- Selena Marie Gomez
July 22, 1992 (age 28)
- Singer, Actor, Businessperson, Fashion Designer, Songwriter
- Mandy Cornett, Ricardo Joel Gomez
Selena Marie Gomez (born July 22, 1992) is an American singer, actress, and producer. After appearing on the children's television series Barney & Friends, she received wider recognition for her portrayal of Alex Russo on the Disney Channel television series Wizards of Waverly Place, which aired for four seasons from 2007 until 2012.
With her former band Selena Gomez & the Scene (from 2008 to 2013), she attained the top-ten on the US Billboard 200, with the band's albums Kiss & Tell (2009), A Year Without Rain (2010) and When the Sun Goes Down (2011). As a solo artist, Gomez has released the two number-one albums Stars Dance (2013) and Revival (2015). She has also earned six top-ten entries on the US Billboard Hot 100: "Come & Get It", "The Heart Wants What It Wants", "Good for You" with ASAP Rocky, "Same Old Love", "Hands to Myself", and "It Ain't Me", with Kygo. In 2017, Billboard reported that Gomez has sold over 7 million albums and 22 million singles worldwide.
Gomez's acting credits include starring roles in the films Another Cinderella Story (2008), Princess Protection Program (2009), Ramona and Beezus (2010), Monte Carlo (2011), Spring Breakers (2012), Getaway (2013) and The Fundamentals of Caring (2016). She voices the character of Mavis in the Hotel Transylvania film franchise. Outside of entertainment, Gomez released her own clothing line through Kmart in 2010 and a self-titled fragrance in 2013. In 2017, she released a limited-edition collection of handbags called the "Selena Grace" that she designed in collaboration with the luxury brand Coach, Inc. She has worked with various charitable organizations for years and became a UNICEF ambassador at the age of seventeen. As of 2018, Gomez is the most followed Instagram user in the world. Gomez has earned numerous awards throughout her career, including an ALMA Award, an American Music Award, an MTV Video Music Award, a People's Choice Award, two Billboard Women in Music Awards, and eighteen 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-Pérez, 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 Quinceañeras, 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. Selena has two half-sisters: Gracie Elliot Teefey was born to Amanda and her second husband Brian Teefey on June 12, 2013; and Victoria "Tori" Gomez was born to Ricardo and his wife Sara Gomez on June 25, 2014. She earned her 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, they had to search for quarters just to get gas for their car. Her mother later recalled that the two would frequently walk to their local dollar store to purchase spaghetti for dinner. 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 her 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.
Gomez 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 & Friends. Both Gomez and Lovato 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 thirteen 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). Gomez made a guest appearance in a 2006 episode of the Disney series The Suite Life of Zack & Cody.
2007–2012: 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 titled Stevie Sanchez 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, Los Angeles, California; 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 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 Mary Santiago in the direct-to-video film Another Cinderella Story, a sequel to A Cinderella Story, starring Hilary Duff and Chad Michael Murray and the second installment of A Cinderella Story series. 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 $300 million 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, featured Gomez as a girl who could hear the thoughts of men. She later announced a film adaptation of the novel Thirteen Reasons Why, in which she was to play a young girl who commits suicide; ultimately, neither film was made, though Gomez would later executive produce a television adaptation of Thirteen Reasons Why.
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 A Year Without Rain 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 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 a 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. Before breaking up, they recorded an unreleased duet titled "Can't Steal Our Love". 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.
2012–2014: 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 a 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 Disney and starred 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. The film was a critical and commercial failure, and earned Gomez a nomination for Worst Actress at the 34th Golden Raspberry Awards.
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. Another single from the album, Slow Down, peaked at number 27 in the Billboard charts. Stars Dance was released on July 23, 2013. It became her first album to debut at number one on the US Billboard 200 chart, where it sold 97,000 copies in its first week. 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 lack of vocal abilities "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. After touring in North America and Europe, 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, which is 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 the auto-immune disease, 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. Even the author of the original autobiographical novel, has disavowed the film. 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 failed to achieve much commercial success, selling 35,506 equivalent album units in the United States during its first week of release, and entered the Billboard 200 at number twenty-four. Gomez officially signed a recording contract with Interscope Records in December 2014.
2015–2016: Revival and mental health
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 second album on February 23. The single became Gomez's fourth top twenty entry on the Billboard Hot 100, and received a platinum certification from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). Gomez became the face of haircare 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 become her first top five single on the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States. The single became 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 top 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. After touring in North America, Asia and Oceania, she cancelled the European and South America leg of the tour in August 2016 due to anxiety, panic attacks and depression caused by her lupus. Gomez had a supporting role in the comedy film Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising; she portrayed the president of a Phi Lambda sorority. Her collaboration with Charlie Puth, "We Don't Talk Anymore" (2016), reached the top ten in the United States. Gomez starred in the drama film The Fundamentals of Caring which was premiered at the Sundance Film Festival on January 29, 2016. The film was released on June 24. It was met with a mixed critical reception. She also starred in In Dubious Battle with James Franco; the film was released on September 3, 2016. Gomez has begun working on her third studio album while touring, and added a new song titled "Feel Me" to the setlist of her Revival Tour. The song leaked online nine months after the first performance. The album, which currently has no title or release date, will be her second release through Interscope Records.
Following the cancellation of her tour, Gomez rechecked into rehab to focus on her mental health and was noticeably absent from social media. She made her first public appearance at the 2016 American Music Awards, where she was nominated for two awards for Favorite Pop/Rock Female Artist and Artist of the Year. She further went on to win the award for Favorite Pop/Rock Female Artist.
2017–present: 13 Reasons Why and upcoming third studio album
On February 4, 2017, she posted a snippet of a new song on her Instagram story. Five days later, Norwegian DJ Kygo posted a snippet of his collaboration with Gomez. Gomez and Kygo confirmed the single titled "It Ain't Me" via their social media accounts a week later, which was released on February 16. The song reached the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
Gomez serves as executive producer for the series adaptation of the novel Thirteen Reasons Why. She shared the first trailer of the show on January 25, 2017, and the show premiered on Netflix on March 31, 2017. Besides the project, Gomez has been working in new music with producers The Futuristics, Jonas Jeberg, Ryan Tedder and songwriters Julia Michaels, Justin Tranter and Jacob Kasher. On May 5, 2017 Gomez launched a countdown on her official website which led to May 18. Many websites speculated about the release of a new single. On May 11, it was confirmed the release of the single "Bad Liar" as the countdown result. On May 18, it was premiered alongside its first music video, which was available for streaming only through Spotify. A second music video was released on YouTube the next month which also teased the follow-up single "Fetish", released on July 13, 2017. In August 2017, Gomez was cast in A Rainy Day in New York, a film directed by Woody Allen for Amazon Studios. Gomez announced she would be donating her salary from the film to the Time's Up initiative. On October 19, 2017, Gomez and EDM producer Marshmello announced that they would be collaborating on a new track titled "Wolves," which was released on October 25.
On May 10, 2018, Gomez released a new single from the 13 Reasons Why Season 2 Soundtrack, titled "Back To You". She once again voiced the character Mavis, in Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation, which was released in July 2018. On July 13, 2018, Los Angeles prosecutors announced that a New Jersey woman had been charged with hacking into email accounts belonging to Gomez posting online images and other material she found there.
Gomez is described as a pop singer, showcasing the genre in form of dance-pop and incorporating EDM into her sound. 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 dance-pop sound. A Year Without Rain noted synth-pop characteristics and When the Sun Goes Down went into a more electropop and electro-disco-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 cited Bruno Mars as an influence, for "his style of music, his style in general, the way he performs, the way he carries himself." Gomez also named Christina Aguilera, Britney Spears, Beyoncé and Rihanna as influences. Gomez has 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 second album, Revival (2015), was mainly influenced by Christina Aguilera's album Stripped (2002) and singer Janet Jackson.
Gomez was raised Catholic. When she was 13, she wanted a purity ring, and her dad went to the church and got it blessed. She stated, "He actually used me as an example for other kids. I'm going to keep my promise to myself, to my family and to God." The singer stopped wearing the ring in 2010. Gomez later stated in 2017 that she did not like the term "religion" and that sometimes it "freaks me out", adding "I don't know if it's necessarily that I believe in religion, as much as I believe in faith and a relationship with God."
Gomez was diagnosed with lupus sometime between 2012 and early 2014. On September 14, 2017, she announced via Instagram that she had withdrawn from public events during the previous few months because she had received a kidney transplant from actress and friend Francia Raisa. During the transplant, Gomez broke an artery. An emergency surgery was conducted to build a new artery using a vein from her leg.
In December 2010, Gomez began dating Justin Bieber. After separating in November 2012, they reconciled a few weeks later before splitting up again in January 2013. They later reconciled for a few months in each of 2013, 2014, and 2015. Late in 2017, it was reported that they had gotten back together again. However, they broke up again in March 2018.
Gomez reportedly started dating The Weeknd in January 2017 and they moved in together temporarily in September 2017 in Greenwich Village, New York. They broke up in October 2017. The Weeknd released My Dear Melancholy, in March 2018, which–according to media outlets–referenced Gomez in several songs.