Demi Lovato's career trajectory has taken her from a Disney darling to a chart-topping pop superstar. Buried beneath the facade of success, however, was a damaged young woman struggling with addiction, mental illness, and overwhelming physical and emotional demands. The YouTube original documentary Demi Lovato: Simply Complicated follows her pursuit to overcome her demons, and illustrates how that painful journey is impacting the maturity and soulfulness of her music.
Born in New Mexico in 1992, Lovato was just two years old when her parents divorced. The trauma caused by the abandonment of her birth father, coupled with the onslaught of incessant bullying at school, would continue to resonate as she entered adulthood. From an early age, singing provided a refuge from her pain and insecurity.
Bolstered by the encouragement of her mother, she began attending training classes and auditions at every given opportunity. She soon landed roles on children's television, and quickly became one of the Disney Channel's most popular stars. Her career continued to blossom in the recording studio and on touring stages all over the world. The rollercoaster of fame did little to quell the underlying issues she had yet to confront; in fact, it brought them to the forefront. With her life and career hanging in the balance, she made the brave decision to seek treatment for her addictions to food, alcohol and cocaine.
Lovato's family, friends and collaborators are on hand throughout the film, and they describe the highs and lows of her life with great compassion and insight. The centerpiece of the film is a brutally honest conversation with the woman herself as she recounts her struggles to find her truest self.
Viewers will also savor a behind the scenes look into her recording sessions. A fierce and commanding vocalist, Lovato calls upon her life to deliver potent songs of heartbreak, loss, failed relationships and the rocky road to self-empowerment. At 25, her voice embodies a breadth of experience that's usually only found in singers twice her age.
Raw and revealing, Demi Lovato: Simply Complicated is a moving portrait of an assertive young woman coming into her own.
Directed by: Hannah Lux Davis