Selena Gomez was born in Grand Prairie, Texas. She made her television debut alongside the purple dinosaur on Barney & Friends in 2002 before landing her breakout role on the Disney Channel's Wizards of Waverly Place. She would play Alex Russo, the lead role on Waverly, from 2007-2012.
Gomez was named after the Tejano pop star Selena, who was tragically murdered at age 23 in 1995, three years after Gomez was born.
Gomez became friends with fellow Disney star Demi Lovato back when the two were auditioning for Barney & Friends.
The singer has been romantically linked to stars like Taylor Lautner, Nick Jonas, and, famously, Justin Bieber. Her tumultuous romance with Bieber has been the subject of media speculation since they announced their relationship in 2011. The on-again-off-again coupling has also been blamed for Gomez's brief stint at an Arizona treatment facility in 2014.
Selena Gomez became good friends with Taylor Swift. The pair clicked after meeting at a Jonas Brothers concert.
Gomez formed her first band, Selena Gomez & the Scene, in 2009. The pop-rock group released their debut album, Kiss & Tell, that same year. Go-Go's drummer Gina Schock contributed to several songs on the album, including the title track.
In May 2014, the singer's family confirmed she had been battling Lupus, a chronic inflammatory disease, for a few and was in treatment for a painful flare-up. The symptoms included extreme fatigue, joint pain, facial swelling and headaches.
Selena loves getting scared. "I find myself putting myself in situations like haunted houses or going to a haunted hospital for my birthday," she admitted during a live Google Hangout. "Yes, I've actually done that."
Selena Gomez has been in show business since she was 7 years old, when she landed a role in TV show Barney & Friends. It meant that the star grew up much faster than many others. "Even though it was a kids' show, I was surrounded by adults all day," she recalled to German magazine TV Movie. "I listened to them a lot and started to talk about things I probably wasn't old enough for [laughs]."
Gomez is a food fan. She told Just Jared
: "I love tamales, that's my favorite. And rice and beans of course. My grandma used to make this homemade salsa that was bomb, but she would actually get the jalapenos and crush them into pieces, which I loved. It was so good. I'm hungry!"
Selena Gomez is obsessed with pickles. In an appearance on UK talk show Alan Carr: Chatty Man, she said: "I am obsessed with them. That is my thing and I drink the juice from the jar too. They sell them at gas stations and movie theaters in Texas. I go to the movies and have popcorn and pickles."
Selena Gomez experienced her first kiss when she was 12 years old with Dylan Sprouse. It was in front of a live studio audience when filming The Suite Life of Zack & Cody. She recalled to Tiger Beat & Bop: "I actually leaned in to kiss him, and I had my eyes closed a little too early and I ended up missing like half of his lip. So it ended up being the most awkward kiss in the world. But I was 12 so it was okay and it was good."
When she won Favorite Pop/Rock Female Artist at the 2016 American Music Awards, she referenced her time in rehab in her acceptance speech. "If you are broken, you do not have to stay broken," she said.
She kept a low profile in the summer of 2017. That September, she explained why: She got a kidney transplant. Gomez needed the organ due to complications from her lupus. The donor was her best friend, Francia Raisa, star of the TV series The Secret Life of the American Teenager.