Demi Lovato has been through a lot in recent years. Fortunately, the singer and former Disney star has had the strength to survive countless demons, including addiction, eating disorder, and mental health issues, all of which culminated in an apparent overdose in 2018.
While Lovato has made a measured and increasing return to the public, it has not been a solo effort; in fact, the interpreter sincerely opened in April 2023 during a surprise virtual meeting with some of her former Disney alumni about her past and ongoing struggles, sharing the name of a specific person who inspired her recovery.
So who was the person who helped our girl get ahead? It turns out that even almost a decade later, a Sonny With a Chance castmate was a source of strength for Lovato to face her inner demons and come out on the other side.
Demi Lovato cited this former co-star as her inspiration during her battles against addiction
During the virtual call, ex- Sonny With a Chance co-star Allisyn Ashley Arm kicked off the conversation by asking her former co-stars what they had been up to since the Disney show ended in 2011. In an honest but engaging move, Lovato took advantage of her agency and took a direct approach. “I went to rehab,” joked the singer. “Repeatedly.”
Her unswerving but witty response prompted her fellow Sonny graduates to praise their watersheds for her recent return, meaning her performance of the national anthem at Super Bowl 2023 and her excellent performance at the Grammys in January. Subsequently, they had a candid conversation about how Lovato was able to solve her mental health issues to make that comeback in the first place.
While Lovato, who played the titular Sonny in her 2009 lead role, cited one particular person as her northern star through addiction and illness: former actor Tiffany Thornton, who played Lovato’s rival-turned at best friend Tawni Hart. The reason? Lovato saw and continues to see, Thornton as an example of a person who, as a contemporary, knows exactly the same kinds of pressures that are particularly exerted on women in the entertainment industry.
“When I first went to treatment, you were my biggest inspiration coming out of that because you dealt with all those pressures of being a woman on TV,” Lovato confessed during the virtual chat.
Demi Lovato is “much happier with the mindset” than she is now
Part of what threw Tiffany Thornton as a personal touchstone during Demi Lovato’s rocky bottom was that Thornton apparently always maintained a healthy attitude about the very things Lovato struggled with. The artist specifically cited her struggles with self-esteem, particularly with body dysphoria that led to a years-long battle with an eating disorder.
“I’m much happier now with the mindset you have,” Lovato specifically relayed to Thorton during the virtual meeting. “I look back and think, ‘Man, it’s a shame we waste energy on what we use on set.'”
“I’m realizing that as I got older when you start out in the industry as a 7-year-old and 8-year-old, you value your self-esteem with your success”.
The “Cool for the Summer” singer also expressed admiration for Thorton’s decision to leave the entertainment industry in 2015, bidding farewell to Hollywood three years later. Sonny spin-off So random! ended its only season. “I have moments all the time when I think, ‘Do I want to continue this?’ “The artist confessed. Or do I want to get a Tiffany and move to Texas, have a family, and have a farm?”
No matter which path Lovato finally chooses, we are happy that he is waiting for his future.