Selena Gomez might currently be making headlines because she is Miss Justin Bieber, but the 19-year-old triple-threat is a certified starlet in her own right. She’s a Disney Channel icon, a platinum-selling musical artist and a box-office queen, and she’s done it all before the age of 20. Selena’s next big gig is co-hosting the MTV Video Music Awards pre-show this Sunday, so we figured now is as good a time as any to look back at Selena’s evolution into an A-list teen star.
Born in Grand Prairie, Texas, on July 22, 1992, Selena was inspired to go into acting by her mother, stage actress Mandy Teefey. She got her big start on television at age seven when she played Gianna on “Barney & Friends,” and then transitioned to film thanks to small roles in “Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over” and “Walker, Texas Ranger: Trial by Fire.” After two years in Hollywood, Selena was discovered by the Disney Channel during a nationwide scouting, and she quickly became a part of a new generation of Disney stars.
She started out in small roles on “The Suite Life of Zack and Cody” and “Hannah Montana,” and then got her big break when she was cast as one of the three main characters on Disney’s 2007 TV show “Wizards of Waverly Place.” Selena quickly became a star, and had her first leading role in a film in the 2008 direct-to-DVD Disney movie “Another Cinderella Story.”
That movie also sparked interest in her second love, singing, as Disney let her record three songs for the “Another Cinderella Story” soundtrack. When she starred in the 2009 Disney Channel movie “Princess Protection Program,” alongside fellow Disney star Demi Lovato, Selena recorded a duet with her friend for that soundtrack, as well.
The year 2009 was a big one for Selena, as she got her first leading role in a big-screen film and also started her band, Selena Gomez & The Scene. First she signed on to the titular role of Ramona in the adaptation of Beverly Cleary’s “Ramona and Beezus,” and then her band rocketed to popularity with their September release of “Kiss & Tell.” Selena kept busy by filming the made-for-TV film “Wizards of Waverly Place: The Movie” that went on to win the Emmy for “Outstanding Children’s Program.” With all that positivity in the air, it makes sense that Selena was named one of the best celebrity influences of 2009.
And her star continued to get brighter in 2010. Selena earned her high school diploma through homeschooling early in the year, launched her clothing line Dream Out Loud, signed on to her second big-screen role in “Monte Carlo” and heard her name announced in a trailer for the first time. The first sparks began to fly between her and current boyfriend Justin Bieber early in the year too when he called her “a cutie” on New York radio station Z-100. Unfortunately, 2010 was also the year that Selena decided she was going to call it quits on “Wizards of Waverly Place,” something she admitted she was “really heartbroken about.”
Fortunately, things were on a bit of an upswing for the young star. We aren’t sure why Justin and Selena tried for so long to hide the obvious sparks between them, but the two became official after a romantic adventure to St. Lucia over New Year’s. A month later, Selena landed her third leading film role in the adaptation of “13 Reasons Why.” She and BF Justin continued to make appearances around the Hollywood and music circuits for the rest of the year, celebrating their birthdays together and making girls go jealous worldwide by continually smooching in public.
Selena rounded out the summer by taking home five Teen Choice Awards, including Choice Female Hottie and Choice TV Actress: Comedy, and is going out with a bang by hosting the VMAs pre-show. We can’t wait to see what industry Selena dominates next. Tennis? Shoe-making? The sky’s the limit for this young starlet.
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