The New Paper
14 July 2016
Selena Gomez is what you would call a multi-hyphenate.
She acts, sings, dances, writes, and is the reigning queen of Instagram.
Did we mention she is also an entrepreneur with her own clothing line, fragrance and production company?
At 23, the US pop princess has accomplished a lot, and she is just getting started.
Gomez, who will be in town later this month for the Singapore leg of her Revival Tour, came into the public eye at the tender age of 10 on children's TV show Barney And Friends before moving on to Wizards Of Waverly Place.
Since then, the brunette beauty of Mexican and Italian descent has been working hard to stay in the business.
Now, she has officially become an independent woman, which is what her latest album Revival is all about.
Released last October under Interscope, Revival is her first full-length offering outside of Disney-owned Hollywood Records, where she first recorded as a teenager.
Gomez also stepped into the role of executive producer for Revival, taking on creative control and chalking up more songwriting credits than on her previous releases.
She told Time magazine it was "therapeutic" to share her story through her 2014 single The Heart Wants What It Wants, as "that's what great music is".
She added: "I can't care any more that people are going to twist my words or talk about it.
"Everybody said every single thing they could say about me. I can't let that affect me from making the music I want to make, even if it is personal."
Despite constant tabloid scrutiny, Gomez has remained level-headed with a squeaky clean reputation - in comparison to fellow Disney child star Miley Cyrus.
Nor has she suffered any major meltdown or scandal.
It is no wonder that in March, Gomez was named the most followed person on Instagram.
If you aren't one of her 89 million followers, M tells you why you should be.
SHE'S A FIGHTER
From ending her high-profile on-off relationship with Canadian pop star Justin Bieber to checking herself into a rehab facility - not for drug or alcohol problems but for the treatment of lupus - 2014 was a difficult period for Gomez.
She underwent chemotherapy to treat the chronic autoimmune disease, for which there is no cure.
Luckily, her condition is under control.
These personal struggles became the inspiration for Revival.
She told E! News: "I had a lot of people trying to tear me down, but I've always been myself... I have been graceful, and tried to handle myself because I know how hard I work and I'm not going to let any of that get to me."
SHE GOT SEXY, TASTEFULLY
Gomez posed topless for Revival's album cover, but the result was far from crude.
The photo was not a quick way to tell the world she's all grown up but to show "confidence", she told radio DJ Ryan Seacrest.
She also said it was "a beautiful representation of where I am".
"I dealt with a lot of body shaming this year and I've never experienced that before," Gomez said on US radio station Power 106's The Cruz Show.
"I did start gaining weight and I didn't really mind it. I enjoyed it, but man, (the body shaming) was really hurtful."
SHE'S BRANCHING OUT
Gomez is not a strong vocalist like Taylor Swift, Ariana Grande or Demi Lovato, and she knows that.
She is, above all, an actress, telling Time that she loves "being able to translate everything I'm feeling inside through my voice and through the songs".
Gomez will soon be starting work on her own TV series based on Jay Asher's award-winning young adult novel Thirteen Reasons Why.
Originally meant to be a feature film, the tale of a high school student who commits suicide will be developed into a miniseries by Netflix, with Gomez wearing her first executive producer hat.
SHE'S JUST LIKE US
Perhaps one reason why she has so many Instagram followers is that she's not afraid to show her unflattering side to her fans.
For example, the philanthropist and Unicef ambassador has no qualms telling the world she pigs out on McDonald's.
On a recent episode of talk show The Late Late Show With James Corden, she went to a drive-through and ordered a Ranch BLT, plus medium fries and a Coke.
See photos related to the article in the gallery below.
This article was first published on July 13, 2016.
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