With over two million albums sold in the United States alone, these days, singer, songwriter, actress, and TV personality, Demi Lovato is an established, household name in the music industry. Yet, as with all global stars, many of the artist’s fans are just as preoccupied with Lovato’s past as they with her future – namely, what her first-ever song was.
Demi Lovato released her debut single ‘Get Back’ in 2008. The single, which was from her debut album ‘Don’t Forget’, is about getting back with a former lover and was actually written by Lovato in collaboration with the Jonas Brothers.
Despite Lovato performing the single on a number of high-profile shows such as ‘Good Morning America’ and ‘The Ellen DeGeneres Show’, ‘Get Back’ did not cause a massive stir upon release and only peaked at 43 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Although the New Mexico-born artist’s debut single didn’t set the world alight, it did announce Lovato in the big-time and lay a solid foundation for her to build one of the most successful careers in the industry.
The Story Behind ‘Get Back’
Lovato – who spent her adolescence performing as an actress and entertainer on a variety of Disney Channel TV shows and films – had long sought her big break into the big-time. During her role in the Disney Channel TV movie, ‘Camp Rock’, Lovato’s duet with Joe Jonas ‘This Is Me’ reached the top ten of the Billboard Hot 100, a feat that was – among other things – rewarded with a contract from Hollywood Records.
When it finally came to creating her debut single ‘Get Back’, it is said that the MTV Video Music Award-winning artist believed there were enough songs about heartbreak and heartache, and so wanted to go with a different angle instead. Reflecting on the single, Lovato said: “It’s kind of a fun, upbeat song and it’s kind of just fun to sing to the person that I wrote it about”.
Critically, the single actually did very well, with one critic dubbing the track a “welcome girl-rock hit”. Lovato’s burgeoning brand image was also considered by critics, with one saying: “The act is appealing but won’t last long. Lovato has already mastered the limited range of skills required of today’s pop starlets: the vulnerable-kitten verse, the banshee-shriek chorus, the stiffly sexy whispered asides”.
And, soon enough, Lovato had gone on to release her debut album, ‘Don’t Forget’.
In 2011, following the success of her first two teen pop-rock albums, Lovato released her third studio album ‘Unbroken’, which saw the young artist create a “new sound” and experiment with different genres such as R&B.
Regarding the release of the album, Lovato stated: “Every other album I haven’t had time to really take my time and craft it like I really wanted to do because I was finding spare time between a television show, and movies, and touring, and then all over again. I’ve worked on [the album] for the past year and really gone hard over the past few months, but you can definitely tell that I took my time with this record.”
The album saw Lovato collaborate with big-time artists such as Missy Elliott and Jason Derulo, and sales are believed to have exceeded 97,000 copies over the course of the first week alone.
One of the album’s most popular tracks ‘Skyscraper’ turned out to be one of Lovato’s biggest successes and caught the attention of artists such as Selena Gomez, Pete Wentz, Katy Perry, Kelly Clarkson, and Jordin Sparks who all reached out to congratulate her on the song.
Talking about the song, Lovato said: “It’s the first single that I’ve ever released that has ever gone to radio, so I’m not really used to this reaction… I just feel like I’m in a dream right now, it’s crazy.”
Back to Acting
Despite releasing her sixth studio album ‘Tell Me You Love Me’ back in 2017, Lovato actually turned her attention back to acting after a long hiatus from the medium. And, in 2019, the celeb starred alongside Will Ferrell and Rachel McAdams in David Dobkin’s ‘Eurovision Song Contest: A Story of Fire Saga’, a project which fused Lovato’s love of acting and passion for music.
Reflecting on her role in the Netflix film, Lovato said: “I think it’s really beautiful that there’s something like Eurovision that brings people together, especially in this day in age when there’s so much hate in the world. When you’re able to turn [the devastation of] a war [WW2] into something positive and bring people together through the universal language of music, it is beautiful, powerful, and inspiring”.
Ultimately, balancing both a fruitful career in acting and a hugely successful career in music is just one of the many things that make Lovato the global star that she is.