From Barney babe to Insta queen: Celebrating 24 years of Selena Gomez

22nd July is a good day because it’s marks the date that one of our ultimate faves came into the world 24 years ago.


But Selena Gomez‘s meteoric rise to fame didn’t happen overnight. It takes a lot of work to be this awesome.

The cutie first appeared on our screens in ‘Barney and Friends’ along with Demi Lovato back in 2002  and, in the words of Genie from ‘Aladdin’, “Barney ain’t never had a friend like Selena”. Word for word quote there 😉

Butter wouldn’t melt…

She then cropped up again in 2007 as sassy old Alex Russo on Disney hit show ‘Wizards of Waverly Place’, which ran until 2012. Her off-beat, black humour in this always slays us.

Whilst working on the show she signed a record deal and started a band called Selena Gomez & the Scene. They released their debut album ‘Kiss & Tell’ in 2009, which produced the UK top ten single ‘Naturally’. DAMN! Forgot how much of a jam this one is. It just proves how naturally the fame game comes to Selena.

2010 saw the release of the band’s second album ‘A Year Without Rain’. The imperious title track from this album is the perfect karaoke jam and we love Selena’s aesthetic in the video.

Now we get to one of our fave Selena eras, ‘When the Sun Goes Down’, which became the band’s first US top three album and gifted the world this anthem of self-acceptance.

“I wouldn’t wanna be anybody else”. Tbh we’d all love to be you, Selena.

Then came the band’s biggest hit to date. This was the tune which really put Selena’s music career on the map. The trippy lyrics and the repetitive chorus made sure that ‘Love You Like a Love Song’ was lodged in our heads for most of 2011.

What. A. Tune!

We also just want to add that everybody should listen to this track from ‘When the Sun Goes Down’ because it’s ridiculously fierce and it’s a crime that it was never a single.

In her infinite wisdom, Selena then decided to go it alone, releasing her debut solo album ‘Stars Dance’ in 2013 with the exotic ‘Come & Get It’ serving as the first single. The song became her first UK top ten since ‘Naturally’ and ‘Stars Dance’ became her first US number one album.

In 2014 Selena’s career took a different direction after her breakup with Justin Bieber. She released the candid ‘The Heart Wants What It Wants’ and severed ties with her record label and management.

By the end of 2014 she had signed a new record deal and had started work on what would become ‘Revival’. In the meantime she flaunted her sexier and more mature image on this amazing banger of a collaboration with Zedd.

Selena at first struggled to find inspiration for ‘Revival’, but when she took a trip to Mexico she found her voice and began to write intensively. In June 2015 she released album lead single ‘Good For You’ which showed her experimenting with a more R&B influenced sound. ‘Good For You’ became an instant hit and her first top five single in the US.

She followed up this distinctive lead single with the poppier ‘Same Old Love’, which was co-written by Charli XCX, and this also became a massive worldwide hit.

Now it’s time for our fave, ‘Hands to Myself’. Words cannot express what a tune this is. The slinky beats and sexy video just blew Selena into the stratosphere and warmed up our winter.

Which brings us to current single ‘Kill ‘Em With Kindness’, a mantra which reallt sums up Selena’s positive attitude towards the haters. We love how she uses her pop stardom to pass on great messages such as in this song.

Aside from her singing career, which has gone from strength to strength in recent years, Selena is the undeniable queen of Instagram. She has the most liked photo of all time and  the most followers.

See all the hard work she puts in to be so awesome! Does this mean that if we want to be as famous as her we have to appear on ‘Barney and Friends’ too…?

Tweet us @maximumpop if you’ve loved every one of Selena’s 24 years.

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Written by David Farrell

David is the Head of Content at Maximum Pop!

Having studied Russian and Spanish at the University of Leeds, David moved to Moscow to work in the education sector. Upon returning to UK soil, David initially immersed himself in the wonderful world of MP! as a music writer.

Now head of all things content, David takes being a music fanboy to a whole new level, and can often be found dancing like there's nobody watching to 'Shout Out To My Ex', obsessing over Lauren Jauregui and defending Taylor Swift's honour.

David once appeared on TV in Armenia. Apparently, "it was awesome".

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