Selena Marie Gomez (born July 22, 1992) is an American actress and singer best known for her portrayal of Alex Russo on the Disney Channel series, Wizards of Waverly Place. She has starred in the television movies, Another Cinderella Story and Princess Protection Program.
Before Disney, she had one of the kid roles on Barney & Friends. In 2008, she signed a record deal with Hollywood Records and contributed to the Tinker Bell, Another Cinderella Story and Wizards of Waverly Place soundtracks. Her band, Selena Gomez & the Scene, released their debut studio album Kiss & Tell on September 29, 2009.
Gomez, an only child, was born in Grand Prairie, Texas to Ricardo Gomez and Mandy Teefy (née Cornett), a former stage actress who was 16 when she gave birth to Gomez. Her birth parents separated when she was five years old; her mother remarried in 2006 to Brian Teefy. Gomez was named after singer Selena. Her father is Mexican and her mother is of Italian descent. Also becoming a boyfreind with Justin Bieber, Teen Superstar in the winter of 2010-2011.
Gomez began her acting career at age seven, playing Gianna on Barney & Friends. She said that she learned "everything" about how to act while on the show. Season 7 of Barney & Friends, when Selena Gomez was on the show, was held up for some time. Because of this, the episodes featuring Gomez did not air until she was in 5th grade. This resulted in some mild controversy/confusion as to whether she was on Barney in the 5th grade or the 1st grade. She later had minor roles in Game Over and the TV film Walker, Texas Ranger: Trial By Fire.
In 2004, Gomez was discovered by the Disney Channel in a nation wide scouting. She appeared as a guest star on The Suite Life of Zack & Cody and Hannah Montana before being cast in Wizards of Waverly Place as one of the main characters, Alex Russo. She also appears in the 2009 Disney Channel movie based on the show. The movie drew 11.4 million viewers for its premiere, which is currently Disney Channel's second highest rated movie.
In 2008, Gomez appeared in Another Cinderella Story, the direct-to-DVD sequel to the 2004 Hilary Duff film, opposite Drew Seeley. In its January 2009 television debut on ABC Family, it drew 5.3 million viewers and was ranked as the month's number one cable movie across all key demographics. 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, Forbes listed Gomez as one of its "Eight Hot Kid Stars To Watch." On October 30, 2008, she launched a production company, July Moon Productions, and teamed with XYZ Films to create star vehicles for her.
In 2009, she appeared in the Disney Channel movie, Princess Protection Program with Demi Lovato. The film drew 8.5 million viewers for its premiere, the fourth-highest for a Disney Channel Original Movie.
In 2008, Gomez recorded a cover of "Cruella de Vil" for DisneyMania 6, three songs for the Another Cinderella Story soundtrack, and "Fly to Your Heart" for the animated film Tinker Bell. In July 2008, she signed a record deal with Hollywood Records. She also had a cameo in the Jonas Brothers music video for "Burnin' Up". During an interview with MTV in August 2008, she said of her future music career:
"I'm going to be in a band — no Selena Gomez stuff. I'm not going to be a solo artist. I think that I don't want my name attached to it. I will be singing, and I'm learning drums and playing electric guitar."
In 2009, Gomez recorded "One and the Same" for Princess Protection Program as a duet with her co-star Demi Lovato, four songs for the Wizards of Waverly Place soundtrack, and "Whoa Oh!" with Forever the Sickest Kids. Gomez with her band, Selena Gomez & The Scene released their debut studio album, Kiss & Tell on September 29, 2009. The album's first single, "Falling Down" was released on August 21, 2009.
Gomez was involved in the UR Votes Count campaign which helped encourage teenagers learn more about their 2008 Presidential candidates (Barack Obama and John McCain). In October 2008, Gomez was named a spokesperson for UNICEF's 2008 Trick-or-Treat 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 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. 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. 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.