This is Me: The musical evolution of Demi Lovato in 10 songs

The US star's sound has evolved from teen-friendly pop to emotionally driven ballads and rock songs

Demi Lovato will perform at Dubai's Coca-Cola Arena on Saturday. Getty Images
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UAE fans are in for a treat with Demi Lovato taking the stage for a rare live performance at the Coca-Cola Arena on Saturday.

Ever since concluding her extensive US tour last year, the singer has been away from the stage with only a Dubai and another North American date currently scheduled for the calendar this year.

Judging by the strong reviews the tour received, expect Lovato to showcase a powerful new sound courtesy of her new album, her rock and pop-punk influenced songs, as well as a smattering of greatest hits — including some of her signature dance and electro-pop tracks and ballads.

Such dynamism is a hallmark of the US singer, 30, who began as a Disney actress before forging her own path as a pop star who poured anguish and emotion into her work.

Here are 10 songs showcasing Lovato's career evolution:

1. This Is Me (2008)

Lovato's debut recording was taken from the hit 2008 Disney film Camp Rock, in which she stars as the shy singer Mitchie Torres.

An upbeat and catchy slice of power-pop, the track crossed over to the adult charts and peaked at No 22 in the US.

While Lovato rarely plays it live, it is a notable start to what would be an eventful career.

2. Here We Go Again (2009)

One of the earliest displays of her powerhouse vocals, Here We Go Again gave Lovato's chart rival Kelly Clarkson a run for her money with this anthemic pop tune about a roller coaster relationship.

The track was released and promoted through the Disney ecosystem, having had its premiere on the Disney Channel on the back of the screening of the film Princess Protection Program, in which Lovato also stars.

3. Skyscraper (2011)

A sumptuous track with Lovato's vocals at the forefront.

Beginning with a piano before developing into a full-blown power ballad with dramatic strings, Lovato's vocals gain intensity as she sings about finding strength during the darkest of times.

This would go on to become a key theme throughout Lovato’s body of work.

4. Heart Attack (2013)

A change of style resulted in one of Lovato's biggest hits.

Ditching the dramatic balladry of prior releases, the singer lends her bombastic vocals to Heart Attack's propulsive electro-pop production.

Punchy and powerful, it is here where she is really coming into her own as an artist.

5. Cool for the Summer (2015)

Lovato doubles down on her dance-centric sounds with one of her finest singles.

From the throbbing beats to the atmospheric synths, this Max Martin-produced track was destined to be a summer hit.

Indeed, Cool for the Summer, featuring Lovato’s sultriest set of vocals, topped the Billboard US Dance Club Songs chart, in addition to making an impact from Europe to Australia.

6. Confident (2015)

The follow-up to Cool for the Summer and the title track from what remains her defining album.

Confident features swaggering horns and flamboyant lyrics that are unapologetic and self-celebratory.

7. Sorry Not Sorry (2017)

The reason why Lovato stands out from the pack is her vocals, which easily transition from cool and breathy to bombastic with ease.

Sorry Not Sorry is a strong example with a towering, gospel music-infused chorus that Whitney Houston would have appreciated.

8. Anyone (2020)

A melancholy ballad in which Lovato bares her insecurities.

Recorded days before she went to rehabilitation for substance abuse, the lyrics read like thoughts from a mind spiralling out of control: "I feel stupid when I sing / Nobody's listening to me".

With a superbly controlled vocal performance, Lovato shows once again she is one of the rare high-profile artists, alongside the likes of Adele and Beyonce, penning deeply autobiographical tunes.

9. Dancing With The Devil (2021)

Another dramatic ballad reminiscent of Adele's Skyfall, a recovered Lovato gives a harrowing insight with each verse detailing her descent into drug abuse.

The chorus reaffirms her decision to quit, while acknowledging how fortunate she is to be alive: "almost made it to heaven...playing with the enemy / gambling with my soul."

10. Skin of My Teeth (2022)

Lovato announced her departure from recording pop music by dramatically posting on Twitter a "funeral" for commercial sounds.

While Skin of My Teeth is the first track signalling the new phase, it remains an earworm — albeit a more gnarly one — with its buzzing pop-punk guitars.

In a way, the song channels the earlier sounds of Lovato's career, though the gritty lyrics about survival showcase how far the artist has come, while also acknowledging the price of fame.

Demi Lovato performs at Coca-Cola Arena on Saturday at 7pm. Tickets begin from Dh195 from

Updated: March 16, 2023, 7:30 AM