Selena Marie Gomez (born July 22, 1992) is an American actress, singer, and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, best known for portraying Alex Russo in the Emmy Award-winning Disney Channel television series Wizards of Waverly Place. She subsequently ventured into feature films and has starred in the television movies Another Cinderella Story, Wizards of Waverly Place: The Movie, and Princess Protection Program. She made her starring theatrical film debut in Ramona and Beezus.
Enhancing her repertoire into the music industry, Gomez is the lead singer and founder of the pop band Selena Gomez & the Scene, which has released two RIAA Gold certified studio albums, Kiss & Tell and A Year Without Rain. Gomez has also contributed to the soundtracks of Tinker Bell, Another Cinderella Story and Wizards of Waverly Place after signing a record deal with Hollywood Records. As of April 15, 2011, she had sold 1,354,000 copies of her albums Kiss & Tell and A Year Without Rain in the United States.
Gomez was born in Grand Prairie, Texas, the daughter of former stage actress Mandy Teefey (née Cornett) and Ricardo Joel Gomez. Her father is Mexican American and her mother is of half Italian descent. Her birth parents divorced when she was five years old, and she was raised as an only child by her working mother. In 2006, Mandy remarried Brian Teefey. She is named after Tejano singer Selena. In a 2009 interview with People, Gomez mentioned that she developed an early interest in acting from watching her mother prepare for and act in theater productions. She earned a high school diploma through homeschooling in May 2010
Gomez began her acting career at age seven, playing Gianna on Barney & Friends. She later had minor roles in Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over and the TV film Walker, Texas Ranger: Trial By Fire. In 2004, Gomez was discovered by the Disney Channel in a nationwide scouting. Gomez appeared as a guest star on The Suite Life of Zack & Cody and had a guest appearance – that later turned into a recurring role – on Hannah Montana from season's two to three. In early 2007 Gomez was cast in the Disney Channel series Wizards of Waverly Place as one of the three main characters, Alex Russo.
In 2008, Gomez appeared in Another Cinderella Story, the direct-to-DVD sequel to the 2004 Hilary Duff film, opposite Drew Seeley. She also had a minor voiceover role as one the Mayor's ninety-six daughters in Horton Hears a Who! which released in March of that year. In April, Lacey Rose, of Forbes ranked Gomez as being fifth on their "Eight Hot Kid Stars To Watch" list; and Rose described Gomez as having been "a multitalented teen". In June, 2009, Gomez appeared in the made-for-television Disney Channel movie, Princess Protection Program with her best friend Demi Lovato. On August 28, one month after appearing in Princess Protection Program, Gomez appeared in Wizards of Waverly Place: The Movie, a made-for-television film based on the show.Gomez began her acting career at age seven, playing Gianna on Barney & Friends. She later had minor roles in Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over and the TV film Walker, Texas Ranger: Trial By Fire. In 2004, Gomez was discovered by the Disney Channel in a nationwide scouting. Gomez appeared as a guest star on The Suite Life of Zack & Cody and had a guest appearance – that later turned into a recurring role – on Hannah Montana from season's two to three. In early 2007 Gomez was cast in the Disney Channel series Wizards of Waverly Place as one of the three main characters, Alex Russo.
In 2008, Gomez appeared in Another Cinderella Story, the direct-to-DVD sequel to the 2004 Hilary Duff film, opposite Drew Seeley. She also had a minor voiceover role as one the Mayor's ninety-six daughters in Horton Hears a Who! which released in March of that year. In April, Lacey Rose, of Forbes ranked Gomez as being fifth on their "Eight Hot Kid Stars To Watch" list; and Rose described Gomez as having been "a multitalented teen". In June, 2009, Gomez appeared in the made-for-television Disney Channel movie, Princess Protection Program with her best friend Demi Lovato. On August 28, one month after appearing in Princess Protection Program, Gomez appeared in Wizards of Waverly Place: The Movie, a made-for-television film based on the show.In 2009, Gomez did a guest appearance as herself in one episode, of Lovato's Disney Channel television show Sonny With a Chance, entitled "Battle of The Network Stars". Gomez, along with two cast members of Wizards of Waverly Place appeared in a television three-way cross-over episode with Hannah Montana and The Suite Life on Deck, entitled Wizards on Deck with Hannah Montana. In February 2009, Gomez signed on to star as one of the two female leads in Ramona and Beezus, a film adaption of the children's novel series by Beverly Cleary. Gomez stated that she felt no pressure in taking more adult roles: "I think I’m fully aware of my audience and I’m still just a kid myself. I wouldn’t do a role I don’t feel comfortable doing or that my audience wouldn’t feel comfortable seeing." In March, 2010, Variety reported that Gomez was set to star as one of the three lead roles in Monte Carlo, alongside Leighton Meester and Katie Cassidy. That same year Gomez confirmed that the fourth season of her hit Disney Channel show, Wizards of Waverly Place, would be its last. She also confirmed that there would be a Sequel to the show's first film.
In February 2011, Deadline.com
reported that Universal Pictures and Strike Entertainment had acquired the novel Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher with Gomez attached to the lead.
2009–present: Selena Gomez & the Scene
Main article: Selena Gomez & the Scene
"Tell Me Something I Don't Know" (2008)
Gomez's first song to chart on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100.
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In 2008, Gomez recorded a cover of "Cruella de Vil"—which included a music video—for the compilation album DisneyMania 6. Gomez recorded three songs for the Another Cinderella Story soundtrack, which Gomez appears in. Gomez also recorded "Fly to Your Heart" for the 2008 animated film Tinker Bell. In July 2008 – before Gomez' sixteenth birthday, she signed a recording deal with Hollywood Records, a music label owned by Disney. In 2009, Gomez recorded "One and the Same" for Princess Protection Program as a duet with Lovato – they both appear in the film. Gomez recorded four songs, one of which was a cover, for the Wizards of Waverly Place soundtrack, only one single (Magic) from the album was released. In May, of the same year, Gomez was featured – with Forever the Sickest Kids, on a duet version of the non-album song "Whoa Oh!".
Formed in 2009, Selena Gomez & the Scene (aka Selena & The Scene) is a teen pop band which consists of Selena Gomez on vocals, Ethan Roberts on guitar, Joey Clement on bass, Greg Garman on drums and Dane Forrest on keyboards. Kiss & Tell is the band's debut studio album and was released on September 29, 2009 by Hollywood Records. On March 5, 2010, the album was certified Gold by RIAA. The album's single, "Naturally", was certified Platinum by the RIAA on July 15, 2010. The band's second album A Year Without Rain was released on September 17, 2010. The record debuted on the Billboard 200 at number 4, selling 66,000 copies. On January 19, 2011, the album was certified Gold by RIAA. The bands third album is set to hit shelves on June 28, 2011. Gomez confirmed via her official twitter that their lead single would be titled "Who Says". The single was previously scheduled to premiere live on On Air with Ryan Seacrest March 10, but was pushed up two days early to March 8. The accompanying music video, which was directed by Chris Applebaum, premiered on Disney Channel on March 11.
Gomez was involved in the UR Votes Count campaign which encouraged teenagers to learn more about 2008 presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain. In October 2008, Gomez participated in St. Jude's Children's Hospital "Runway For Life" benefit. Gomez is a spokesperson for Borden Milk; she is featured in the campaign's print and television ads. She is the ambassador of DoSomething.org
after being involved with the charity Island Dog, which help dogs in Puerto Rico. She got involved while filming Wizards of Waverly Place: The Movie in Puerto Rico. Gomez is a spokesperson for State Farm Insurance, and is featured in their TV commercials; which air on the Disney Channel, to raise awareness of being a safe driver. Gomez is also involved with the charity RAISE Hope For Congo, the charity helps raise awareness about the violence against Congolese women, in the Congo.
In October 2008, Gomez was named UNICEF's spokesperson for the Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF campaign, which encouraged children to raise money on Halloween to help children around the world. She said that she was "extremely excited" to "encourage other kids to make a difference in the world."
In August 2009, a 17-year-old Gomez became the youngest UNICEF ambassador ever, passing fellow songstress Hayley Westenra, who had been 18. In her first official field mission, Gomez traveled to Ghana on September 4, 2009 for a week to witness first-hand the stark conditions of vulnerable children that lack vital necessities including clean water, nourishment, education and healthcare. Gomez explained during an interview with Associated Press that she wanted to use her star power to bring awareness to Ghana: “That’s why I feel very honored to have a voice that kids listen to and take into consideration [...] I had people on my tour asking me where IS Ghana, and they Googled it […] and because I went there, they now know where Ghana is. So it’s pretty incredible.” Gomez said of her role as ambassador that: "Every day 25,000 children die from preventable causes. I stand with UNICEF in the belief that we can change that number from 25,000 to zero. I know we can achieve this because every moment, UNICEF is on the ground providing children with the lifesaving assistance needed to ensure zero becomes a reality."
Gomez was named spokesperson for UNICEF's 2009 Trick-or-Treat campaign, for the second year in a row. Gomez, who raised over $700,000 for the charity in 2008, stated that she hopes to be able to raise 1 million dollars in 2009. Gomez participated in a celebrity auction and hosted a live web cast series on Facebook in support of the Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF campaign. Gomez will return as the UNICEF spokesperson for the 60th anniversary of Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF campaign in 2010.
Gomez is involved in Disney's Friends for Change, an organization which promotes "environmently-friendly behavior", and appears in its public service announcements to raise awareness for the cause on the Disney Channel. Gomez, Demi Lovato, Miley Cyrus, and the Jonas Brothers recorded "Send It On", a charity single which serves as the theme song for Disney's Friends for Change in 2009. The song debuted on the Hot 100 at number twenty. Disney's Friends For Change will direct all of its proceeds from "Send it On" to environmental charities to the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund. On October 6, 2009, Gomez made a surprise visit to a Los Angeles elementary school as part of the "A Day Made Better" program that was sponsored by OfficeMax. During her visit, Gomez gave the school an award, and gave them $1,000 worth of school supplies. Gomez spent the day with the students and talked about the importance of giving back to the community.
Gomez was part of Sears back-to-school fashion ad campaign. As part of the campaign Gomez was featured in the television commercials. In August 2009, Gomez also hosted the "Sears Arrive Air Band Casting Call" – to select five people for the first-ever "Sears Air Band", which performed at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards.
In October 2008, Gomez launched her own production company, July Moon Productions, and partnered with XYZ Films to create star vehicles for Gomez. As part of the agreement Gomez will have the opportunity to be able option articles, hire writers and create talent packages to shop to studios. Also, as part of the deal, "XYZ Films will allow Gomez to star in and produce at least two films. Variety reported that: "In August, XYZ [Films] inked a similar deal with Time Inc. and management-production company the Collective to finance the development of the print media giant's content for the bigscreen [...] As part of the July Moon-XYZ deal, [Selena] Gomez will have the ability to cherry-pick projects from the vast Time Inc. library, which includes Time, Sports Illustrated, Fortune and Life."
In October, 2009, Gomez announced her plan to launch her own fashion line, called "Dream Out Loud by Selena Gomez", which is set to launch in fall 2010. The clothing line will consist of and feature bohemian dresses, floral tops, jeans, skirts, jackets, scarves and hats, all made from recycled or eco-friendly materials. Gomez said that the line will reflect her own personal style and described the clothing as being "pretty, feminine, and bohemian," and: "With my line, I really want to give the customer options on how they can put their own looks together [...] I want the pieces that can be easy to dress up or down, and the fabrics being eco-friendly and organic is super important [...] Also, the tags will all have some of my inspirational quotes on them. I'm just looking to send a good message." Gomez, who has no background in fashion, teamed up with designers Tony Melillo and Sandra Campos, both who have worked with big-name fashion houses. Gomez said of the partnering: "When I met Tony and Sandra, I was instantly comfortable with them and now they are just like family to me [...] They are so creative and I love how I can just call them up whenever and talk to them about everything, even if it's just about changing a button [...] They've been so cool about everything." The brand will be manufactured by, Melillo and Campos teamed with New York-based Adjmi Apparel and formed by Adjmi CH Brands LLC; which is the holding company for the brand.
Gomez began wearing a purity ring when she was 12 years old, and then removed it in 2010. She is the owner of five rescue dogs and describes herself as a "huge animal lover". In answering a question on Hispanic heritage, to stationery provider Scholastic's news service for kids and teens, Gomez said: "My family does have Quinceañeras, and we go to the communion church. We do everything that's Catholic, but we don't really have anything traditional except go to the park and have barbeques on Sundays after church