Demi Lovato Q&A: 'I Want To Grow With My Fans And Stay Out Of The Tabloids'
Demi Lovato's new album "Here We Go Again" premiered at number one on the Billboard charts a few weeks ago. At just 16, where does she go from here? She joined us to discuss where she sees her career going and who she admires in the music industry. She also discusses how her career almost never left the ground after nearly being trampled by a smiling purple dinosaur and warns would-be hecklers at her show that she has an eye on you and, if you're not careful, so might the entire arena.
Mike: First of all, congratulations on the number-one album.
Demi Lovato: Thanks so much.
Mike: Do you have a favorite song on the new album?
Demi Lovato: Probably a song called "Catch Me" ... it's been a fan favorite and it could be released as a single one day.
Mike: You started on "Barney & Friends" when you were eight years old. Look, when I was eight years old I would have realized it's a guy in a suit, but at the same time, I would have probably been frightened of that thing. I'll still be flipping through channels and get frighted by that Snuffleupagus character on "Sesame Street."
Demi Lovato: (Laughs) Well, to be honest, when we were shooting one day I almost got trampled by it because I wasn't paying attention. And that was frightening because the suit's extremely heavy. I never got afraid of it, it was just a huge suit and I made sure to watch out where I was going next time.
Mike: Do you still have nightmares of a purple dinosaur trampling you?
Demi Lovato: (Laughs) No.
Mike: I don't think it's going too out on a limb to say a lot of your fans skew younger. Is there anything you would like to do to next in an effort to branch out to an older demographic?
Demi Lovato: I don't think I'm ready for that yet, you know? I think when I'm in my late 20's or late 30's I'll be with them, doing projects that they're doing. But, right now, I'm 16 and I don't want to take on anything that's too challenging or anything that would scare my fans away. I want to grow with my fans. I think as time goes by I want to have a long lasting career. So, I think the way to do that is to grow with your fans and release music that they'll appreciate but, yet, adults can appreciate, too. Just because I don't talk about certain subjects that adults talk about doesn't mean I can't write lyrics that will be accepted by adults, too.
Mike: You were on an episode of "Prison Break" which is a pretty adult show. When you look down your filmogrophy, that one stands out as something completely different.
Demi Lovato: Yeah, it was definitely different; it was before I had started with the Disney family. It was a fun role, though. Definitely fun.
Mike: Does a show like that look more exciting on television than it is to work on?
Demi Lovato: No, no, no... it was definitely exciting. It was really fun because it was a show that I was watching at the time and I got an episode and it was a dream come true.
Mike: When you look at other artists that have been in a similar position that you are now, whose career would you like to emulate? Who do you look at in their late 20s and think, "If I have their career when I'm in my late 20s, I'm doing pretty good."
Demi Lovato: I would say Kelly Clarkson and Christina Aguilera. Christina was in "The Mickey Mouse Club" and she learned the lessons of growing up too fast for her fans and learning how to do it perfectly. She made a name for herself after it. You don't really associate her with that, with where she started. You think, "Wow, what an icon," now. And I think Kelly Clarkson has done the same.
Mike: And you don't read something bad about [them] all the time...
Demi Lovato: Right. Kelly Clarkson and Christina stay out of the tabloids and I very much admire that and I'd like to be the same.
Mike: You were opening for the Jonas Brothers at one point and at the time you were just starting out. What's it like opening for this immensely popular group? Is the crowd receptive? Are they polite? Or, at times, did you feel they were impatient and just wanted the Jonas Brothers to come on.
Demi Lovato: I was very surprised at how receptive they were and very intrigued and excited to hear my music. And toward the end of the tour I had people bringing Demi posters; which is incredible. I think it helped that we did "Camp Rock" together and people kind of associated the two of us. And then we went on tour together and it was awesome. It was absolutely incredible. The fans were just so great.
Mike: The reason I asked is that I've read Bruce Springsteen mention that when he opened up once for the band Chicago, if you've heard of them...
Demi Lovato: Oh, yeah.
Mike: He opened up for Chicago at Madison Square Garden in the early 70's and had a terrible experience -- and this was before Bruce Springsteen was "Bruce Springsteen -- because people just wanted to hear Chicago so they were booing him. He's mentioned he will never have someone, now, open for him because of that experience. That's great for you the fans were receptive and nice.
Demi Lovato: Well, there was one experience where these girls were booing me. There were just like four of them and they were at the end of the runway. And just mocking me and things like that. In the middle of one of my songs I was just like, "I just want a round of applause for these four girls, dead center. And they're just such great fans and they're just being so awesome. Give them a round of applause and put them on the spot." They were so embarrassed.
Image © Solarpix / PR Photos
Mike: Your mom was a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader? Has she shared any stories yet? Or is that maybe stories for the future or maybe never?
Demi Lovato: The Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders were really respectful and they weren't just girls that pranced around in little outfits. They're really hard working. My mom tells me a lot of stories about how they would have to work so hard every single day. She would often tell me how sometime you couldn't go get a drink of water on the field, even if you're dying of thirst. Or, you had to wear those outfits while it's snowing. She just taught me a lot by all of the stories about how hard she had to work and to never give up and things like that. I think the cheerleaders work just as hard as the football players do.
Mike: I have a couple questions from readers on Twitter if that's OK.
Demi Lovato: OK!
Mike: (Joey from New Jersey) Would you ever be open to doing voice over work in animated features?
Demi Lovato: Yeah. I mean, I think it would be cool to say that I did it. It would be a fun experience; you don't have to get glammed up every day. It would be really nice to do something like that but I'm not really looking for a career in that. But if the opportunity came I definitely wouldn't turn it down.
Mike: (From 10-year-old Hope in Houston, TX) Do you like being famous?
Demi Lovato: Aww (laughs). To me it's no different than being normal, I'm just a little bit busier. And I do like it, I get to meet my fans and they tell me how much they relate to my music. In a way, I feel like, sometimes, that I'm helping people. And that's the greatest feeling ever. You work so hard and you never really stop going. You never sit there and think, "Oh, hey, I'm famous." I don't think it ever really settles in until you're retired.
"Mike's Pulse" is a column written by transplanted Midwesterner and current New Yorker Mike Ryan. For any compliments or complaints -- preferably the former -- you may contact Mike directly at email@example.com or submit reader questions for celebrites to Mike on Twitter.
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