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Selena Gomez at the Kids' Choice Awards in 2012
|Birth name||Selena Marie Gomez|
|Born|| July 22 1992;
Grand Prairie, Texas, US
|Genres||Pop, dance, electropop, pop rock|
|Occupations||Actress, singer, fashion designer|
|Years active||2002 - present|
|Associated acts||Selena Gomez & The Scene|
Selena Marie Gomez (born July 22, 1992) is an American singer and actress. She made her debut as a child actress in Barney & Friends. In 2007, Gomez came to prominence as a starring cast member in the television series Wizards Of Waverly Place. She signed to Hollywood Records the following year, and became the founder and lead singer of the pop band Selena Gomez & The Scene. Their studio albums Kiss & Tell (2009), A Year Without Rain (2010), and When The Sun Goes Down (2011) were certified Gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and have spawned Platinum-certified singles Naturally, Who Says, and Love You Like A Love Song.
After the release of television films and their accompanying soundtracks, Gomez made her theatrical film debut in Ramona And Beezus in 2010 and starred in Monte Carlo in 2011. Upon the conclusion of Wizards Of Waverly Place and the hiatus of Selena Gomez & The Scene in 2012, she focused on her film career, serving as a voice actress in Hotel Transylvania and starring in Spring Breakers the following year.
Despite her early comments of a musical hiatus, Gomez confirmed in October 2012 that she was working on her solo debut album. The lead single, Come & Get It, was released in April 2013. It became her first Top 10 hit on the Hot 100 chart, and was certified Gold by the RIAA. The album's second single, Slow Down, was released in June. Gomez has since announced plans of a second musical hiatus following the release of Stars Dance in July.
Outside of her work in the entertainment industry, Gomez is involved in philanthropic activities through charity work and various social and environmental causes.
1992-2004: Early life, career beginnings
Gomez was born in Grand Prairie, Texas. She is the daughter of former stage actress Amanda Dawn "Mandy" Teefey (née Cornett) and Ricardo Joel Gomez. Her father is of Mexican ancestry; her mother, who was adopted, has some Italian ancestry. Regarding her Hispanic heritage, Gomez has stated: "My family does have Quinceañeras, and we go to the communion church. We do everything that's Catholic, but we don't really have anything traditional except [that we] go to the park and have barbecues on Sundays after church." Her birth parents divorced when she was five years old, and she was raised as an only child by her working mother. In 2006, Mandy remarried Brian Teefey. She was named after Tejano singer Selena, who died almost three years after Gomez was born. In a 2009 interview with People, Gomez mentioned that she developed an early interest in acting from watching her mother prepare for and act in theater productions. She earned a high school diploma through homeschooling in May 2010.
Gomez began her acting career at age seven, playing Gianna on Barney & Friends. She later had minor roles in Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over and the TV film Walker, Texas Ranger: Trial By Fire. Gomez also starred in the television movie Brain Zapped.
In 2004, Gomez was discovered by the Disney Channel in a USA-wide scouting. Gomez appeared as a guest star on The Suite Life Of Zack & Cody and had a guest appearance – that later turned into a recurring role – on Hannah Montana from seasons two to three. Gomez previously taped two different pilots that were spin-offs to two previous Disney series. The first one, What's Stevie Thinking?, was the spin-off to Lizzie McGuire. Gomez played Stevie Sanchez, Miranda Sanchez's little sister. The other show was titled Arwin!, the spin-off to The Suite Life Of Zack & Cody, in which she played Alexa. Neither series was picked up.
2007-08: Wizards Of Waverly Place, breakthrough
In early 2007, Gomez was cast in the Disney Channel series Wizards Of Waverly Place as one of the three main characters, Alex Russo. The show premiered to an audience of 5.9 million, becoming a hit. Many news outlets began dubbing Gomez the next 'Miley Cyrus', causing some controversy and a reported 'feud'. Gomez clarified that there was no feud and that she was flattered by the comparison, saying: "It's a little overwhelming, but I think really, it's a compliment. She's obviously extremely successful, and I think she's a wonderful performer ... So being compared to her, I was very, very flattered."
Gomez recorded four songs, one of which was a cover, for the Wizards Of Waverly Place soundtrack, only one single (Magic) from the album was released. In 2008, Gomez recorded a cover of Cruella de Vil - which included a music video - for the compilation album DisneyMania 6. Gomez also recorded Fly To Your Heart for the 2008 animated film Tinker Bell. In July 2008, before Gomez' sixteenth birthday, she signed a recording deal with Hollywood Records, a music label owned by Disney. In May, of the same year, Gomez was featured, with Forever The Sickest Kids, on a duet version of the non-album song Whoa Oh!. The same year Gomez appeared in Another Cinderella Story, the direct-to-DVD sequel to the 2004 Hilary Duff film, opposite Drew Seeley. She also had a minor voiceover role as one the Mayor's ninety-six daughters in Horton Hears a Who! which released in March of that year. In April, Lacey Rose of Forbes ranked Gomez as being fifth on their Eight Hot Kid Stars To Watch list; and Rose described Gomez as having been "a multi-talented teen".
2009-11: Film debut, Selena Gomez & The Scene
Also see: Selena Gomez & The Scene
In 2009, Gomez formed the teen pop band Selena Gomez & The Scene. Kiss & Tell, the band's debut studio album was released on September 29, 2009 by Hollywood Records. On March 5, 2010, the album was certified Gold by RIAA. The album's single, Naturally, was certified Platinum by the RIAA on July 15, 2010. In February 2009, Gomez signed on to star as one of the two female leads in Ramona And Beezus, a film adaption of the children's novel series by Beverly Cleary. Gomez stated that she felt no pressure in taking more adult roles: "I think I'm fully aware of my audience and I'm still just a kid myself. I wouldn't do a role I don't feel comfortable doing or that my audience wouldn't feel comfortable seeing." She also began dating actor Taylor Lautner, whom she met in Vancouver, while filming Ramona And Beezus and while he was shooting New Moon, and the two dated for a few months. However, the pressure of the media became too much for them and caused the two to break-up.
In June 2009, Gomez did a guest appearance as herself in one episode of best friend Demi Lovato's Disney Channel television show, Sonny With A Chance, entitled Battle Of The Network Stars. That same month, Gomez appeared alongside Lovato in the made-for-television Disney Channel movie, Princess Protection Program. The telecast garnered 8.5 million viewers becoming, at the time, the third most watched Disney Channel Original Movie. One month later, Gomez, along with two cast members of Wizards Of Waverly Place appeared in a television three-way cross-over episode with Hannah Montana and The Suite Life On Deck, entitled Wizards On Deck With Hannah Montana.
On August 28, 2009, two months after appearing in Princess Protection Program, Gomez starred in Wizards Of Waverly Place: The Movie, a made-for-television film based on the show. The film premiered to an audience of 11.4 million viewers becoming cable's No. 1 scripted telecast of 2009 and Disney Channel's second most-viewed film premiere after High School Musical 2. In September 2009, Wizards Of Waverly Place won Outstanding Children's Program at the 61st Primetime Emmy Awards, and in 2010, the film adaptation won the series its second consecutive Emmy for Outstanding Children's Program at the 62nd Primetime Emmy Awards.
Gomez's first theatrical film Ramona And Beezus premiered on July 23, 2010 and met with generally positive reviews. In March 2010, Variety reported that Gomez was set to star as one of the three lead roles in Monte Carlo, a film produced by Nicole Kidman, alongside Leighton Meester and Katie Cassidy. In the film, Gomez plays Grace, a girl who's "mistaken for a socialite while on a trip to Paris." To prepare for the role, Gomez learned how to play polo and also took two weeks of vocal training to learn two different British accents. The same year Gomez confirmed that the fourth season of her hit Disney Channel show, Wizards Of Waverly Place, would be its last.
On September 17, 2010, Selena Gomez & The Scene released their second studio album, A Year Without Rain. The record debuted on the Billboard 200 at number 4, selling 66,000 copies. On January 19, 2011, the album was certified Gold by RIAA. As of April 2011, the band has sold 1,354,000 albums in the United States. To support the album, the band embarked on the mini-tour A Year Without Rain Tour. In February 2011, TV Guide reported that Gomez would make a cameo in the Muppets film.
On March 23, 2011, Hollywood Records announced through a press release that Selena Gomez & The Scene would be embarking on their third concert tour in the United States, the We Own The Night Tour ran during the summer of 2011 and was ranked 18th in Pollstar's Top 20 concert tours. Production for the final season of Wizards Of Waverly Place came to a wrap on May 14, 2011. Gomez co-hosted the 2011 MuchMusic Video Awards on June 19. She also hosted the 2011 MTV EMAs on November 6, 2011, in Belfast, Northern Ireland, where she performed her band's single Hit The Lights. On June 28, 2011, Selena Gomez & The Scene released their third studio album, When The Sun Goes Down, previously titled Otherside. The album debuted at number 4 on the Billboard 200, selling 78,000 copies its first week and the following week, the album rose to number 3 on the Billboard chart, becoming the band's highest charting album to date. On November 17, 2011, the album was certified platinum. The album's lead single, Who Says was certified Platinum by RIAA on June 23, 2011 and has become the band's highest charting song on the Billboard Hot 100 to date, peaking at number 21. The second single, Love You Like A Love Song, was certified Platinum by RIAA on December 2, 2011, and became the act's first to sell over two-million copies.
2012-present: Focus on film, Stars Dance
In January 2012, Gomez announced that she would put her music career on hold in order to focus on her acting career, and that the band would be taking a hiatus: "my band and I are going our separate ways for a while. This year is all about films and acting and I want my band to play music wherever with whoever. We will be back but, it will be a good while."
As of August 2012, Gomez has been cast in a number of films. She first appeared in Hotel Transylvania, an animated film, voicing the character of Mavis, alongside Adam Sandler and Steve Buscemi. The film premiered at the 37th annual Toronto International Film Festival and was released on September 21, 2012. Next, Gomez appeared in the Harmony Korine film Spring Breakers, alongside James Franco. The film premiered at the 69th Venice International Film Festival, and was released in March 2013. In addition, Gomez filmed a cameo for Aftershock, an upcoming thriller starring Eli Roth which premiered at the 37th Annual Toronto International Film Festival. On April 7, 2012, Gomez posted a video for fans in which she revealed that she would be filming a new movie called Getaway in Bulgaria with Ethan Hawke and Jon Voight. The film wrapped up in May and is scheduled to be released in 2013. Gomez was considered for the role of Carrie in the remake of the 1976 horror film Carrie, although she never auditioned. The role eventually went to Chloë Grace Moretz. Next, Gomez will star in the film adaptation of the Ric Browde novel While I'm Dead... Feed The Dog opposite Dylan McDermott and Nat Wolff. The film, entitled Behaving Bad, will be directed by Tim Garrick. Gomez also reprised her role as Alex Russo in a one-hour special titled The Wizards Return: Alex vs. Alex, that began production on October 22, 2012, and finished filming on November 10, 2012. It aired on Disney Channel on March 13, 2013 at 8/7pm Central. In April 2013, Gomez joined William H. Macy's directorial debut Rudderless. Filming began the same month.
Despite her earlier statements, Gomez confirmed in October 2012 that work had begun on an upcoming album. The album's lead single, Come & Get It, was released on April 8, 2013. Gomez later confirmed that the album would be her solo debut album, rather than her band's fourth album. Gomez's debut album, Stars Dance, was released on July 23, 2013. Gomez has since confirmed that she plans to take another musical hiatus following the release of the album, and hopes to focus on her acting career.
Gomez names singer Bruno Mars as her major musical influence and idol, saying she is influenced in everything he does from "his style of music, his style in general, the way he performs, the way he carries himself". She admires Ella Fitzgerald, calling Fitzgerald her "favorite singer" continuing to praise her "beautiful voice" and Katy Perry whom she said "isn't afraid to be herself onstage." Gomez also cites Rihanna as an influence saying "I think she’s very strong and classy. I look up to that. She carries herself very well." Selena's debut album Stars Dance was prominently influenced by singers Britney Spears, Taylor Swift and Skrillex.
Gomez was part of Sears back-to-school fashion ad campaign. As part of the campaign Gomez was featured in the television commercials. In August 2009, Gomez also hosted the Sears Arrive Air Band Casting Call – to select five people for the first-ever Sears Air Band, which performed at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards.
In October 2008, Gomez launched her own production company, July Moon Productions, and partnered with XYZ Films to create star vehicles for Gomez. As part of the agreement Gomez will have the opportunity to option articles, hire writers and create talent packages to shop to studios. Also, as part of the deal, "XYZ Films will allow Gomez to star in and produce at least two films. Variety reported that: "In August, XYZ [Films] inked a similar deal with Time Inc. and management-production company the Collective to finance the development of the print media giant's content for the bigscreen [...] As part of the July Moon-XYZ deal, [Selena] Gomez will have the ability to cherry-pick projects from the vast Time Inc. library, which includes Time, Sports Illustrated, Fortune and Life."
Gomez is a spokesperson for Borden Milk; she is featured in the campaign's print and television ads. She is also a spokesperson for State Farm Insuranceand is featured in their TV commercials, which air on the Disney Channel, to raise awareness of being a safe driver.
In October 2009, Gomez announced her plan to launch her own fashion line, called Dream Out Loud by Selena Gomez. The clothing line launched in the fall of 2010. The collection consists of and features bohemian dresses, floral tops, jeans, skirts, jackets, scarves and hats, all made from recycled or eco-friendly materials. Gomez said that the line will reflect her own personal style and described the clothing as being "pretty, feminine, and bohemian," and: "With my line, I really want to give the customer options on how they can put their own looks together [...] I want the pieces that can be easy to dress up or down, and the fabrics being eco-friendly and organic is super important [...] Also, the tags will all have some of my inspirational quotes on them. I'm just looking to send a good message." Gomez, who has no background in fashion, teamed up with designers Tony Melillo and Sandra Campos, both who have worked with big-name fashion houses. Gomez said of the partnering: "When I met Tony and Sandra, I was instantly comfortable with them and now they are just like family to me ... They are so creative and I love how I can just call them up whenever and talk to them about everything, even if it's just about changing a button ... They've been so cool about everything." The brand will be manufactured by, Melillo and Campos teamed with New York-based Adjmi Apparel and formed by Adjmi CH Brands LLC; which is the holding company for the brand.
It was announced on July 14, 2011, that Gomez had signed a license agreement with Adrenalina, an extreme sports and adventure-themed lifestyle brand, to develop, manufacture, and distribute the actress' fragrance. It is expected to debut in May 2012. Chairman and C.E.O. of Adrenalina, Ilia Lekach, said, "We are incredibly enthused to be working with Ms. Gomez and will reveal more details pertaining to the fragrance as we get closer to the launch date."
It was announced on July 30, 2012, that Gomez would partner with Case-Mate as part of its upcoming Right Case, Right Occasion marketing campaign. She will be teaming up with Fergie and Common to create fashionable custom phone cases for a good cause.
Gomez was involved in the UR Votes Count campaign which encouraged teenagers to learn more about 2008 presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain. In October 2008, Gomez participated in St. Jude's Children's Hospital Runway For Life benefit. She is the ambassador of DoSomething.org after being involved with the charity Island Dog, which help dogs in Puerto Rico. She got involved while filming Wizards Of Waverly Place: The Movie in Puerto Rico. Gomez is also involved with the charity RAISE Hope For Congo, an initiative of the Enough Project, which helps raise awareness about conflict minerals and violence against Congolese women. Gomez is involved in Disney's Friends for Change, an organization which promotes "environmently-friendly behavior", and appears in its public service announcements. Gomez, Demi Lovato, Miley Cyrus, and the Jonas Brothers recorded Send It On, a charity single with all of its proceeds to the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund. It debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 at number 20. Also in 2009, Gomez made a surprise visit to a Los Angeles elementary school as part of the A Day Made Better program that was sponsored by OfficeMax. During her visit, Gomez gave the school an award and $1,000 worth of school supplies, and talked to students about the importance of giving back to the community. On January 22, 2010, Gomez participated in the Hope for Haiti Now Telethon with a number of other celebrities. In April 2012, Gomez was named ambassador to the Ryan Seacrest Foundation.
Work with UNICEF
In October 2008, Gomez was named UNICEF's spokesperson for the Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF campaign, which encouraged children to raise money on Halloween to help children around the world. She said that she was "extremely excited" to "encourage other kids to make a difference in the world."
In August 2009, a 17-year-old Gomez became the youngest UNICEF ambassador ever, passing fellow songstress Hayley Westenra, who was 18 when she was chosen. In her first official field mission, Gomez traveled to Ghana on September 4, 2009 for a week to witness first-hand the stark conditions of vulnerable children that lack vital necessities including clean water, nourishment, education and healthcare. Gomez explained during an interview with Associated Press that she wanted to use her star power to bring awareness to Ghana: "That's why I feel very honored to have a voice that kids listen to and take into consideration [...] I had people on my tour asking me where IS Ghana, and they Googled it [...] and because I went there, they now know where Ghana is. So it's pretty incredible." Gomez said of her role as ambassador that: "Every day 25,000 children die from preventable causes. I stand with UNICEF in the belief that we can change that number from 25,000 to zero. I know we can achieve this because every moment, UNICEF is on the ground providing children with the lifesaving assistance needed to ensure zero becomes a reality."
Gomez was named spokesperson for UNICEF's 2009 Trick-or-Treat campaign, for the second year in a row. Gomez, who raised over $700,000 for the charity in 2008, stated that she hopes to be able to raise 1 million dollars in 2009. Gomez participated in a celebrity auction and hosted a live web cast series on Facebook in support of the Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF campaign. Gomez returned as the UNICEF spokesperson for the 60th anniversary of Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF campaign in 2010. In celebration of the 60th anniversary, Gomez and her band, The Scene, held a benefit concert donating all proceeds to the campaign.
In February 2011, Gomez traveled to Chile to witness and meet with the families of UNICEF's supported program, Programa Puente, which helps families better understand and develops skills to deal effectively with early childhood education, development and other issues related to raising children. From her field trip experience, Gomez said "UNICEF is helping Chilean families get out of poverty, prevent violence within the home and promote education. To witness first hand these families' struggles, and also their hope and perseverance, was truly inspiring." In March 2011, Gomez participated in the UNICEF Tap Project's Celebrity Tap Pack, limited-edition, custom-made water bottles featuring tap water from the homes of each celebrity advocate, in order to raise funds and increase profile for the clean water and sanitation programs. She is also featured in videos promoting the campaign.