Popstar Demi Lovato revisits her 2018 overdose in her second documentary, Dancing with the Devil, about her struggles with fame and living with addiction.
By Isabelle Delostrinos
Demi Lovato is taking the spotlight once again with her new documentary, Dancing with the Devil. The popstar aims to share her honest story about her relapse and nearly fatal overdose that took place in July 2018. The trailer features Lovato ready to clear the air about what really happened during the past two years.
Looking back on Lovato’s career, the natural star has had a strong presence in the entertainment industry ever since she was a young girl. After many years competing in beauty pageants during her toddler years, Lovato went on to pursue acting and singing. Her passion for entertainment was very evident, in which her parents decided to homeschool her to prioritize lessons, coaching, and auditions across the country. She eventually landed her very first job on the television series Barney & Friends and her career took off from there.
Lovato later made it to the Disney Channel, where she booked the main role of Mitchie in Camp Rock. Being one of the most successful movies from the Disney Channel Original Movie collections, she was able to keep her momentum and jump start her solo singing career with manager Phil McIntyre. From filming to recording to world tours, press interviews and business meetings, Lovato was thrown into the deep end of the industry while only being a teenager. With the weight of the world on her back, Lovato ended up turning to drugs early in her solo career.
Lovato’s first documentary, Simply Complicated, was released in 2017 when she was 24 years old. During this time, the singer was running on five and half years of sobriety. She talked about her reality during her childhood and Disney Channel days, even stating that she was nervous with her interview because the last one she did, she did while on cocaine. This was the first time fans were able to dive into Lovato’s life and learn about what she went through. Throughout her time on the Disney Channel, her struggles were mostly associated with being a victim of online bullying and struggling with surviving an eating disorder. However, little did fans know about the dangerous drug addictions the the artist was truly battling.
Simply Complicated ends with an intimate nationwide tour, showcasing her hopeful return to the industry. She was also cast as a judge on the reality music competition series The X Factor alongside working to release a new album, approaching her life with a new perspective she had never known. But a year later Lovato fell into a deep relapse, experiencing an overdose that nearly took her life. Fortunately she was able to make it, and worked again to eliminate her demons in rehab.
It is difficult to truly understand what a person is going through behind the scenes. Lovato talks about her ability to conceal and hide what she is struggling with mentally. In the trailer of Dancing with the Devil, family members and close friends express how they were unaware of Lovato’s mental state which kept her from getting the help she needed. Her signals of distress went unnoticed, which led her to suffer by herself. Following the success of her first documentary, Lovato demonstrates that healing is not just a specific stage in a person’s life, but is a process that can last a lifetime.
Dancing with the Devil will be available on her Youtube Channel on March 23rd. The film looks to bring awareness to mental health and the stigmas against addiction and relapsing.
Lovato openly shares her story with hopes to educate the public about approaching those who suffer and how to navigate these challenges with them. The media continues to ignore mental health issues, and if it is publicized its associated with negativity. Lovato works to bring normalcy to the topic, so that future generations will be able to create a safer space for vulnerability surrounding these issues like addiction and depression.
As a fan who has appreciated Lovato’s talents and contributions to pop culture, I hope that this new chapter in her life makes an impact on everyone. We all have something to learn about mental health. Whether it be the effects it can have on a person or how to identify signals for help, there are many things that can be taken away with Demi Lovato’s honest film.
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Ryan Ford '23,