Family and Humble Beginnings
On July 22, 1992 Selena Marie Gomez made her first official appearance in Grand Prairie Texas. Selena was the only child born to Ricardo Joel Gomez and Amanda Dawn Cornett. Selena’s mother was only sixteen when she was born, and since she was still finishing school, Selena’s grandparents stepped in to help take care of her.
Selena’s parents divorced when she was five-years-old, and the decision was made for Selena to stay with her mother. Selena’s parents went on to remarry and she has a half-sister from each new union: Gracie Elliot Teefey (June 12, 2013) from her mother’s second marriage to Brian Teefey, and Victoria Gomez (born June 25, 2014) from her father’s marriage to Sarah. Selena is a devoted sister; photos of her and her sisters have floated around the internet showing them laughing, cuddling, playing, and enjoying Disney movie premieres together.
Selena’s family had financial difficulties while she was young. Her mother worked three jobs in order to provide a life for her daughter, and they still struggled to get by. Selena has the utmost respect for her mother and the struggles she faced raising a child at such a young age.
In an interview with The Huffington Post, Selena stated, “(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.”
The Beginning of a Career… or Five
Although she came from humble origins, Selena went on to become a singer, songwriter, actress, fashion designer, and producer. She was first put in the public eye by her grandparents when they entered into local beauty pageants.
She was cheerful and sweet, which helped her at the start of her career. In 2002 she auditioned for the children’s television show “Barney & Friends” and she stayed a part of the main cast through 2004. From 2007 – 2012 Selena played the main character “Alex” in the Emmy Award-winning Disney television show “Wizards of Waverly Place”.
While she was making a name for herself in television, Selena went on to act in several movies, including but not limited to “Another Cinderella Story” (2008), “Princess Protection Program”, “Ramona and Beezus” (2010), “Spring Breakers” (2012), and “The Fundamentals of Caring” (2016). She did voice-over work as Mavis in the “Hotel Transylvania” series of films, and she became so well known that she even made cameos as herself in other movies, such as “The Muppets” in 2011 and “The Big Short” in 2015.
Selena’s love for movies and television grew as her career took off and she decided to encourage other filmmakers by taking on a new role as a producer and opened her own production company called July Moon Productions. In 2017 she was an executive producer for the hit Netflix show “13 Reasons Why” and she went on to produce “Living Undocumented” (2019), “Selena + Chef” (2020), and “This is the Year” (2020).
Finding a Love for Music
While working with Disney Selena found that she had a love for singing. Selena has a mezzo-soprano voice with a three-octave range, so she was given the opportunity to contribute a cover song for the compilation album “Disney Mania 6” in which she sang “Cruella de Vil”. While filming “Another Cinderella Story” she sang three songs for the soundtrack and at age 16 she signed a record contract with Hollywood Records.
She began her music career in earnest in 2008 when she formed her pop-rock band called Selena Gomez & the Scene. They released their first album “Kiss & Tell” with mixed reviews. While the first single failed to gain momentum the second single “Naturally” reached the top 30 on the American charts. In 2010 Selena Gomez & the Scene went on to release their second album “A Year Without Rain”.
The sales were good and the reviews were mostly positive. In 2011 Selena Gomez & the Scene released their final album “When the Sun Goes Down” with mixed reviews, while the album’s second single received a 4x Platinum certification from the RIAA. In 2012 Selena announced that she would be taking some time off from her music career.
Looking for Love with Someone Else
While Selena had been attempting to gain footing in the musical world, she was also attempting to find lasting love. In December of 2010, Selena was seen on a supposed date at an IHOP with Justin Beiber, who is well known for starting his career on YouTube and then skyrocketing to popstar status at a very young age.
Selena claimed that Justin was just one of her best friends, but by January of 2011, they were caught kissing on New Year’s Eve. “Jelena” was an official couple by February 2011 and then the internet exploded. According to RapTV.com, Justin’s fans became particularly obsessed with who he was dating throughout his career. Pre-teen girls all over the internet were accusing Selena of taking their (imagined) boyfriend and sending her death threats. She took the threats in stride and years later stuck up for these same fans when another one of Justin’s girlfriends was dealing with the fallout of being connected to him.
Although the threats of young girls didn’t affect her adversely, she was threatened by a 46-year-old stalker in 2011 and awarded a restraining order due to living in “extreme fear”. Over the years Selena and Justin have had an on again off again relationship, which ultimately ended in 2018. Selena dates, but she is more low key in her relationships.
Back to Work
Despite her claim that she was going to take time off from music, Selena couldn’t make herself stay away and in October 2012 she confirmed that she was working on all new material.
Selena released her first single “Come & Get It’, which reached the top ten entry in Billboard Hot 100. On July 23rd, 2013 “Stars Dance” was her first solo album and it sold 97,000 copies in its first week of sales. The album hit the top ten in its first week and stayed for another week before declining down the charts. While critics had mixed reviews for the album, Selena started her Stars Dance Tour on August 14th, 2013.
She toured North America and Europe and then stopped her tour early, stating she would be taking time to spend with her family. It was later discovered that she had entered a rehab facility, and she confirmed that she was diagnosed with lupus and undergoing chemotherapy.
In November of 2014, Selena surprised everyone when she released a new single, “The Heart Wants What it Wants” and announced that she would be releasing a compilation album as an end of her contract with Hollywood Records.
The single was her second top ten hit on Billboard Hot 100 and sold over one million copies in the United States. On November 24th, 2014 “For You” was released and due to minimal promotion, it failed to receive commercial success. Selena signed a contract with Interscope Records in December 2014.
On June 22nd, 2015 Selena released “Good for You” as the new lead single from her second album “Revival”; the single features American rapper A$AP Rocky and sold 179,000 copies in its first week. It reached the top five on the Billboard Hot 100 and became Selena’s first single to top the Mainstream Top 40 chart. “Revival” was released on October 9th, 2015 and it received glowing reviews.
The album debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 with the first week of sales reaching 117,00 units sold. Selena released “Same Old Love” and “Hands to Myself” as singles from the new album and both topped the Mainstream Top 40 chart. At this time, Selena was only one of six female artists to have three singles from the same album top the charts.
Selena embarked on her “Revival” tour in May of 2016. After touring North America and Asia, Selena then canceled the remainder of her tour due to health reasons.
After her tour’s cancellation, Selena checked herself back into rehab to focus on her mental health. She came back into the public eye at the 2016 American Music Awards, where she was nominated for Artist of the Year and Favorite Pop/Rock Female Artist; she won the latter award.
Selena released “Lose You to Love Me” on October 23rd, 2019 as her first single for her third studio album “Rare”. The very next day she released “Look at Her Now”. “Lose You to Love Me” went from number 15 on the charts to number one by November 9th, 2019. “Rare” was released on January 10th, 2020 and had mostly good reviews, and since it debuted at number one on the Billboard 200, it was Selena’s third consecutive number one album.
Although Selena has worked hard and has been able to break out as a solo artist, she has had several good collaborations throughout the years. Here are some that are certainly worth mentioning.
- As was stated before, “Good For You” with A$AP Rocky was a breakout hit that brought light to a slightly sexier side of Selena. Her smoother vocals were complimented by a rap break that gave the song more of an edge.
- “We Don’t Talk Anymore” with Charlie Puth is certainly a sad truth brought to life through music. According to RapTV.com, CharliePuth and Selena Gomez tried and failed to keep their own relationship a secret, which Charlie called short “but very impactful.” Although the song tugs at the heartstrings, that wasn’t enough to keep it from soaring into the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100.
- “One and the Same” with Demi Lovato is certainly ready to take you back in time. Selena and Demi have been close friends from a very young age. They have worked with one another on television shows, in movies, and collaborated on this song from “Princess Protection Program” (2009). music. It speaks on how although two people can be very different, they can find ways that they compliment each other.
- “Wolves” is an EDM crossover with Marshmello which came out in 2017 It is upbeat as you would expect, but the lyrics and how they are expressed feel sincere. When asked about this, Selena said she had heard a rough cut of the song and said she connected on a personal level and really wanted to work on the project.
- “Fetish” with Gucci Mane brings us right back to that sexier side of Selena that was mentioned before. Selena’s sultry vocals with a rap break that emphasizes the meaning behind the lyrics. This song didn’t receive as much credit as it deserved.
- “Taki Taki” with DJ Snake, Ozuna, and Cardi B was fire. DJ Snake drops a latin beat and it only heats up from there. This was a sexy Latin Songs Chart topper, and the world needs more collaborations like this one.
Selena has done several more collaborations over the years, bringing her own soft and sultry style to them . Recently, It has been announced that Selena’s next collaborative effort will be with the South Korean girl group Blackpink.
As a singer and a songwriter, Selena has shown her love for pop music, EDM, electronic rock, and she has been inspired by many other genres along the way. When asked about her major influences in music, she stated that she was inspired by the work of Bruno Mars, Christina Aguilera, Britney Spears, Beyoncé, Rihanna, Janet Jackson, and Taylor Swift.
Full of Love and Willing to Share
Although Selena is a multi-talented person with a full life, she manages to make it fuller with her philanthropic works. Selena has been working with UNICEF since she was a child. According to RapTV.com, Selena was the youngest UNICEF ambassador of all time at the age of 17.
She spent her time raising money for Saint Jude’s Children’s Hospital, and she also became an ambassador for dosomething.org and she helped teach other kids about the 2008 presidential candidates, Barack Obama and John McCain. Recently Selna has been working with the organization Plus1 to create the Black Equality Fund where 100% of net proceeds from Selena’s Past Life Merch Collection will be donated.
As stated on the website, “This fund is focused on empowering black communities, transforming the criminal justice system, and building equitable and dignified systems for the future.”
In spite of her humble beginnings, Selena has found a way to share her love and her wealth with the world. She has stayed hopeful in spite of angry pre-teens, stalkers, and poor health. Hopefully she will continue to create, collaborate, and give as long as she is able to do so.