Dianna married again, and with her new husband Eddie De La Garza, a former car-dealership manager, Demi says she can recall, aged five, watching her mother perform with artists such as Hank Williams Jr and George Strait and thinking that she, too, wanted to be a singer. ‘I used to feel I was in my big sister’s shadow,’ she says.
‘Dallas didn’t mean for me to feel that way, but I felt I could never fully shine because she was the gorgeous, popular cheerleader and I was the awkward little girl with chubby cheeks and huge eyebrows.’Both Dallas and Demi took part in beauty pageants and went to acting and dancing classes, and before long Demi had her first break alongside Selena Gomez on Barney & Friends.
I don’t care who knows about my life, and now that I am an open book a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders.’Now 21, Demi was born in New Mexico, the daughter of Patrick, who was an engineer and musician, and Dianna, a one-time country-music singer.
” I was riding this wave of entitlement and superiority and they were in an impossible position because there’s no manual that explains how to deal with the sort of teenager I was.’The one person who wasn’t dealing with Demi at all by her mid-teens was her increasingly erratic birth father.
The difference with Demi seems to be that not only has she confronted her demons and got her career back on track – she is currently promoting her fourth studio album Demi, while juggling collaborations with The Vamps, before embarking on a world tour which includes joining Enrique Iglesias as his special guest for four UK dates in November – but also that she has made a conscious decision to be utterly candid about her mental-health struggles.
Her primary motivation, she says, is to use her story as ‘a beacon of hope for the next generation’ – she has a massive teen following and at her recent sellout gig at Koko in London, fans were sleeping outside overnight to get a glimpse of her. ‘When you are no longer hiding anything, you don’t worry about what is going to get out.
‘I was always the girl who would rather hang around adults, eavesdropping on their conversations, than play hide and seek with kids my own age,’ she says.
In particular, she can’t remember ever having a normal relationship with food.