Selena Gomez's Revival is a few short days away, and even though she's only 23, this album means a lot in the history of her music career. You see, although it's her second LP as a solo artist, Selena has been making music for way longer than the average person remembers. So, before we dive into Revival on Friday, let's take a look back to where it all started -- and what it means for the future.
A pop star is inadvertently born
Selena got her start acting on "Barney" and then quickly starting getting jobs on the Disney Channel. She played a part on "The Suite Life of Zack & Cody," and she even had a role on "Hannah Montana" as Miley Cyrus' arch nemesis as a rivaling pop star in 2007. That's where we're introduced to the notion that Selena could be exactly that -- a pop star.
In this clip, we see Selena (a.k.a. Mikayla) singing on a talk show before meeting Hannah Montana, and while she's only lip synching, we could tell there was star potential there.
Getting the full Disney treatment
After she landed the lead role as Alex Russo in Disney's "Wizards of Waverly Place" in 2007, she recorded the theme song, "Everything Is Not What It Seems."
She casually starts singing on 'Wizards'
In 2009, she sang "Make It Happen," a rock song where she plays the drums, with her co-star on the show.
Nothing better than a Disney collab with your BFF
From there, she starred in "Prince Protection Program" with friend Demi Lovato. Along with recording songs for other Disney compilations, Selena and Demi laid down "One And The Same" to promote the movie.
Selena dives into dance
Finally, Selena Gomez & The Scene was formed by Hollywood Records, and they released their debut album two months after "Princess Protection Program." Kiss & Tell's first single was a pop rock song called "Falling Down," although their second single, the dancier "Naturally," was more popular. People started realizing that Selena's voice was better suited for dance music, while her fellow Disney friends Miley and Demi went for a rock edge.
More producers and writers sign on to help
The second Selena Gomez & The Scene album also featured "Naturally," but introduced us to songs like the title track, "A Year Without Rain." Frequent collaborators Rock Mafia, who provided production on the first album, also contributed to this album, along with Katy Perry.
Success with The Scene
The third Selena Gomez & The Scene album, 2011's When The Sun Goes Down, followed a compilation of club remixes, and gave us "Who Says" and "Love You Like A Love Song." The pulsing beat and simple melody of "Love You" allowed the song to go four-times platinum.
Growing up and going solo
Although Selena said she was taking a break from music after "Wizards of Waverly Place" ended, she returned as a solo artist with 2013's Stars Dance, her first album without The Scene. With the singles "Slow Down" and "Come & Get It," her music was decidedly more mature. With lyrics like "Mr. TSA, I'm ready for inspection/ Sh-sh-show me how you make a first impression/ Oh, oh/ Can we take it nice and slow, slow/ Break it down and drop it low," and more majestic music videos, Selena was beginning an era of her own, starting to shed her Disney image.
The honesty in heartbreak
Although her music never seemed to touch on any personal experiences before, Selena got deep when she released the one-off single "The Heart Wants What It Wants" in 2014, after her breakup with longtime, on-and-off boyfriend Justin Bieber. The song, with its minimal beats from Rock Mafia, had special meaning as fans followed her public, tumultuous split, and gave them something deeply relatable. She even cried in the video and in her performance of the song at the 2014 American Music Awards.
Collaborating with EDM's hottest
She delved deeper into dance music with Zedd for "I Want You To Know," a song that appeared on his True Colors album.
Heading into hip-hop
After releasing a best-of album, For You, which contained "The Heart Wants What It Wants," Selena finally inked a new recording contract. After seven years with Hollywood Records, she signed with Interscope and began work on Revival, out Oct. 9. The first single, "Good For You," has a darker, smoother production, giving Gomez even more of a sensual vibe, and even had her collaborating with rapper A$AP Rocky.
The reason why Revival is so important is because it continues to pull Selena out of her youth and declares her adulthood to the world. She's ready to make honest music, and told us that she's ready to reveal some "truths" to her fans. Instead of putting out hits, she wants to tell a story.
“The album in general is my perspective on things — it’s not about one thing,” Selena told MTV News. “I’m going to be 23, I’ve seen how the world works in a weird way. That moment in your life when you step back and you’re like, ’What’s going on? Am I happy? Are these people good for me? Why are these people doing that to other people?’ Just discovering what life is, spirituality, so there’s a little bit of all of that on the album.”