Demetria Devonne Lovato (/ləˈvɑːtoʊ/ lə-VAH-toh; born August 20, 1992) is an American singer, songwriter, and actor. After appearing on the children's television series Barney & Friends (2002–2004), Lovato rose to prominence for their role as Mitchie Torres in the musical television film Camp Rock (2008) and its sequel Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam (2010); the former film's soundtrack contained "This Is Me", Lovato's debut single and duet with Joe Jonas, which peaked at number nine on the Billboard Hot 100.
Demetria Devonne Lovato was born on August 20, 1992, in Albuquerque, New Mexico, to former Dallas Cowboys cheerleader Dianna De La Garza (née Lee Smith) and engineer and musician Patrick Martin Lovato. Demi has an older sister named Dallas; a younger maternal half-sister, actress Madison De La Garza; and an older paternal half-sister, Amber, whom they first spoke to when they were twenty years old.
Lovato was brought up in Dallas, Texas. They began playing the piano at age seven and guitar at ten, when they began dancing and acting classes. In 2002, Lovato began their acting career on the children's television series Barney & Friends, portraying the role of Angela. They appeared on Prison Break in 2006 and on Just Jordan the following year. Due to their acting career, Lovato was bullied and consequently requested homeschooling, through which they eventually received their high-school diploma.
From 2007 to 2008, Lovato played Charlotte Adams on the Disney Channel short series As the Bell Rings. Lovato auditioned for the channel's television film Camp Rock and series Sonny with a Chance during 2007 and got both roles. Lovato played the lead character, aspiring singer Mitchie Torres, in Camp Rock. The film premiered on June 20, 2008, to 8.9 million viewers. Gillian Flynn of Entertainment Weekly wrote that Lovato's acting skills were underwhelming and that they have "the knee-jerk smile of someone who is often told [they have] a great smile". The film's soundtrack was released three days earlier; however, the music was considered less current than that of High School Musical. It debuted at number three on the US Billboard 200, with 188,000 units sold in its first week of release. Lovato sang four songs on the soundtrack, including "We Rock" and "This Is Me". The latter, Lovato's debut single, debuted at number 11 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and later peaked at number nine, marking their first entry on the chart. That summer, Lovato signed with Hollywood Records and began their Demi Live! Warm Up Tour before the release of their debut studio album, and appeared on the Jonas Brothers' Burnin' Up Tour.
"Skyscraper", the lead single from Unbroken, was released on July 12, and was noted for its messages of self-worth and confidence. It debuted at number ten in the US, selling 176,000 downloads during the first week of release, becoming Lovato's highest first week sales at the time. The song also became Lovato's highest-charting single since "This Is Me" peaking at number nine in July 2008, and it also debuted at number two on the Hot Digital Songs chart. "Skyscraper" received the Best Video With a Message award at the September 2012 MTV Video Music Awards, and the track was also certified Platinum by the RIAA and Silver by the BPI. The album's second and final single, "Give Your Heart a Break", was released on January 23, 2012, and later peaked on the Billboard Hot 100 at number 16, making Lovato's fourth highest-charting song to that point. It peaked at number 12 on the US Adult Top 40 chart and number one on the US Pop Songs chart. It also became the longest climb by a female artist to reach No. 1 in the Pop Songs chart history, until 2019, when Halsey's feature on "Eastside" broke the record. The song was certified triple Platinum in the US; As of October 2014 , "Give Your Heart a Break" has sold 2.1 million digital copies. Billboard has ranked the song as Lovato's best, calling it "timeless".
Lovato's debut studio album, Don't Forget, was released on September 23, 2008 and was met with generally positive reviews from critics. Michael Slezak of Entertainment Weekly said, "Demi Lovato might satisfy [their] 'tween fans but [they] won't be winning any rockers over with Don't Forget". The album debuted at number two in the US, with first-week sales of 89,000 copies. Ten of its songs were co-written with the Jonas Brothers.
For a few months, Lovato dated singer Trace Cyrus in 2009. They briefly dated their Camp Rock co-star Joe Jonas in 2010. Lovato then had an on-again, off-again relationship with actor Wilmer Valderrama; they first began dating in August 2010 and ended their relationship in June 2016. Lovato later dated UFC athlete Guilherme Bomba Vasconcelos from January to July 2017. In late 2018, Lovato briefly dated designer Henry Levy until March 2019. They dated model Austin Wilson for a few months until late 2019. On July 23, 2020, Lovato announced their engagement to actor Max Ehrich. They had begun dating four months earlier, but eventually called off the engagement that September.
Throughout their career, Lovato has donated to and partnered with various charities. In 2009, they recorded the theme song "Send It On" with the Jonas Brothers, Miley Cyrus, and Selena Gomez for the Disney's Friends for Change program. The song debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 at number 20, and its proceeds were directed to environmental charities through the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund. Lovato and Joe Jonas recorded the song "Make a Wave" for the charity in March 2010. In August 2013, they traveled to Kenya for their 21st birthday to participate in a program of the international charity organization Free the Children. They returned to Kenya in January 2017 with We Movement to work with women and children. In March 2017, as a celebration of their five-year anniversary of sobriety, Lovato donated money to Los Angeles-based charities specializing in animal, LGBT and adoption rights. In August 2017, Lovato donated $50000 to Hurricane Harvey relief and started fund with Nick Jonas, DNCE and their then-manager Phil McIntyre. Lovato's second limited edition activewear collection with Fabletics, released in June 2020, pledged up to $125,000 in proceeds to COVID-19 pandemic relief efforts. As spokesperson for the Join the Surge Campaign, DoSomething.Org and Joining the Surge by Clean & Clear, they have encouraged fans to take action in their own communities.
Lovato has also raised awareness for health and mental health issues. For their efforts to fight mental health stigma, they were honored with the Artistic Award of Courage by The Jane and Terry Semel Institute. In May 2009, Lovato was named an Honorary Ambassador of Education by the American Partnership For Eosinophilic Disorders. In December 2011, Lovato condemned the Disney Channel for airing episodes of Shake It Up and So Random! in which characters joked about eating disorders. The network subsequently issued an apology and removed the episodes from their broadcast and video on demand services. In May 2013, they were cited for their dedication to mentoring teens and young adults with mental-health problems at a National Children's Mental Health Awareness Day hosted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration in Washington. Lovato has paid treatment costs for mentally-ill patients through the Lovato Treatment Scholarship Program, named for their late father, since 2013. Their speech at the 2016 Democratic National Convention focused on raising awareness for mental health. In September 2017, Lovato was named a Global Citizen ambassador for championing the mental health of thousands of children displaced within Iraq and other communities" and helped "fund the expansion of a Save the Children pilot program, Healing and Education through the Arts, to violence-scarred young people living around Kirkuk and Saladin Governorate, Iraq". In April 2020, Lovato joined a mental health campaign in support of Irish charity SpunOut.i.e. to launch The Mental Health Fund which is raising money for mental health support.
Lovato's second studio album, Here We Go Again, was released on July 21, 2009; they described its acoustic style as similar to that of John Mayer. The album received favorable reviews from critics who appreciated its enjoyable pop-rock elements, echoing reviews of Don't Forget. Lovato's first number-one album, it debuted atop the Billboard 200 with first-week sales of 108,000 copies, and was later certified Gold. The album's lead single and title track, "Here We Go Again", debuted at number 59 on the Billboard Hot 100, and managed to peak at number 15, becoming Lovato's highest-charting solo single to that point. The song also peaked at number 68 on the Canadian Hot 100 and number 38 in New Zealand. "Here We Go Again" was additionally certified Platinum in the US. The album's second and final single, "Remember December" failed to match the success of its predecessor, but peaked at number 80 on the UK Singles Chart. Lovato made their first 40-city national concert tour, Live in Concert, in support of Here We Go Again. The tour, from June 21 to August 21, 2009, had David Archuleta, KSM, and Jordan Pruitt as opening acts. Lovato and Archuleta received the Choice Music Tour award at the 2009 Teen Choice Awards. Lovato was featured alongside the Jonas Brothers, Miley Cyrus, and Selena Gomez on the song "Send It On", a charity single and the theme song for Disney's Friends for Change. All proceeds from the song were donated to environmental charities supported by the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund. Lovato recorded "Gift of a Friend" as a soundtrack for the Disney movie Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure. The movie was released in October 2009.
In 2010, Lovato and Joe Jonas recorded "Make a Wave" as the second charity single for Disney's Friends for Change. In May of that year, Lovato guest-starred as Hayley May, a teenager with schizophrenia, in the sixth-season Grey's Anatomy episode, "Shiny Happy People". Although critics praised their versatility, they were underwhelmed by their acting and felt that their appearance was designed primarily to attract viewers. Later that year, they headlined their first international tour, Demi Lovato: Live in Concert, and joined the Jonas Brothers: Live in Concert tour as a guest.
Lovato is politically active, often speaking out against gun violence and racial injustice. In January 2010, they were featured in a public-service announcement for Voto Latino to promote the organization's "Be Counted" campaign ahead of the 2010 United States Census. In June 2016, Lovato signed an open letter from Billboard urging gun reform and performed at the March for Our Lives anti-gun violence rally in Washington, D.C. in March 2018. In May 2020, Lovato condemned police brutality and the officers responsible for the murder of George Floyd and the shooting of Breonna Taylor. They shared resources to support the Black Lives Matter movement and black-owned businesses and denounced white privilege.
Lovato released their third studio album, Unbroken, on September 20, 2011. Begun in July 2010, the album experimented with R&B and featured less pop rock than their first two albums. Lyrically, Unbroken encompassed more mature themes as opposed to Lovato's previous works, with some songs focusing on their personal struggles. The album and its stylistic change received mixed reviews from critics, who praised Lovato's vocals and saw a growth in their musicianship due to the songs focusing on their struggles, but criticized the album's "party songs" and found the music to be more generic than their previous efforts. Unbroken debuted at number four in the US, selling 97,000 copies in its first week of release; it was later certified Gold.
Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam, with Lovato reprising their role as Mitchie Torres, premiered on September 3, 2010. Critics were ambivalent about the film's plot, and it has a 40-percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. However, Lovato's performance was called "dependably appealing" by Jennifer Armstrong of Entertainment Weekly. The film premiered to eight million viewers, the number-one cable television movie of the year by the number of viewers. Its accompanying soundtrack was released on August 10 with Lovato singing nine songs, including "Can't Back Down" and "Wouldn't Change a Thing". The soundtrack debuted at number three on the Billboard 200, with first-week sales of 41,000 copies. Jonas Brothers: Live in Concert was reworked to incorporate Lovato and the rest of the film's cast; it began on August 7, two weeks later than planned. The Sonny with a Chance soundtrack was released on October 5; Lovato sang on four tracks, including "Me, Myself and Time". It debuted (and peaked) at number 163 on the Billboard 200, their lowest-selling soundtrack. In November 2010, Lovato announced their departure from Sonny with a Chance, putting their acting career on hiatus and ending the series; they later said that they would return to acting when they felt confident doing so. Their departure led to the actual spin-off series So Random! with the Sonny cast, featuring sketches from the former show-within-a-show. The series was canceled after one season.
Lovato is a vocal anti-bullying advocate. In October 2010, they served as spokesperson for the anti-bullying organization PACER and appeared on America's Next Top Model to speak out against bullying. Lovato participated in the "A Day Made Better" school advocacy campaign and has supported DonateMyDress.org, Kids Wish Network, Love Our Children USA, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and City of Hope. In April 2012, they became a contributing editor of Seventeen magazine, describing their personal struggles to its female teenage readers. In September 2012, Lovato was named the ambassador of Mean Stinks, a campaign focused on eliminating bullying by girls.
Lovato had suffered from anorexia nervosa (binge type), self-harm, and being bullied before they went into rehab at age 18. On November 1, 2010, Lovato withdrew from the Jonas Brothers: Live in Concert tour, entering a treatment facility for "physical and emotional issues". It was reported that they decided to enter treatment after punching backup dancer Alex Welch; their family and management team convinced them they needed help. Lovato said they took "100 percent, full responsibility" for the incident. On January 28, 2011, they completed in-patient treatment at Timberline Knolls and returned home. Lovato acknowledged that they had bulimia, had cut themself, and had been "self-medicating" with drugs and alcohol "like a lot of teens do to numb their pain". They added that they "basically had a nervous breakdown" and had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder during their treatment. They later admitted to having used cocaine several times a day and smuggled cocaine onto airplanes.
In 2021, Lovato said they had initially accepted their bipolar diagnosis and shared this in 2011 because it explained their erratic behavior, but later came to believe it was inaccurate: "I was acting out when I was 18 for many reasons, but I know now from multiple different doctors that it was not because I was bipolar. I had to grow the fuck up." Lovato also stated that the diagnosis has been revised to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
On their 18th birthday, Lovato purchased a Mediterranean-style house in Los Angeles for their family; however, Lovato decided to live in a "sober house" in Los Angeles after leaving rehab in January 2011. In September 2016, Lovato also purchased a Laurel Canyon home in Los Angeles for $8.3 million, which they sold in June 2020 for $8.25 million. In September 2020, Lovato purchased a Studio City home in Los Angeles for $7 million.
In April 2011, Lovato became a contributing editor for Seventeen magazine, penning an article that described their struggles. In March 2012, MTV aired a documentary, Demi Lovato: Stay Strong, about their rehab and recovery. They began work on their fourth studio album the following month. In January 2013, it was reported that Lovato had been living in a sober-living facility in Los Angeles for over a year because they felt it was the best way to avoid returning to their addiction and eating disorder. Lovato celebrated the five-year anniversary of their sobriety on March 15, 2017.
After signing with Hollywood Records, Lovato released their pop rock debut album, Don't Forget (2008), which debuted at number two on the Billboard 200. Its follow-up, Here We Go Again (2009), debuted at number one in the U.S., while its title track reached number 15 on the Hot 100. Lovato's third studio album, Unbroken (2011), experimented with pop and R&B and spawned the U.S. platinum-certified single "Skyscraper". They released their eponymous fourth album in 2013, which debuted at number three on the Billboard 200, and contained the top-ten international hit "Heart Attack". For their fifth and sixth albums, Confident (2015) and Tell Me You Love Me (2017), Lovato infused soul and mature themes; they earned a Grammy Award nomination for Confident, while "Sorry Not Sorry", the lead single from Tell Me You Love Me, became their highest-charting single in the U.S., reaching number six. After a period of hiatus, Lovato released their seventh album, Dancing with the Devil... the Art of Starting Over (2021), which reached number two on the Billboard 200.
On May 11, 2019, Lovato revealed they had signed with a new manager, Scooter Braun. They shared that they "couldn't be happier, inspired and excited to begin this next chapter". In August 2019, it was revealed that Lovato would appear in Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga, a Netflix original film, directed by David Dobkin, based on the song competition of the same name. The film was ultimately released on June 26, 2020 and starred Will Ferrell and Rachel McAdams. This marked Lovato's first acting appearance since their guest role on Glee in 2013 and their first film role since Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam (2010). Later in the month, after teasing that they had been working on a new project, Lovato revealed their return to television with a recurring guest role in the final season of the NBC sitcom Will & Grace, where they played Will's surrogate. Lovato announced a talk show, Pillow Talk With Demi Lovato, to air on the new video streaming platform Quibi, which has since sold its content to Roku. The yet-to-be-released show is set to consist of ten episodes and will feature candid, unfiltered conversations between Lovato and both expert and celebrity guests, exploring topics such as: activism, body positivity, gender identity, sex, relationships, social media and wellness.
Lovato's fourth studio album, Demi, was released on May 14, 2013. The album features influences of synthpop and bubblegum pop and was met with generally positive reviews from music critics. Although Jon Carmichael of The New York Times found Lovato's transition fun, according to Entertainment Weekly it signified a less mature image. The album debuted at number three in the US, with first-week sales of 110,000 copies, the best-selling debut week of Lovato's discography. It was also successful internationally, charting in the top ten in New Zealand, Spain and the UK. The album has been certified Gold in the US.
Lovato's work as an LGBT rights activist has been recognized by GLAAD, which awarded them the Vanguard Award in 2016. When the Defense of Marriage Act was appealed in June 2013, Lovato celebrated the occasion on social media. Lovato has previously affirmed their support for the LGBT community: "I believe in gay marriage, I believe in equality. I think there's a lot of hypocrisy with religion. But I just found that you can have your own relationship with God, and I still have a lot of faith." In May 2014, Lovato was named lead performer for NYC Pride Week and Grand Marshal of the LA Pride Parade, where they later filmed the music video for "Really Don't Care". Lovato became the face of Human Rights Campaign's America's for Marriage Equality in 2015. In June 2016, Lovato participated in a video released by the Human Rights Campaign honoring the victims of the Orlando nightclub shooting.
Lovato had no interest in forging a relationship with their birth father, Patrick, after his divorce from Lovato's mother. They have been vocal about their abusive and strained relationship with him and once stated, "He was mean, but he wanted to be a good person. And he wanted to have his family, and when my mom married my stepdad, he still had this huge heart where he said, 'I'm so glad that [he's] taking care of you and doing the job that I wish I could do'." After Patrick died of cancer on June 22, 2013, Lovato said that he had been mentally ill, and in his honor they created the Lovato Treatment Scholarship Program.
Lovato announced their Neon Lights Tour (including a Canadian leg) on September 29, 2013, which began February 9, 2014 and ended May 17. On October 21, they released their cover of "Let It Go" for the Disney film Frozen, which was released in theaters on November 27. Lovato's cover was described as more "radio friendly" and "pop" as compared to the original by Idina Menzel. Lovato's cover appears in the film's credits, and the song was promoted as the single for the film's soundtrack. The song peaked at number 38 on the Billboard Hot 100, spending 20 weeks on the chart. It was certified double Platinum by the RIAA. On May 18, 2014, "Somebody to You" featuring Lovato was released as the fourth single from The Vamps' debut album, Meet the Vamps.
From 2014 to 2016, Lovato was the face of the Skechers footwear brand. They partnered with Shazam on the Demi World Tour in 2014. In addition, they became the first-ever brand ambassador of the makeup brand N.Y.C. New York Color in 2015. That year, Lovato promoted The Radiant Collection for Tampax for "empowering females of all ages to stay fearless and wear what they want anytime of the month." In June 2016, Lovato partnered with streaming service Tidal to livestream the first date of their Future Now Tour with Nick Jonas. Since 2017, Lovato has released activewear collections with the women's athleisure brand Fabletics to raise money for organizations such as United Nations Foundation's Girl Up campaign and COVID-19 relief efforts. Also in 2017, they performed at a dinner hosted by the jewelry company, Bulgari, to celebrate the opening of the brand's Fifth Avenue flagship store in New York City.
On June 11, Lovato released an e-book, Demi, on iBooks. They planned to appear in at least six episodes of the fifth season of Glee, but they only appeared in four. They played Dani, a struggling New York-based artist who befriends Rachel Berry (Lea Michele) and Santana Lopez (Naya Rivera) and interacts with fellow newcomer Adam Lambert's character. Lovato debuted in the season's second episode, which aired on October 3, and made their final appearance in March 2014. On November 19, they released a book, Staying Strong: 365 Days a Year, which topped The New York Times bestseller list. They then agreed to write a memoir, which has yet to be released. While on The X Factor, their final act (Rion Paige) finished fifth.
On May 29, Lovato announced the Demi World Tour, which marks their fourth concert tour (and first world tour, covering 25 cities), and second in support of their album Demi. In November 2014, Lovato opened the UK shows on Enrique Iglesias' Sex and Love Tour. They also worked with their longtime friend Nick Jonas on a song for his self-titled album called "Avalanche," released November 2014. Lovato was featured on "Up", the second single from Olly Murs' fourth studio album, Never Been Better.
Lovato announced their skincare line called Devonne by Demi would be available in December 2014. They released a music video for their song "Nightingale" on December 24, 2014.
Lovato became a brand ambassador for the JBL audio company in 2017 and for the mug company Ember. in 2018, they starred in CORE Hydration's "Finding Balance" campaign, after becoming an initial investor of CORE Hydration after first discovering the brand in 2015. Jaguar, JBL, Lyft, Ferrari, TikTok and Samsung products have been featured in Lovato's music videos. They also appeared in commercials for Skechers, Acuvue, Apple, and Fabletics. In 2019, Dior used Lovato's song "Only Forever" from their album Tell Me You Love Me in a series of commercials and social media posts to promote the brands "Dior Forever" makeup collection. Since September 2020, Lovato has served as a Mental Health Spokesperson for the online and mobile therapy company Talkspace. In March 2021, Dior used Lovato's song "Confident" to promote their new Dior Forever foundation in a series of social media campaigns.
In January 2019, the album was certified platinum by the RIAA, and has sold one million copies in the United States. In May 2015, Billboard revealed that Lovato was in the process of starting an "artist-centric" new record label, Safehouse Records, of which they would be co-founder and co-owner. The label would be a partnership between Lovato, Nick Jonas, and their then-manager Phil McIntyre, and will form part of a new collaborative arrangement with record label Island. Confident was released through the new venture deal. This would be Lovato's second multi-label venture of their career; they were formerly part of Jonas Records, a UMG/Hollywood/Jonas Brothers partnership, which is now defunct.
Lovato released the lead single from Confident titled "Cool for the Summer" on July 1, 2015. The song attracted attention for its bi-curious theme and was a commercial success, peaking at number eleven on the Billboard Hot 100 and being certified double platinum in the U.S. On September 18, 2015, the title track "Confident" was released as the album's second single and peaked at number 21 on the Hot 100. On October 17, 2015, Lovato performed a "Cool for the Summer" and "Confident" medley, as well as "Stone Cold" melody on Saturday Night Live during the series' forty-first season. Lovato was also featured on the re-release of "Irresistible", the fourth single from Fall Out Boy's sixth studio album American Beauty/American Psycho. The same month, they signed with the major modeling agency, Wilhelmina Models. Lovato released the music video for their R&B-infused song "Waitin for You" featuring rapper Sirah on October 22, 2015. On October 26, 2015, Lovato and Nick Jonas announced that they would be touring together on the Future Now Tour. Lovato was honored with the first-ever Rulebreaker Award on December 11, 2015 at the 2015 Billboard Women in Music event. On March 21, 2016, "Stone Cold" was released as the third and final single from Confident. On July 1, 2016, Lovato released a new single titled "Body Say" to promote their tour.
Lovato's fifth album, Confident, was released on October 16, 2015 and received generally positive reviews from music critics. The album debuted at number two on the Billboard 200 with first-week sales of 98,000 copies. During the album's production, Lovato commented: "I've already started recording for my new album, and I have plans to record during the tour. The sound just evolves into everything that I've been and everything that I want to become." They further stated, "I've never been so sure of myself as an artist when it comes down to confidence, but not only personal things, but exactly what I want my sound to be and what I know I'm capable of and this album will give me the opportunity to show people what I can really do."
Lovato started training in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, a martial art derived from jujutsu, in 2016. They are ranked as a blue belt as of 2019 .
In February 2017, Lovato executive-produced a documentary, Beyond Silence, which follows three individuals and their experiences with mental illnesses including bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, depression, and anxiety. Lovato featured in Cheat Codes' song "No Promises", released in March 2017, and Jax Jones's "Instruction" along with Stefflon Don, released in June 2017. In 2017, Lovato was included in Time magazine's annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world. On May 8, 2017, they announced a collaboration with sportswear line Fabletics to support the United Nations' initiative, Girl Up.
Lovato has sold over 24 million records in the United States and has also received numerous accolades, including an MTV Video Music Award, 14 Teen Choice Awards, five People's Choice Awards, two Latin American Music Awards, a Guinness World Record, and was included on the Time 100 annual list in 2017. An activist for several social causes, Lovato's struggles with an eating disorder and substance abuse have been well-documented by the media, in response to which they published a book, Staying Strong: 365 Days a Year (2013), and released the documentaries Demi Lovato: Simply Complicated (2017) and Demi Lovato: Dancing with the Devil (2021).
Lovato identifies as a feminist. In a 2017 interview with Dolly magazine, they explained that "Feminism ... doesn't have to mean burning bras and hating men" but instead "standing up for gender equality and trying to empower our youth. And showing women that you can embrace your sexuality and you deserve to have confidence and you don't need to conform to society's views on what women should be or how you should dress. So, I think it is just about supporting other women and empowering other women." In May 2017, Lovato partnered with Fabletics to create a limited edition activewear collection for the United Nations Foundation's Girl Up campaign to fund programs for "the world's most marginalized adolescent girls".
In July 2017, Lovato released "Sorry Not Sorry" as the lead single from their sixth studio album, which became their highest-charting song in New Zealand and the United States at number six as well as Australia at number eight. It also became their best-selling single in the US for its 5x Platinum certification by RIAA. The album, titled Tell Me You Love Me, was released on September 29 and debuted at number three on the US Billboard 200 with first-week sales of 78,000 copies. It received positive reviews from music critics and became Lovato's first album to be certified Platinum in the US. On October 17, Lovato released Demi Lovato: Simply Complicated on YouTube, a documentary focusing on their career and personal struggles. It was nominated for "Best Music Documentary" at the 2018 MTV Movie & TV Awards. In October 2017, Lovato announced the tour dates for the North American leg of their Tell Me You Love Me World Tour, with special guests DJ Khaled and Kehlani. They confirmed European and South American legs of the tour in the following months, and the tour commenced in February 2018.
In November 2017, Lovato released the single "Échame la Culpa" with Puerto Rican singer Luis Fonsi. Lovato performed at the March for Our Lives anti-gun violence rally in Washington, D.C. on March 24, 2018. In May, Lovato was featured on Christina Aguilera's "Fall in Line" and Clean Bandit's "Solo". The latter became Lovato's first number-one song in the United Kingdom. On June 21, Lovato released a new single titled "Sober", which they referred to as "my truth" and discusses struggles with addiction and sobriety.
Lovato spoke on the matter in a 2020 interview on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, where they described how their worsened struggles with bulimia in 2018 contributed to their eventual drug overdose as they relapsed three months prior to the incident due to being extremely unhappy. The singer attributes these struggles to the extreme measures that their then-manager, Phil McIntyre, took to control the food they ingested. Lovato further explained that, along with the controlling nature of their management team, they did not provide them with the help they needed: "People checking what my orders at Starbucks were on my bank statements... just little things like that... it led me to being really unhappy and my bulimia got really bad and I asked for help and I didn't receive the help that I needed." Moreover, they recounted that their thought process the night they relapsed after six years of sobriety was as follows, "I'm six years sober and I'm miserable. I'm even more miserable than I was when I was drinking. Why am I sober?" When Lovato confronted their management about these thoughts, the latter responded with, "You're being very selfish, this would ruin things for not just you but for us as well." This made Lovato feel "completely abandoned" due to triggering their underlying abandonment issues with their birth father, and so they "drank [...] that night".
On June 21, 2018, Lovato released the single "Sober" in which they revealed they had relapsed after six years of sobriety. On July 24, 2018, they were rushed to the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles after emergency services were called to their home due to an opioid overdose. Lovato said, "The doctors told me that I had five to 10 minutes, like, if no one had found me, then I wouldn't be here." The singer was reported to be stable and recovering later in the day. They reportedly overdosed on oxycodone laced with fentanyl and was revived with naloxone. Lovato also had multiple health complications stemming from the overdose, including multiple strokes, a heart attack, and brain damage, the latter of which caused lasting vision problems. They were hospitalized for two weeks and subsequently entered an in-patient rehab facility.
In December 2018, Lovato took to Twitter to dispel rumors regarding their overdose and went on to thank their fans, writing, "If I feel like the world needs to know something, I will tell them MYSELF. All my fans need to know is I'm working hard on myself, I'm happy and clean and I'm SO grateful for their support." They added that some day they would "tell the world what exactly happened, why it happened and what my life is like today.. but until I'm ready to share that with people please stop prying and making up shit that you know nothing about. I still need space and time to heal."
Lovato was lauded for their performance of "The Star-Spangled Banner" at Super Bowl LIV in 2020. Patrick Ryan of USA Today commended them for delivering a "flawless performance" and described Lovato as "one of the best vocalists in the industry today". He went on to note that Lovato "hit all the high notes with ease" and ultimately "even added some of [their] own riffs" which he says resulted in "a rendition that was uniquely and phenomenally" their own.
On May 19, 2021, Lovato publicly came out as non-binary and announced their decision to officially change their gender pronouns to they/them, stating "this has come after a lot of healing [and] self-reflective work. I'm still learning [and] coming into myself; I don't claim to be an expert or a spokesperson. Sharing this with you now opens another level of vulnerability for me." The singer had previously come out as non-binary to their family and friends at some point in 2020.
In January 2020, Lovato made their first musical appearance since their hiatus with a performance of single "Anyone" at the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards. The song, which was recorded four days prior to their 2018 drug overdose, was released on iTunes immediately after. On February 2, 2020, Lovato performed "The Star-Spangled Banner" at Super Bowl LIV. On March 6, Lovato released a new single titled "I Love Me". The release was supplemented by both a guest appearance and guest-host role on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. On April 16, they released a collaboration titled "I'm Ready", alongside Sam Smith. A remix of "Lonely Hearts" by JoJo featuring Lovato was released on August 28, 2020. At the 2020 MTV Video Music Awards, Lovato received two nominations for their song "I Love Me", becoming the first artist in VMA history to receive a nomination every year for eight consecutive years. On September 10, Lovato released a collaboration with American DJ, Marshmello, titled "OK Not to Be OK", in partnership with the Hope For The Day suicide prevention movement. On September 30, 2020, they released "Still Have Me" via Twitter. This was later released on digital platforms. On October 14, they released a political ballad titled "Commander in Chief", ahead of the 2020 presidential election. They hosted the 46th People's Choice Awards on November 15, 2020. On November 20, they featured on a song titled "My Reputation" by American rapper, Jeezy, appearing on his album The Recession 2. On December 4, Lovato featured on a remix of the song "Monsters" by rock band All Time Low, alongside Blackbear.
Lovato describes their sexuality as fluid, and has said they are open to finding love with someone of any gender. In July 2020, they labeled themself queer in a social media statement mourning the death of their Glee co-star Naya Rivera. In March 2021, Lovato came out as pansexual and sexually fluid, stating in an interview, "I've always known I was hella queer, but I have fully embraced it." In the same interview, they called themself "just too queer" to date men at the time. They expressed that they feel proud of belonging to what they called the "alphabet mafia", referring to the LGBT community.
In 2021, Lovato revealed that they were raped at age 15 when they were an actor on the Disney Channel, and that the rapist was a co-star whom they had to continue seeing thereafter. The incident contributed to their bulimia and self-harm. They told someone about the incident, but the attacker "never got in trouble for it. They never got taken out of the movie they were in." Lovato claimed they did not recognize the act as rape at the time, since sexual activity was not normalized to them and they were part of the Disney crowd who wore purity rings and were waiting until marriage. However, they decided to share their experience because they believe that everyone should "speak their voice if they can and feel comfortable doing so". Lovato also said they were raped during their 2018 drug overdose, realizing a month after the incident that they were not in a place to consent at that point.
Lovato also stated that their drug and alcohol addiction caused them to not only nearly overdose several times, but later began to impact their ability to perform live and promote their Unbroken album, referencing a 2012 performance on American Idol where they were severely hungover. After their management team had expressed their intentions to leave them, Lovato agreed to resume treatment and counseling for their addiction, leading to their move to a sober-living facility in Los Angeles with roommates and responsibilities to help them overcome their drug and alcohol problems. In 2021, though stating they were done with hard drugs, such as heroin, Lovato revealed they were not completely sober as they drank and smoked marijuana in moderation, something many of their friends openly disagreed with. They decided on moderation as they felt they were setting themself up for failure if they told themself they were never going to drink or smoke again. They say this is because it was drilled into them that "one drink was equivalent to a crack pipe."
In January 2021, it was announced that Lovato would have a lead role in an NBC single-camera comedy television series titled Hungry and serve as its executive producer, which will follow "friends who belong to a food issues group as they help each other look for love, success and the perfect thing in the fridge that's going to make it all better". A pilot for the series, written and produced by Suzanne Martin, was ordered by the network in April of the same year. Lovato was chosen to perform during Celebrating America, the primetime television special marking the Inauguration of Joe Biden. Lovato sang "Lovely Day" by Bill Withers, with appearances from President Joe Biden with his grandson.
A four-part documentary series following Lovato's life premiered on YouTube in March 2021. The series, titled Demi Lovato: Dancing with the Devil, was directed by Michael D. Ratner and showcased their personal and musical journey over the past three years. It was later announced that Lovato's seventh studio album, titled Dancing with the Devil... the Art of Starting Over, would be released on April 2, 2021. Lovato defined it "the non-official soundtrack to the documentary". The album features collaborations with Ariana Grande, Noah Cyrus and Saweetie, as well as the previously released "What Other People Say", a collaboration between Lovato and Australian singer-songwriter Sam Fischer, initially released on February 4, 2021. Dancing with the Devil... the Art of Starting Over debuted at number two on the Billboard 200 with first-week sales of 74,000 album-equivalent units in the US. Prior to the release of the album, Lovato released one of the two title tracks "Dancing with the Devil" on March 26, and "Met Him Last Night" on April 1, 2021. Lovato launched their own podcast series titled 4D with Demi Lovato on May 19, 2021, with new episodes releasing every Wednesday. Confirmed guests for the podcast includes: Chelsea Handler, Jane Fonda, Jameela Jamil, Alok Vaid-Menon, and Glennon Doyle.