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Selena Gomez: Bio and Origins of the Actress and Singer

VO: Rebecca Brayton
Born July 22nd, 1992 in Grand Prairie, Texas, Selena Gomez started acting as a child on television shows. After being discovered by Disney when she was ten, the young aspiring actress landed some guest roles before grabbing lead in "Wizards of Waverly Place." The successful TV show helped Gomez get into music and book roles in several popular television movies. Since then, her band Selena Gomez and the Scene have released 3 pop albums and she's been seen on the big screen in numerous movies, with many more projects in the works. In this video, takes a look at the life and career of Selena Gomez.

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She loves you like a love song. Welcome to, and today we're taking a look at the life and career of Selena Gomez.

Growing Up

Selena Marie Gomez was born July 22nd, 1992 in Grand Prairie, Texas. Named after slain Latin songstress, Selena Quintanilla, Gomez came from a mixed Mexican-Italian background and was raised by her stage actress mother.

First Acting Role

Following in her mom's footsteps, Gomez became interested in acting and landed her first role on “Barney & Friends” when she was seven. Following small parts in the action-adventure flick “Spy Kids 3-D” and a few TV movies, Gomez was discovered during a Disney Channel scouting audition in 2004.


Her first role as part of the Disney family was a guest one on “The Suite Life of Zack & Cody.” This was followed by another guest appearance on Miley Cyrus' “Hannah Montana,” which was soon upgraded to a recurring spot.

“Wizards of Waverly Place”

In 2007, she nabbed one of the leads in Disney's “Wizards of Waverly Place.” That TV show was an instant smash and premiered to an audience of almost six million people. Dubbed the next Miley Cyrus, Gomez continued her climb to the top by branching out into music and recording songs for the “Wizards of Waverly Place” soundtrack. She also contributed to the DisneyMania 6 compilation and “Tinker Bell” movie soundtrack.

More Movies

The next year, she starred in the DVD sequel “Another Cinderella Story,” and had a small role in the film “Horton Hears a Who!” Just days shy of her 16th birthday, Gomez signed a record deal with the Disney subsidiary, Hollywood Records.

Television Movies and Music

In 2009, Gomez was all over the small screen. She appeared in the popular Disney channel production “Princess Protection Program” alongside good friend Demi Lovato, and participated in the TV movie based on her series,“Wizards of Waverly Place,” which attracted over eleven million viewers and won an Emmy the next year.

Band's Musical Debut

During this time, her band Selena Gomez & The Scene released their debut, Kiss & Tell. The pop album hit the top ten on the charts and eventually achieved gold certification. It also spawned the top 40 hit, “Naturally.”

Big Screen Debut and More Music

Gomez then expanded into Hollywood with her first major big screen role in the 2010 film “Ramona and Beezus.” That same year, Selena Gomez & The Scene came out with their second album, A Year Without Rain. The top five record was eventually certified gold and included the mainstream hits: “Round & Round” and the title track.

Top Five Success with Selena Gomez and the Scene

2011 was Gomez's biggest year yet due to the breakout success of her band's third effort, When the Sun Goes Down. Peaking at the third position of the Billboard 200 chart, it sold over 75 thousand copies in its first week and yielded two platinum-certified singles: “Who Says” became their highest charting track to that point at number 21 and “Love You Like a Love Song” sold a staggering two million copies.

More Big Screen Roles and Justin Bieber

Later that year, she took one of the leads in the romantic comedy “Monte Carlo” and made a cameo in the massively successful musical comedy, “The Muppets.” She also went public about her relationship with pop sensation Justin Bieber.

Concentrating on Acting

After announcing a break for Selena Gomez & The Scene, the young star concentrated on acting. In 2012, she lent her voice to the animated film “Hotel Transylvania,” and went to work on several other movie productions. These included “Spring Breakers,” in which she deviated considerably from her usual squeaky clean image alongside several other young actresses.

Other Projects

Outside music and acting, Gomez has launched her own production company and a fashion line.  She is also heavily involved in charity work and in 2009 she became UNICEF's youngest ambassador to that point.

A Triple Threat with More to Come

Though she has not been around for long, Selena Gomez has already made a mark on Hollywood. This is more than evident from her legion of fans and admirers. The Disney darling is a triple threat that has grown up with style and grace – both of which will serve her well as she climbs to the top of Hollywood.

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