Demi Lovato is everywhere these days, from the concert stage on her summer tour to the judges’ chair next to Britney Spears on “The X-Factor” to magazine covers and tabloid headlines speculating on everything from her love interests to her next album.
That attention is why the actress and singer-songwriter says she decided to be so open about her battle with eating issues and depression, something other young starlets may have kept hidden.
“That’s what being a role model is about,” Lovato, 19, said today on “Good Morning America,” before a live performance in New York’s Central Park. “It’s not about being perfect. It’s about speaking about your issues and inspiring others to get help.”
The former Disney Channel star stunned fans and the entertainment community when she cut short her tour with the Jonas Brothers to enter treatment in November 2010. During three months of in-patient treatment away from Hollywood, Lovato was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, a diagnosis she says was actually a relief.
“I would stay up until like five in the morning just playing guitar and my parents would wake up for work and they’d be like, ‘What are you doing?,’” she said. “And finally when I got diagnosed I was like, ‘Oh, cool, I’m not crazy, it’s something. It’s a disease.’”
Today Lovato is jetting around the country on a 10-city tour to promote her new album “Unbroken” and helping Simon Cowell, Britney Spears, and L.A. Reid find undiscovered talents as one of the new judges for season two of “The X Factor.”
When she and fellow singer Spears got the gig in May the media wondered how the two once-troubled stars would handle the spotlight and Cowell’s notoriously cranky personality.
“It’s going so good. I’m having so much fun. It’s amazing,” Lovato said on “GMA,” dismissing those claims.
“We tease each other all day long,” she said of Cowell, fittingly since she recently tweeted a photo of herself “shoving” his face into a cake at one of the tryouts. “I don’t let him slide without giving it back to him at all. Anything that he says to me, I’m going to give it back.”
That tweet of Lovato with Cowell was one of the few her fans get to see these days since the once social media-friendly star has turned a new leaf when it comes to staying connected online.
“I’ve kind of vowed to myself that I don’t want to take a lot of time out of my day spending it with technology,” she said. “I don’t even really have a cell phone right now. I haven’t had a cell phone in like three months or something crazy because I feel like I was addicted to my cell phone.”
Lovato, who will celebrate her 20th birthday next month, says after all that she’s been through in the past few years she’s also turned a new leaf when it comes to friendships in her life, meaning don’t expect any photos of her partying hard to celebrate the end of her teenage years.
“Every year I’ve done a huge party but in the past year-and-a-half I’ve really found out who my true friends are and I’ve learned that it’s about quality and not quantity,” she said. “So I’m probably just going to have a dinner for my birthday and just have my closest friends there.”