Demi Lovato is a former teen actress, now famous for her successful singing career. Based on Lovato’s name, many people assume the singer is Greek and Italian, but what is Demi Lovato’s actual ethnicity?
Demi Lovato is Spanish, Native American, Scandinavian, Irish and British. The singer has a diverse background, with her father, Patrick Lovato, being Mexican with Spanish and Native American roots, and her mother, Dianna De La Garza, has English and Irish heritage.
Read more below about Demi Lovato’s multi-cultural background, and her surprising DNA test results.
What’s in a Name?
Demetria “Demi” Devonne Lovato was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico, but raised by her mom in Dallas, Texas. Over the years, many fans have speculated that the raven-haired beauty is of Greek and Italian heritage because of her name and her physical features.
Demetria is the female form of the Greek name Demeter. Lovato is an Italian surname, most often found in the northern region of Italy. Based on her name, many mistakenly assumed Lovato’s ethnicity until the singer took a DNA test and revealed the truth.
What is DNA Testing and How Does it Work?
DNA testing amongst the general population has become wildly popular over the past few years. Everyone from movie stars to moms-next-door were rushing to take the test and find out their origins.
Not only that, but several shows focusing on genealogy have hit the airwaves, oftentimes featuring celebrities finding out surprises about their roots and family histories. In addition, DNA testing can even be done on the family pet, and with so many different tests available to the public, it has become a booming business.
Most at-home DNA tests begin with a cheek swab or filling a tube with saliva, which one then mails back to the company for testing. The lab then analyzes the sample, which once digitized, uses algorithms to find common patterns; after testing, the results are sent to the person’s email, generally including easily readable charts and graphs.
Demi Lovato was one of the many celebrities who jumped on the DNA testing bandwagon, and in early 2017, the singer took to Twitter to share her results. In her initial post, Lovato wrote, “I did a DNA test and found out I’m mainly Spanish, with Native American, SCANDINAVIAN (which I had NO idea), Irish, BRITISH….”
Broken down by percentages, Lovato’s DNA results show she is 32% Spanish (hailing from the Iberian Peninsula), 16% Scandinavian, 14% Irish, 11% British, 10% Native American, and 7% from various other places in Western Europe.
You can see Demi Lovato discuss her DNA test results in the Youtube video below.
Lovato herself was surprised by some of the findings of the test, but she shortly followed up with a second Tweet announcing that she was also one percent African, which drew swift criticism from many Twitter users. Amidst the controversy, Lovato posted again, showing her actual results in a screenshot, proving it did say African as a trace region.
What are Trace Regions?
The problem is that despite trace regions showing up on the test results, it actually means it’s a low confidence region, meaning it’s possible, but not probable to have ancestry from that region at all. Despite the snafu, Lovato seemed excited to know the rest of her ancestry and posted that she did not mean to offend anyone.
Embracing Her Roots
Lovato also discovered she had Jewish roots, and in the fall of 2019, Demi and her mother took a trip to Israel, which included a trip to the Western Wall and the singer being baptized in the Jordan River. Of the trip, Lovato wrote, “I am an American singer. I was raised Christian and have Jewish ancestors. When I was offered an amazing opportunity to visit the places I’d read about in the Bible growing up, I said yes.”
Though the singer once again caused controversy, it’s clear that she is trying to learn more about her roots and embrace the places her ancestors came from.