From ‘Barney & Friends’ to ‘The Dead Don’t Die’: How Selena Gomez Became Famous

Selena Gomez is a household name. She’s well known for her music, and for her romance with Justin Bieber. She’s also best friends with Taylor Swift. In fact, there are rumors that the pair might collaborate on Swift’s upcoming album. 

Diehard fans probably know that Gomez was a child star. Others may be surprised to learn how she began her career.

Selena Gomez
Selena Gomez | Tony Barson/FilmMagic

She got her start on ‘Barney and Friends’ 

 The actress turned pop star actually started her career in a children’s show. She worked on Barney and Friends for two years, playing Gianna on the show from 2001 to 2003, but didn’t have much luck getting a recurring role after that until 2006. 

That’s when she was cast in a guest role for The Suite Life of Zack and Cody.  

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She’s been in a few Disney favorites

After The Suite Life, Selena was cast on another Disney show. In 2007 she appeared on Hannah Montana. From there, things picked up for the aspiring actress. 

She earned her first leading role, as Alex on The Wizards of Waverly PlaceThat show was on the air for five years, until 2012.  

One of her first musical recordings was a Disney song 

 Gomez is a world-class multitasker.  Apparently, she wasn’t busy enough on The Wizards of Waverly Place, so she decided to put some work into her singing career. 

In the beginning, she mostly recorded songs for movies and Disney shows.  She recorded a song for DisneyMania 6 in 2008. After her cover of “Cruella DeVille” for Disney, she recorded her first album. Kiss and Tell came out in 2008 (it seems like 2008 was a busy year for her!).

Gomez also does voiceover work 

Starring in a television show and recording an album wasn’t enough to fill up Gomez’s schedule. This actress/singer also does voice acting. 

Her first foray into the craft was in 2008. Again, that was a busy year for her. She did voice work for Horton Hears a Who, and she’s also the voice of Mavis in Hotel Transylvania. The first movie in that series premiered in 2012. 

She’s dedicated to charity

Selena’s professional accomplishments are even more impressive in the context of her health struggles. The singer/actress has battled with lupus for years and even had to undergo a kidney transplant. 

Fortunately, lupus was no match for Gomez. After her transplant, she got right back to work. She performed on stage just two short months after her operation and raised half a million dollars for lupus research.  

Her work on ‘The Dead Don’t Die’

 This summer, Gomez will appear alongside some of the most iconic actors and singers in the world. The Dead Don’t Die is the zombie comedy we didn’t know we needed. The film probably has too many big names to list in this article, but we’ll give it a try. 

Aside from Gomez, The Dead Don’t Die will also feature Iggy Pop, Adam Driver, Bill Murray, Tilda Swinton, Donald Glover, Tom Waits, and more.  

Gomez has come a long way from Barney and Friends. Although she often makes headlines for her relationship with Justin Bieber, thinking of her as the girlfriend of a famous musician does this star a huge disservice. She’s multi-talented, and we should all aspire to her work ethic.