Disney channel series Wizards of Waverly Place (2007-12). Due to the success of the series, Gomez worked on various films, television shows, and musical collaborations for the network in the following years. She signed a recording contract with Hollywood Records in 2008, and subsequently formed her band Selena Gomez & the Scene the following year. The band released three studio albums by 2011, each of which sold over one million copies worldwide.
Gomez hoped to focus on her acting career by transitioning into film work, earning starring roles in films such as Ramona and Beezus (2010) and the romantic comedy Monte Carlo (2011). Gomez hoped to achieve a more mature image with a role in the exploitation film Spring Breakers (2013), as well as with the release of her solo debut album Stars Dance (2013). The album debuted atop the Billboard 200 in the United States, and included "Come & Get It". Gomez embarked on her Stars Dance Tour (2013), though it was later cancelled due to personal and medical struggles.
In 2014, Gomez fired her parents as her managers, and signed with the WME and Brillstein companies. During this time, she signed a new recording contract with Interscope Records, releasing a compilation album as her fifth and final release through Hollywood Records. Gomez released her second studio album, Revival, in October 2015. The album debuted at number one on the Billboard 200, while the first three singles all topped the Mainstream Top 40 chart in the United States. She embarked on her worldwide Revival Tour in 2016. Gomez is currently working on her third studio album.
Gomez has branched out from entertainment, releasing her own clothing line through Kmart in 2010 and a self-titled fragrance in 2013. Gomez formed her own production company in 2008, titled July Moon Productions; she is set to produce the Netflix original series 13 Reasons Why. She has worked with various charitable organizations for years, and most notably became a UNICEF ambassador at the age of seventeen. Since the start of her career, Gomez has went on to sell over 6.7 million albums and 22 million singles worldwide, according to Billboard. Gomez has earned a number of awards and nominations for her work as an actress and singer, and has won an ALMA Award, a MTV Video Music Award, a Billboard Women in Music award, an iHeartRadio Music Award, a People's Choice Award and twelve Teen Choice Awards.
Life and career
1992-2006: Early life and career beginnings
Selena Marie Gomez was born in Grand Prairie, Texas on July 22, 1992, to Ricardo Joel Gomez and former stage actress Amanda Dawn "Mandy" Cornett. Gomez was named after Tejano singer and actress Selena Quintanilla-Prez, who died in 1995. Her father is of Mexican descent while her mother, who was adopted, has some Italian ancestry. Regarding her Hispanic heritage, Gomez has stated, "My family does have Quinceaeras, and we go to the communion church. We do everything that's Catholic, but we don't really have anything traditional except [that we] go to the park and have barbecues on Sundays after church." Gomez's parents divorced when she was five years old, and she remained with her mother. Gomez has two siblings. Her sister, Gracie Elliot Teefey, was born to Amanda and her second husband Brian Teefey on June 12, 2013. Gomez has a second sister, Victoria "Tori" Gomez, born to Ricardo and his wife Sara on June 25, 2014. She earned a high school diploma through homeschooling in May 2010.
When Gomez was born, her mother was sixteen years old. The family had financial troubles during Gomez's childhood, with her mother struggling to provide for the pair. At one point, Gomez recalled the pair had to search for quarters just to get gas for their car. Her mother later recalled the two would frequently walk to their local dollar store to purchase spaghetti for dinner, though got by. Gomez stated, "I was frustrated that my parents weren't together, and never saw the light at the end of the tunnel where my mom was working hard to provide a better life for me. I'm terrified of what I would have become if I'd stayed [in Texas]." She later added that "[My mom] was really strong around me. Having me at 16 had to have been a big responsibility. She gave up everything for me, had three jobs, supported me sacrificed her life for me." Gomez had a close relationship with her grandparents as a child, and appeared in various pageants growing up. Her grandparents often took care of Selena while her parents finished their schooling, and the pair went as far as stating that they "raised her" up until she found success in the entertainment industry.
Selena first gained an interest in pursuing a career in the entertainment industry watching her mother prepare for stage productions. She began auditioning for various roles, meeting Demi Lovato during an audition for Barney and Friends. Both girls were later selected to appear on the series in 2002, with Gomez portraying the character of Gianna. The show was her first experience in acting, with Gomez recalling, "I was very shy when I was little [...] I didn't know what 'camera right' was. I didn't know what blocking was. I learned everything from Barney." Gomez appeared in fourteen episodes of the show between 2002 and 2004, though the show's producers released her as she was getting "too old" for the series. While working on the series, Gomez had a cameo role in the film Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over (2003) and the made-for-television film Walker, Texas Ranger: Trial by Fire (2005). With experience now under her belt, Gomez auditioned for roles under the Disney channel company along with Lovato. Gomez made a guest appearance in a 2006 episode of the Disney series The Suite Life of Zack & Cody.
2007-12: Breakthrough with Disney and Selena Gomez & the Scene
Gomez was given a recurring role on the popular Disney channel series Hannah Montana in 2007, portraying pop star Mikayla. During this time, Gomez filmed pilot episodes for two potential Disney Channel series; the first, titled Arwin!, a spin-off of the Suite Life series, while the second was a spin-off of the series Lizzie McGuire. She later auditioned for a role in the Disney series Wizards of Waverly Place, ultimately winning the lead role of Alex Russo. Upon receiving the role, Gomez and her mother moved to Hollywood; Lovato and her family also moved to Hollywood, hoping to achieve similar success to Gomez. Wizards of Waverly Place saw Gomez portraying a teenage girl in a family of wizards who own a restaurant in New York. The series quickly became a hit for the network, propelling Gomez to more mainstream success. The series received numerous nominations and awards. Gomez recorded the theme song for the series, titled "Everything is Not What It Seems." Gomez briefly dated fellow Disney star Nick Jonas in 2008. Gomez later appeared in the music video for the song "Burnin' Up", which the Jonas Brothers had recorded and released, and later, she also appeared in an episode of the reality series Jonas Brothers: Living the Dream.
While working on the second season of Wizards of Waverly Place, Gomez appeared on the Disney channel special Studio DC: Almost Live alongside various other Disney stars. She contributed a cover of the song "Cruella de Vil" to the compilation album DisneyMania 6, and later recorded the original song "Fly to Your Heart" for the soundtrack of the animated film Tinker Bell. She had a leading role, as an aspiring dancer, in the musical film Another Cinderella Story that same year. The film was released to generally positive reviews, and won the 2010 Writers Guild of America Award for Children's script-long form or special. Gomez recorded three songs for the soundtrack, and released one of them, "Tell Me Something I Don't Know", as a promotional single. Later that year, Gomez had the supporting role of Helga in the animated film Horton Hears a Who! The film was a commercial success, and went on to gross nearly three hundred million dollars worldwide. At 16 years of age, Gomez was signed to a recording contract with the Hollywood Records label, which had already signed both Cyrus and Lovato. Gomez formed her own production company in 2008, which she called July Moon Productions. She partnered with XYZ Films for the project, giving Gomez the opportunity to option articles, hire writers and create talent packages to shop to studios. Gomez was slated to release two films under the company. The first, titled What Boys Want, with Gomez as a girl who could hear the thoughts of men. She later announced the film Thirteen Reasons Why, in which she was to play a young girl who commits suicide; ultimately, neither film was released.
Gomez continued to have mainstream success throughout the following year, appearing as Alex Russo in a crossover episode of the Disney series The Suite Life on Deck. She later made a guest appearance on the Disney series Sonny With a Chance, starring Lovato. She appeared in a remix of the Forever the Sickest Kids's single "Whoa Oh! (Me vs. Everyone)", released as a single in April of that year. Gomez, along with Lovato, starred in the Disney Channel film Princess Protection Program, which aired in June 2009. The film was a critical success, and had a total of 8.5 million viewers during its premiere. For the film, Gomez and Lovato recorded the song "One and the Same", which was later released as a promotional single. She later provided the voice of Princess Selenia in the animated film Arthur and the Revenge of Maltazard. On August 28, 2009, Gomez starred in Wizards of Waverly Place: The Movie, a television film based on the series. The film premiered to an audience of 11.4 million viewers becoming cable's No. 1 scripted telecast of 2009 and Disney Channel's second most-viewed film premiere after High School Musical 2. The film won the series its second consecutive Emmy for "Outstanding Children's Program" at the 62nd Primetime Emmy Awards.
Hoping to achieve a successful crossover into music, Gomez formed the pop-rock band Selena Gomez & the Scene through her record deal with Hollywood Records. The name of the band is an "ironic jab" at the people who called Gomez a "wannabe scene." The group released their debut studio album in August 2009., which debuted at number nine on the Billboard 200 albums chart in the United States, with first week sales of 66,000 copies. The album received a mixed reception, some critics praised the album for its "fun" nature, while others criticized Gomez for her vocal performance. The lead single failed to have commercial success, however the second single was successful. With heavy promotion through Disney and performances, the song had success on radio and with sales. In 2010, Gomez starred as one of the two female leads in Ramona and Beezus, a film adaption of the children's novel series by Beverly Cleary. The film premiered on July 23, 2010, and it was met with generally positive reviews. Selena Gomez & the Scene released their second studio album that same year., which debuted on the US Billboard 200 at number 4 with sales of a little over 66,000. The album received mixed to positive reviews where some noticed that Gomez's vocals contained the Auto-Tune effect. The record's two singles both achieved moderate success. Having previously announced plans to launch a fashion line, Gomez launched Dream Out Loud by Selena Gomez in 2010. The collection consisted of, and featured, bohemian dresses, floral tops, jeans, skirts, jackets, scarves and hats, all of which were made from recycled or eco-friendly materials. Gomez stated, "With my line, I really want to give the customer options on how they can put their own looks together [...] I want the pieces that can be easy to dress up or down, and the fabrics being eco-friendly and organic is super important [...] Also, the tags will all have some of my inspirational quotes on them. I'm just looking to send a good message." To design the actual items, Gomez teamed up with designers Tony Melillo and Sandra Campos, both of whom had previously worked with big-name fashion houses. Melillo and Campos teamed with New York-based Adjmi Apparel to manufacture the brand, which was formed by Adjmi CH Brands LLC, the holding company for the brand.
In 2011, Gomez starred in the film Monte Carlo. Her character Grace is teenager "mistaken for a socialite while on a trip to Paris." To prepare for the role, Gomez learned how to play polo and also took two weeks of vocal training to learn two different British accents. She also began a relationship with Justin Bieber that year, which lasted until 2014. Gomez appeared in a cameo role in the film The Muppets and appeared in the Disney shows So Random! and PrankStars. Selena Gomez & the Scene released their third and final studio album that same year. The album received mixed reviews, with the album's second single receiving a 4x Platinum certification from the RIAA. However, the album's lead single and last single both achieved moderate success. It was announced on July 14, 2011, that Gomez had signed a license agreement with Adrenalina, an extreme sports and adventure-themed lifestyle brand, to develop, manufacture, and distribute the actress's fragrance. Chairman and C.E.O. of Adrenalina, Ilia Lekach, said, "We are incredibly enthused to be working with Ms. Gomez and will reveal more details pertaining to the fragrance as we get closer to the launch date." The perfume was released in May 2012.
2012-14: Solo musical debut and personal struggles
Gomez confirmed in January 2012 that she would be taking a break from her music career, thus placing Selena Gomez & the Scene on an ongoing hiatus. That year, Wizards of Waverly Place officially ended its run on the Disney channel after four successful seasons. Gomez hoped to focus on her film career outside of Disney, and starred alongside Adam Sandler and Steve Buscemi in the animated film Hotel Transylvania (2012). The film premiered at the 37th annual Toronto International Film Festival and was released on September 28, 2012. Gomez had a role in the controversial exploitation film Spring Breakers (2013), starring James Franco. The film saw Gomez in a more mature role than her previous works, and reportedly led to Gomez having a "bit of a meltdown on set." In 2013, Gomez starred in the film Getaway, alongside Ethan Hawke. The film was a critical and commercial failure, and earned Gomez a nomination for Worst Actress at the 34th Golden Raspberry Awards. She also starred in the Disney channel special The Wizards Return: Alex vs. Alex in 2013.
Despite her earlier claims that she would be taking a break from her music career, Gomez confirmed in October 2012 that she was working on new material. She later confirmed that she would be releasing her solo debut album, as opposed to another album with her band. Gomez released "Come & Get It" as the lead single from the album. The single became Gomez's first top ten entry on the Billboard Hot 100. Stars Dance was released on July 23, 2013, debuting at number one on the Billboard 200 chart, boasting first week sales of 97,000 copies. The album remained in the top ten in its second week, though declined down the chart in the following weeks. The record was met with mixed reviews where some music critics noticed her inability to create her own musical identity and her vocal abilities on the album "doesn't help." Gomez incorporated choreography and dance routines into her promotional performances and music videos for the album, feeling inspired by artists such as Janet Jackson and Britney Spears. As of September 2015, the album has sold 392,000 copies in the United States, making it her lowest selling studio album to date in the country. It remains her only studio effort to not receive a certification from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).
Gomez embarked on her Stars Dance Tour on August 14, 2013. The tour was set to continue throughout 2014, though Gomez cancelled the Australian and Asian leg of the tour in December 2013, claiming that she would be taking a hiatus to spend time with her family. In January 2014, it was reported that Gomez had spent two weeks at Dawn at The Meadows a treatment center in Wickenburg, Arizona that specializes in treating addiction and trauma in young people. Her representative stated that she had spent time there "voluntarily [...] but not for substance abuse." Despite initially neglecting to comment, Gomez confirmed in 2015 that she had been diagnosed with an auto-immune disease named lupus, and that she had cancelled the tour and entered rehab to undergo chemotherapy. Gomez appeared in the film Behaving Badly (2014) with Dylan McDermott and Nat Wolff. The project, filmed prior to Gomez's stint in rehab, was released in August 2014 to a generally negative critical and commercial reception. She later appeared in the film Rudderless (2014), the directorial debut of William H. Macy. The independent film received a mixed reception from critics.
In April of that year, it was reported that Gomez had fired her mother and stepfather as her managers; the two had managed Gomez since her career began. Gomez later signed with the WME and Brillstein companies to manage her career. The news of Gomez's new management also fueled rumors that her recording contract with Hollywood Records was ending, and that Gomez was searching for a new label. Gomez surprise released her new single "The Heart Wants What It Wants" (2014) on November 6, and confirmed after months of speculation that she would be releasing a compilation album as a means of finishing out her contract with Hollywood Records. The single went on to become her second top ten hit on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and sold over one million copies in the United States. Gomez released her first solo compilation album, For You (2014), on November 24. The album received minimal promotion, and entered the Billboard 200 at number twenty-four. Gomez officially signed a recording contract with Interscope Records in December 2014.
2015-present: Revival and upcoming projects
While working on her second studio album, Gomez collaborated with Zedd for his single "I Want You to Know" (2015), released as the lead single from his sophomore album on February 23. The single became Gomez's fourth top twenty hit on the Billboard Hot 100, and received a platinum certification from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). Gomez became the face of hair-care brand Pantene in 2015. Gomez released "Good for You" (2015) as the lead single from her second studio album on June 22, 2015; the single features rapper ASAP Rocky. The song sold 179,000 copies in its first week of release alone, and went on to became her first top five hit on the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States. The single became Gomez's biggest radio hit at the time, and was her first to top the Mainstream Top 40 chart. In August 2015, Gomez appeared in the documentary Unity among many other actors and actresses. She reprised the role of Mavis in Hotel Transylvania 2, which was released on September 25; the film was met with a positive critical and commercial reception upon its release.
Gomez released her second studio album, Revival (2015), on October 9, 2015. The album was met with a positive reaction from critics, who praised the album's production and lyrical content. The album debuted at number one on the Billboard 200, with first week sales of 117,000 equivalent album units. This remains Gomez's highest first week sales to date. "Same Old Love" (2015) was released as the album's second single, and went on to become her biggest radio hit to date, topping the Mainstream Top 40 chart. The single peaked at number five on the Billboard Hot 100, tying with "Good for You" as her highest charting effort. "Hands to Myself" was the album's third single, which became her third consecutive number one on the Mainstream Top 40 chart. This made Gomez one of only six female artists to have three singles from the same album top the chart.
Gomez had a cameo role in the film The Big Short, which was released on December 11 by Paramount Pictures. She was the musical guest on the January 23, 2016 episode of Saturday Night Live, with host Ronda Rousey.
Gomez embarked on her worldwide Revival Tour (2016) on May 6. Gomez claimed that the tour would focus solely on her as an artist, thus features less choreography and effects as her previous tour. Gomez had a supporting role in the comedy film Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising; she portrayed the president of a sorority. She starred in the drama film The Fundamentals of Caring, alongside Paul Rudd, which was premiered at the Sundance Film Festival on January 29, 2016. It is scheduled for wide release on June 24. She is also set to star in In Dubious Battle with James Franco; the film has no official release date. Gomez will also be the executive producer of the Netflix miniseries 13 Reasons Why, based on the 2007 novel of the same name. Gomez has began working on her third studio album while touring, and added a new song titled "Feel Me" to the setlist of her Revival Tour. The album, which currently has no title or release date, will be her second release through Interscope Records.
In 2016 Charlie Puth and Gomez collaborated on a duet called "We Don't Talk Anymore," as part of Puth's debut studio album Nine Track Mind. The duet peaked at number 48 on the Billboard Hot 100 so far.
Gomez is described as a pop singer, showcasing the genre in form of dance-pop and incorporating EDM into her sound. She is also noted to feature prominent influences of Eurodance, being also described as Europop. As her career has been progressing, she has been experimenting with a large number of music genres. While her debut album with The Scene was inspired in electronic rock and pop rock, her following records with the band opted for a more electropop-focused and dance-pop sound. A Year Without Rain noted a Eurodance feel and When the Sun Goes Down went into a more electro-disco- and teen pop-influenced musical direction. Her debut solo record Stars Dance was rooted in the EDM-pop genre, and Gomez herself described it as "baby dubstep", featuring elements from multiple genres as electronic, disco, techno or dancehall. Her songs "The Heart Wants What It Wants" and "Good for You" have been described as "minimalistic" and "grown-up", transitioning her sound into adult pop.
Early in her music career, Gomez named Bruno Mars as her main influence, saying that she was influenced in everything he does from "his style of music, his style in general, the way he performs, the way he carries himself." Gomez also cites Christina Aguilera, Britney Spears, Beyonc, Rihanna and Jennifer Lopez as influences. Gomez also stated that she finds English singer Cheryl Cole as a significant influence to her artistry, "She made me feel better, I just love her music and I think she's a really nice person. She's been through a lot, but she carries herself with a lot of class and I love that." Gomez's debut solo album Stars Dance (2013) was prominently influenced by Spears, singer-songwriter Taylor Swift, and American electronic producer Skrillex. Her sophomore album, Revival (2015), was mainly influenced by Christina Aguilera's album Stripped (2003) and singer Janet Jackson.
Gomez has ventured into other businesses and industries. Gomez was part of Sears's back-to-school fashion ad campaign, as part of which Gomez was featured in the television commercials. In August 2009, Gomez also hosted the "Sears Arrive Air Band Casting Call" - to select five people for the first-ever "Sears Air Band", which performed at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards. Gomez was a spokesperson for Borden Milk, and was featured in the campaign's print and television ads. From 2010 to 2014, Gomez released her own clothing line through retailer K-Mart, Dream Out Loud by Selena Gomez. It was announced on July 30, 2012, that Gomez would partner with Case-Mate as part of its upcoming "Right Case, Right Occasion" marketing campaign. Gomez has released two fragrances, Selena Gomez by Selena Gomez in 2012 and Vivamore by Selena Gomez in 2013. In 2013, Gomez created her own collection of nail polish colors for Nicole by OPI. From 2013-2015, Gomez was a spokesperson and partner for Neo by Adidas. In 2015, Gomez signed $3 million endorsement deal with Pantene. In 2016, Gomez appeared in ads for Coca-Cola's "Share a Coke" campaign. Gomez appeared in advertisements for the campaign and lyrics from two of Gomez's songs will be featured on packages of Coke products nationwide. Gomez appeared in a fashion campaign for luxury brand Louis Vuitton in June 2016.
Gomez was involved in the UR Votes Count campaign which encouraged teenagers to learn more about 2008 presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain. In October 2008, Gomez participated in St. Jude's Children's Hospital "Runway For Life" benefit. That same month, Gomez was named UNICEF's spokesperson for the Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF campaign, which encouraged children to raise money on Halloween to help children around the world. She said that she was "extremely excited" to "encourage other kids to make a difference in the world." In August 2009, a 17-year-old Gomez became the youngest UNICEF ambassador ever, passing fellow songstress Hayley Westenra, who was 18 when she was chosen. In her first official field mission, Gomez traveled to Ghana on September 4, 2009 for a week to witness first-hand the stark conditions of vulnerable children that lack vital necessities including clean water, nourishment, education and healthcare. Gomez explained, during an interview with Associated Press correspondents, that she wanted to use her star power to bring awareness to Ghana: "That's why I feel very honored to have a voice that kids listen to and take into consideration [...] I had people on my tour asking me where IS Ghana, and they Googled it [...] and because I went there, they now know where Ghana is. So it's pretty incredible." Gomez said, of her role as ambassador, that "Every day 25,000 children die from preventable causes. I stand with UNICEF in the belief that we can change that number from 25,000 to zero. I know we can achieve this because every moment, UNICEF is on the ground providing children with the lifesaving assistance needed to ensure zero becomes a reality."
Selena became the ambassador of DoSomething.org after being involved with the charity Island Dog, which helped dogs in Puerto Rico. She began her involvement while filming Wizards of Waverly Place: The Movie in Puerto Rico. Gomez is also involved with the charity RAISE Hope For Congo, an initiative of the Enough Project, which helps raise awareness about conflict minerals and violence against Congolese women. Gomez was named spokesperson for UNICEF's 2009 Trick-or-Treat campaign, for the second year in a row. Gomez, who raised over $700,000 for the charity in 2008, stated that she hopes to be able to raise 1 million dollars in 2009. Gomez participated in a celebrity auction and hosted a live web cast series on Facebook in support of the Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF campaign. From 2009 to 2012, Gomez was involved in "Disney's Friends for Change", an organization which promoted "environmentally-friendly behavior", and she appeared in its public service announcements. Gomez, Demi Lovato, Miley Cyrus, and the Jonas Brothers, as the ad hoc musical team "Disney's Friends For Change", recorded the charity single "Send It On", all of whose proceeds were accepted into the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund. It debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 at No. 20.
Gomez returned as the UNICEF spokesperson for the 60th anniversary of Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF campaign in 2010. In celebration of the organization's 60th anniversary, Gomez and her team, The Scene, held a benefit concert donating all proceeds to the campaign.
In February 2011, Gomez traveled to Chile to witness and meet with the families of UNICEF's supported program, "Programa Puente", which helped families better understand, and developed skills to deal effectively with, early childhood education, development and other issues related to raising children. From her field trip experience, Gomez said, "UNICEF is helping Chilean families get out of poverty, prevent violence within the home and promote education. To witness first hand these families' struggles, and also their hope and perseverance, was truly inspiring." In March 2011, Gomez participated in the UNICEF Tap Project's "Celebrity Tap Pack" limited-edition, custom-made water bottles which featured tap water from the homes of each celebrity advocate, in order to raise funds and increase profile for the clean water and sanitation programs. She was also featured in videos that promoted the campaign. In April 2012, Gomez was named ambassador to the Ryan Seacrest Foundation. She was also a spokesperson for State Farm Insurance and appeared in numerous television commercials, which aired on the Disney Channel, to raise awareness of being a safe driver.
In June 2016, Gomez signed an open letter to stop gun violence, created by Billboard.
Gomez was the lead singer of the band, Selena Gomez & the Scene, releasing three studio albums and one remix album. She has released two studio albums, one EP and one compilation album in her solo career.