Selena Gomez was born on July 22, 1992 in Grand Prairie, Texas. She was named after the popular Tejano singer Selena Quintanilla-Perez, who died in 1995. Her mother is Amanda Dawn “Mandy” Teefey and her father is Ricardo Joel Gomez. Her parents divorced when she was five years old, and she was raised primarily by her mother.
At a young age, Gomez developed an interest in pursuing a career in the entertainment industry. She began auditioning for various children’s television programs and commercials. In 2002, at the age of 10, she landed her first regular television role as Gianna on the children’s TV series Barney & Friends.
Discovery and The Wizards of Waverly Place
In 2004, Gomez was discovered by the Disney Channel during a nationwide talent search. She was cast as Mikayla for the Disney Channel original movie Hannah Montana. This opened the door for more roles on Disney Channel programs.
Her big break came in 2007 when she was cast as the lead role of Alex Russo on the Disney Channel original series The Wizards of Waverly Place. The sitcom became an immediate hit and propelled Gomez into teen idol status. She starred on the show until its conclusion in 2012.
Music Career Takes Off
Capitalizing on her popularity from The Wizards of Waverly Place, Disney formed the pop-rock band Selena Gomez & The Scene in 2008. The band released three studio albums: Kiss & Tell (2009), A Year Without Rain (2010), and When The Sun Goes Down (2011). All three albums were certified Gold by the RIAA.
In 2012, once her Disney show ended, Gomez decided to focus on solo music and acting roles.
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|Peak Chart Position
|Kiss & Tell
|#9 (US Billboard 200)
|A Year Without Rain
|#4 (US Billboard 200)
|When The Sun Goes Down
|#3 (US Billboard 200)
Transition to Mature Roles and Solo Music
After wrapping up her Disney Channel series, Gomez wanted to transition into more mature acting roles. In 2012, she played a small role in the controversial film Spring Breakers, starring James Franco. While the film received mixed reviews, it demonstrated Gomez’s desire to be seen as an adult actor.
She followed up in 2013 with lead roles in the films Getaway with Ethan Hawke and Rudderless, an independent film directed by William H. Macy. While these films were not major box office successes, they showed her versatility as an actor outside of her Disney persona.
Releases Debut Solo Album Stars Dance
In July 2013, Gomez released her debut solo album Stars Dance. The album was met with mixed reviews, but it debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 album chart in the US. This demonstrated that she had success transitioning into a mainstream musical artist outside of her work with Disney and Selena Gomez & The Scene.
The album contained the hit single “Come & Get It,” which reached #6 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
In 2014 and 2015, Gomez continued acting in films like Behaving Badly and The Fundamentals of Caring while also recording new music.
Taking a Break for Health Reasons
In August 2014, Gomez canceled the Australian and Asian legs of her Stars Dance Tour, revealing that she had been diagnosed with the auto-immune disease lupus and had undergone chemotherapy to treat it. As a result, she took a break from her music career to focus on her health.
Continued Success in Music and Personal Struggles
Despite her health issues, Gomez returned to music in 2015 with her album Revival, which drew inspiration from the end of her relationship with Justin Bieber and her personal struggles.
“Good For You” and Revival Success
In June 2015, Gomez released her comeback single “Good for You” featuring rapper ASAP Rocky. The song was a commercial success, reaching #5 on the Billboard Hot 100.
In October 2015, she released her second solo album, Revival. The album sold over 116,000 copies in its first week and debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 chart. It marked the first #1 album of her career.
The album went on to be certified Platinum in the US and contained hit singles like “Hands to Myself” and “Same Old Love.”
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Taking Another Break for Health & Personal Reasons
Despite her thriving music career, Gomez again put her career on hold at the end of summer 2016 to attend to anxiety, depression, and other side effects related to lupus. She also entered a treatment center in Tennessee in early 2018 for continued physical and mental health struggles related to her lupus diagnosis.
In March 2018, Gomez opened up about getting a kidney transplant due to her lupus and credited her close friend Francia Raísa with donating the kidney.
Throughout 2016-2018, Gomez focused on her recovery and health outside of the spotlight while releasing occasional collaborations with artists like Marshmello (“Wolves,” 2017) and DJ Snake (“Taki Taki,””2018).
Resuming Success with Rare and Revelación
In October 2019, Gomez made her official return to music after a lengthy absence with the upbeat singles “Lose You to Love Me” and “Look at Her Now.” Both singles foreshadowed her third solo album, Rare, which released in January 2020.
Rare Debuts at #1
Rare gave Gomez her third #1 album on the Billboard charts. The intimate, confessional album explored themes of healing and self-acceptance while highlighting her vocal abilities more than past projects.
Hit singles from the album included the self-love anthem “Rare” and the emotional ballad “Lose You to Love Me,” Gomez’s first #1 single on the Billboard Hot 100.
Exploring Her Latin Roots
Shortly after the release of her successful Rare album, Gomez began teasing her first Spanish language project. She released the singles “De Una Vez” and “Baila Conmigo” before announcing her debut Spanish EP Revelación in 2021.
Revelación gave Gomez the chance to connect with her Latin heritage and expand her international audience. The seven-track project incorporated styles like reggaeton, bachata, and ballade. It received praise from critics and debuted in the Top 10 of Billboard’s Latin Pop Albums chart.
Recent Endeavors in Film, Television, and Makeup
In recent years, Gomez has continued acting and executive producing roles for streaming platforms. She stars opposite Steve Martin and Martin Short in Hulu’s Only Murders in the Building (2021), for which she earned a Golden Globe nomination.
Gomez also signed an expansive multi-project development deal with Hulu to produce new shows and films.
Continued Musical Success
Musically, Gomez stays relevant through featured collaborations with artists like Rema (“Calm Down” 2022) and Camilo (“999” 2022).
In February 2022, she also contributed the song “Let Somebody Go” with Coldplay to their album Music of The Spheres.
Launches Rare Beauty Brand
Outside of entertainment, Gomez founded her popular Rare Beauty makeup line in 2020. Rare Beauty aims to promote mental health awareness and self-acceptance aligned with Gomez’s public personal struggles. A portion of sales supports increased access to mental health resources.
As of early 2023, Rare Beauty offers a full range of makeup products and accessories at Sephora stores and its website. The brand has earned praise for its products and mission.
Frequently Asked Questions About Selena Gomez
What ethnicity is Selena Gomez?
Selena Gomez’s ethnicity is Mexican American. Her father, Ricardo Gomez, is Mexican American, while her mother, Mandy Teefey, is Italian American.
How did Selena Gomez get famous?
Selena Gomez got famous for her lead role as Alex Russo on the Disney Channel series “The Wizards of Waverly Place” from 2007-2012. Her popularity on the hit Disney show helped launch her music career as part of the pop band Selena Gomez & The Scene.
Who is Selena Gomez’s friends?
Some of Selena Gomez’s closest celebrity friends over the years have included Taylor Swift, Demi Lovato, Ashley Cook (childhood best friend), Vanessa Hudgens, and Francia Raisa. Raisa donated a kidney to Gomez in 2017 due to her battle with lupus.