When Demi Lovato strutted down the street in a binding, black cutout leather one-piece and thigh-high gladiator sandals, singing about her “taste for the cherry” in her new “Cool for the Summer” music video, it was clear her departure from her cookie-cutter Disney image of days past was complete.
The almost-23-year-old has a new level of self-assurance and is ready to share her mature image and sound with her devoted fans as her highly anticipated fifth album is set to drop this fall.
“I think my new music is definitely grown up,” Lovato tells Us Weekly’s Rachel McRady. “My music is definitely a lot more confident, sexier, and it’s pretty much moving in that direction and embracing who I am as a woman.”
Though the mental health advocate, who recently partnered with The Radiant Collection by Tampax and Always to encourage girls to have the confidence to be themselves, is proud of her status as a role model to her younger fan base, Lovato doesn’t let it dictate every career move she makes.
“I understand that it’s a responsibility, and I do take it seriously,” she says of being a role model. “But of course I don’t let that call all the shots. It definitely is in the back of my mind whenever I make decisions and choices in my career.”
One such choice was to embrace her sexuality and showcase it in her new music.
“I’m 23 now so I think it came naturally,” Lovato says. “Your fans want to grow with you. It’s about growing together with your fans. Ultimately when you make music it reflects your life and I’m a lot older now so of course it’s not going to be about the same thing I was singing about when I was 16 or 17.”
Along the way, the songstress has had an ally in her boyfriend of five years, Wilmer Valderrama. In recent years, the couple have been more public with their affection, posting numerous photos on social media.
“We don’t share everything with the world. But we do feel comfortable to share a lot,” she says of the That ‘70s Show alum, 35. “With Wilmer and I and our relationship, he’s extremely supportive in everything that I do. He makes me feel confident and beautiful. And I’m just really, really grateful for him.”
Lovato admitted the secret to much of her success involves the people who are constantly in her life.
“You just have to surround yourself with people that are going to lift you up spiritually,” she says. “That’s what I do. I surround myself with good people and really rely on others for strength whenever I need it.”
But even though she has cleaned out some of the negativity in her life, Lovato still embraces her teen star roots. When asked if she’d ever consider a Camp Rock reunion with ex Joe Jonas, she replies, “Yeah, I mean, those guys will always be close to my heart. So being able to work with them whether it’s Nick or Joe or Kevin, I’m always open to it.“
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