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Selena Gomez Bio
Selena Gomez (born July 22, 1992) is an American actress, singer and fashion designer. Born and raised in Grand Prairie, Texas, she was first featured on the children’s series Barney & Friends in the early 2000s. In 2007, Gomez came to prominence after being cast in the Disney Channel television series Wizards of Waverly Place. She portrayed the starring character Alex Russo until its conclusion in 2012. She formed her band Selena Gomez & the Scene after signing a recording contract with Hollywood Records in 2008; they released the studio albums Kiss & Tell (2009), A Year Without Rain (2010), and When the Sun Goes Down (2011) before beginning a hiatus in 2012.
Gomez entered the film industry with star billings in feature films including Ramona and Beezus (2010), Monte Carlo (2011), and Hotel Transylvania (2012). She embraced an increasingly mature public image with her star billing in the controversial film Spring Breakers (2013) and her debut solo studio album Stars Dance (2013). The latter project debuted at number one on the U.S. Billboard 200 and spawned the Billboard Hot 100 top-ten single “Come & Get It“. Gomez was released from her recording contract with Hollywood Records following the completion of her greatest hits album For You (2014). She subsequently signed with Interscope Records to continue work on her second studio album, Revival (2015). It was preceded by the top-five single “Good for You“.
Beyond entertainment, Gomez has ventured into other endeavors. She has worked with numerous organizations for charitable causes, and has most notably worked with UNICEF for several years. She formed her own production company, July Moon Productions, in 2008. In Fall of 2010, Gomez launched her clothing line “Dream Out Loud” through Kmart; the brand features all material that was made from eco-friendly or recycled material. In 2011, she released a self-titled perfume.
1992–2005: 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 Selena Quintanilla-Perez. 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 only five, with Gomez staying 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 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 “I remember having a lot of macaroni and cheese but my mom never made it seem like it was a big deal. She was really strong around me. Having me at 16 had to have been a big responsibility. My mom 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.
She 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 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 throughout 2002 to 2004, though was let go by the show’s producers 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).
2006–08: Breakthrough with Wizards of Waverly Place
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. The following year, Gomez was given a recurring role on the Disney series Hannah Montana; she made three appearances on the series spanning two seasons. During this time, Gomez filmed pilot episodes for two potential Disney Channel series; the first, titled Arwin!, was a spin-off to the Suite Life series, while the second was a spin-off to the series Lizzie McGuire. She later auditioned for a role in the Disney series Wizards of Waverly Place, ultimately landing the lead role of Alex Russo. Upon receiving the role, Gomez and her mother moved to Hollywood; Lovato and her family also moved with the pair, 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 awards and nominations. Gomez recorded the theme song for the series, titled “Everything is Not What It Seems”.
With Gomez achieving mainstream success, the media began to compare her to fellow Disney star Miley Cyrus; both had a hit series on the network. Various bloggers and sites began to depict the two as rivals, with rumors of a feud between the two continuing for multiple years. Despite this, both parties denied that there was any drama between the two. Following Demi Lovato’s rise to fame through the Disney channel shortly afterwards, the three became referred to as the “Disney girls” and their careers were frequently compared to one another. Forbes magazine later listed Gomez as one of the “Eight Hot Kid Stars to Watch” in 2008. Further attention was drawn to Gomez when it was reported that she was in a relationship with fellow Disney star Nick Jonas. Gomez later appeared in the music video for the song “Burnin’ Up” by the Jonas Brothers. This further fueled rumors of a feud between Gomez and Cyrus, as Nick and Cyrus had previously been a couple. She later 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 in the musical film Another Cinderella Story that same year, portraying an aspiring dancer. 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 the song “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. She was signed a recording contract with Hollywood Records, who had already signed both Cyrus and Lovato.
Gomez launched her own production company, 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, known as What Boys Want, saw Gomez portray a girl who could hear the thoughts of men. She later announced the film Thirteen Reasons Why, which saw Gomez portray a young girl who commits suicide; ultimately, neither film was released.
2009–11: Selena Gomez & the Scene and film career
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‘ single “Whoa Oh! (Me vs. Everyone)“, released as a single in April of that year. The song peaked at number 78 on the Pop 100 chart in the United States. 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 went on to receive a Gold certification from the RIAA and was met with mixed reception, some critics praised the album for its “fun” nature, while others criticized Gomez for her vocal performance. The band’s lead single, “Falling Down“, was released on August 25, 2009 for digital download and had minor commercial success, however the second single “Naturally” was successful, which helped Gomez achieve mainstream music success. During this time, Gomez and Jonas ended their romantic relationship. She was later linked to actor Taylor Lautner for several months, though the two split. Following her split with Lautner, Gomez rekindled her relationship with Jonas; the two split again months later. Gomez was part of Sears‘ back-to-school fashion ad campaign. As part of the campaign 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. She was also a spokesperson for State Farm Insurance and appeared in numerous television commercials, which air on the Disney Channel, to raise awareness of being a safe driver.
In 2009, Gomez signed on to star as one of the two female leads in Ramona and Beezus, a film adaption of the children’s novel series by Beverly Cleary. Gomez stated that she felt no pressure in taking more adult roles, saying “I think I’m fully aware of my audience and I’m still just a kid myself. I wouldn’t do a role I don’t feel comfortable doing or that my audience wouldn’t feel comfortable seeing.” The film premiered on July 23, 2010 and was met with generally positive reviews. Gomez’s band released their second studio album that same year, becoming their second album to be certified by the RIAA. It debuted on the US Billboard 200 at number 4 with sales of a little over 66,000. The album received a mixed to positive reviews where some noticed that Gomez’s vocals contain the Auto-Tune effect. The record’s two singles both receiving moderate success.
After 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 made from recycled or eco-friendly materials. Gomez said that the line reflected her own personal style and described the clothing as being “pretty, feminine, and bohemian”. She was later quoted as saying, “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.” Gomez teamed up with designers Tony Melillo and Sandra Campos, both who have worked with big-name fashion houses. Gomez said of the partnering, “When I met Tony and Sandra, I was instantly comfortable with them and now they are just like family to me … They are so creative and I love how I can just call them up whenever and talk to them about everything, even if it’s just about changing a button … They’ve been so cool about everything.” The brand was manufactured by, Melillo and Campos teamed with New York-based Adjmi Apparel and formed by Adjmi CH Brands LLC, the holding company for the brand.
Gomez appeared in the film Monte Carlo that same year, starring as a girl who’s “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. Gomez appeared in a cameo role for the film The Muppets, and appeared in the Disney series’ So Random! and PrankStars. Selena Gomez & the Scene released their third and final studio album that same year which 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 receiving 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’ 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.” Gomez later released the self-titled perfume.
2012–14: Stars Dance, For You and film projects
Gomez confirmed in January 2012 that she would be taking a musical hiatus, opting rather to focus on her acting career. That year, Wizards of Waverly Place officially ended its run on the Disney channel after four successful seasons. She co-headlined Hotel Transylvania, an animated film, voicing the character of Mavis, alongside Adam Sandler and Steve Buscemi. 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 Harmony Korine film Spring Breakers, alongside 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”.
Despite her earlier statements that she would be focusing on her acting career, Gomez confirmed that she was working on her debut solo studio album. The album’s lead single, “Come & Get It“, went on to become Gomez’s biggest hit to date. It became her first top ten hit in the United States, and her most successful song on pop radio. Her debut album, Stars Dance, was released on July 23, 2013. It became her first album to top the Billboard 200, and gave Gomez the highest first week sales of her career. The album decline on the chart the following week. As of September 2014, the album has sold an estimated 400,000 copies in the United States, making it her lowest selling studio album to date in the country. It is her only studio effort to not receive a certification from the RIAA yet. 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”. The album’s second single, “Slow Down“, failed to match the success of its predecessor. Gomez embarked on her Stars Dance Tour throughout 2013. Gomez filmed a cameo appearance in the film Aftershock, and had a role in the film Getaway, which was panned by film critics and received a negative commercial reception. Selena was nominated for “Worst Actress” for her performance. She also starred in the Disney channel special The Wizards Return: Alex vs. Alex that year. Gomez initially stated she hoped to take a second musical hiatus following the tour, though she later opted to focus on both music and acting.
Gomez canceled the Australian and Asian leg of her Stars Dance Tour in December 2013, stating that she would be taking a hiatus to spend time with her family. The following month, Gomez 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.” In April of that year, it was confirmed that Gomez had fired her mother and stepfather as her managers; the two had managed Gomez since her career began. The decision was purely professional. It was also confirmed that the decision had nothing to do with Gomez’s mother’s disapproval of her relationship with Bieber. 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 starred in the film adaption of the Ric Browde novel While I’m Dead… Feed the Dog opposite Dylan McDermott and Nat Wolff. Titled Behaving Badly, the film received a negative critical and commercial reception. She later appeared in the film Rudderless, the directorial debut of William H. Macy. Gomez recorded a song for the soundtrack of the film, and received praise from the film’s director. The independent film received a mixed reception from critics.
On November 24, 2014, Gomez released a compilation album, For You, to finalize her deal with Hollywood Records. In December 2014, Gomez signed a recording contract with Interscope Records, ending her partnership with Hollywood Records, under which she had released three albums as part of band Selena Gomez & the Scene, one studio album and one best-of album.
As of 2015, Gomez has been working with Dreamlab and the LA-based producer Ruffian on her second solo album. She provided vocals on Zedd’s song “I Want You to Know“, released on February 23, 2015. Gomez released a single titled “Good for You“, featuring rapper ASAP Rocky on June 22, 2015. Her second studio album, Revival, was released on October 9, 2015. It features “Good for You”, her next single “Same Old Love” and the new song “Me & the Rhythm“. Aside from music, Gomez became the face of hair care brand Pantene. 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, 2015. She has a role in the film The Big Short, which is set to be released on December 11, 2015 by Paramount Pictures. In 2016, Gomez will star in The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving alongside Paul Rudd. The same year, she will star in In Dubious Battle opposite James Franco.
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