On Tuesday night (September 12), Demi Lovato made an appearance on the smoke-filled stage of New Jersey’s Prudential Centre, prepared to reintroduce herself to a mob of adoring fans. Lovato demonstrated what it means to re-contextualize your pop celebrity into rock grandeur at the MTV VMAs while wearing a black vinyl gown and their now-signature-slicked black hair.
Lovato tells Billboard two weeks before their star-turn performance that they aren’t feeling anxious about making their first appearance on the VMA stage in six years.
“We just started rehearsals for it and I’m getting the creative locked in right now,” she says over a Zoom call. “I’m really excited. I think it’ll be a great performance.”
Revamped, Lovato’s new album of classic favourites reworked in her new rock image, which is out now, was primarily made possible by her trust in her performance abilities.
The 10-song album includes some of their greatest hits (such as Heart Attack and Sorry Not Sorry) as well as fan favourites, La La Land and Tell Me You Love Me, all updated with a punchy pop-punk vibe to better complement Lovato’s return to the rock music genre.
Whether it is switching from pop-punk to pure pop and then back to rock music, or openly disclosing their gender identification (Lovato who now goes with both they/them and she/her pronouns), change has been a constant in their career for Lovato. It was therefore nothing new for her to go back and alter the aesthetic of her songs.
“It just feels really good,” she says. “I’m really proud of the work that we did, and I’m excited for the songs to be out there.”