Former Disney alumnus, Demi Lovato is back with her self-titled fourth album. With the fiercely supportive backing of the ‘Lovatics’, her amassed legion of fans, and the popular acclaim of American music critics, who continue to laud her strong vocals, the album’s lead single, ‘Heart Attack’, is already clambering up the charts.
For the artist herself, this success has been a process of trial and error: “The ultimate goal was to find a way to combine power vocals and pop music, because I feel a lot of the time, on the radio, they sound like two totally separate things. A lot of the power vocalists don’t get the recognition…they get the respect but they don’t get the recognition with hit songs that they deserve to have. And a lot of pop artists are very talented but they don’t have the vocal capability to really carry out those power ballads.”
For a long time the least musically predictable of her Disney class – which includes Miley Cyrus and the Jonas Brothers – Lovato’s meteoric success is in part thanks to her ability to play the industry at its own game. As she explains: “Before ‘Give Your Heart a Break’ was really growing on the charts, I had a moment where I was asked myself, ‘What am I doing wrong? I know I can sing. I know I’m talented. How is it that other artists who don’t have my vocals — and I mean that in the most like honest, humble way— just like straight up, I’m being real with you. ‘Like, I know I have great vocals, so why am I not on the radio? And what’s taking so long?’ And then I realized, ‘Oh, it’s hit songs. You need to have hit songs.’
After a disorderly 2010, in which she punched a backup singer Jonas on a Brothers tour and entered treatment for bulimia, self-harm and drug use, Lovato openly aired her troubles. She asked Disney to pull episodes of shows that treat eating disorders flippantly and tweeted to her 12 million fans about how she spent New Year’s Eve in rehab. Then she returned to work.
Instead of tarnishing her image, these candid revelations seem to have only bolstered her popularity. Not only is was ‘Heart Attack’ No. 1 on iTunes during its first week of release but Lovato is also in negotiations to return as a judge for the next season of the Fox reality singing show ‘The X Factor’.