Demi Lovato Stuns With New Song on “Ellen”

Photo courtesy of Warner Bros.

By Terrance Turner

Feb. 22, 2021

Singer Demi Lovato appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show today. She discussed her new documentary “Dancing with the Devil”, which chronicles her journey to recovery after a near-fatal overdose in 2018. (Lovato has struggled with both an eating disorder and bipolar disorder. She’s been open about both — and the addiction that nearly claimed her life.)

“I talk about a lot [in the docuseries],” Lovato, 28, told show host Ellen DeGeneres. “The world has been so loving and accepting of me telling my story and just, there’s been so much love and support. What’s great is we live in a time when nobody’s perfect, and we’re not gonna get role models by watching people not make mistakes.”

“We are going to meet and learn from our role models who have overcome their deepest darkest struggles,” she continued. “I wanted to show everyone — first, I wanted to set the record straight.” Lovato explained that “a lot of stories were going around that time that didn’t really know what exactly had happened.” She gets to tell her own story in “Dancing with the Devil,” a four-part docuseries that premieres on YouTube on March 23.

She also opened up about why she cut off all her hair (Lovato appeared with a dramatic short cut, dyed pink). “I just feel so free,” Lovato said in a recent interview on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. “I feel more authentic to who I am. I also feel like I used to hide behind my hair. I’ve talked a lot about my past being in recovery from an eating disorder, and I used to use my hair to hide behind. It would cover my body. So when I started doing all this work on myself, I thought, ‘What is something I’ve been holding onto my whole life that I need to let go of?’ It was that and… yeah, I just feel more myself now.”

Lovato appeared with singer-songwriter Sam Fischer, who wrote her new song “What Other People Say”. The power ballad explores expectations of other “So the writing session that I wrote ‘What Other People Say’ was supposed to be another artist. They didn’t turn up,” Fischer explains. “It was before anything had happened for me, and I was kind of in a pretty rough mental place; I didn’t think anything was gonna happen for me as an artist,” he said. The song was inspired by Fisher thinking about other people’s expectations of him — expectation he hadn’t met. The confessional lyrics speak of someone who’s lost their way by trying to be what everyone else wants.

Thought when I grew up, I would be the same
As the ones who gave me my last name
I would not give in, I would not partake
In the same old drugs everyone else takes

[Pre-Chorus]
I’m better than that, I’m better than that
I’m livin’ my life so I go to Heaven and never come back
But look where I’m at, look where I’m at
I’m livin’ the life that I said I wouldn’t and wanna go back

First verse and pre-chorus of “What Other People Say”

Lovato belted out the song’s emotional chorus: “I used to call my mom every Sunday, so she knew her love wasn’t far away. But now I’m all ‘messed’ up out in LA, ’cause I care more about what other people say.” After Lovato sang the hell of the song’s first half, Fisher delivered the second verse, which sounds as if it were ripped right from his diary:

I wish I could shelter the boy I knew
From the constant hell I’d put him through

‘Cause I’m all grown up and I’m black and blue
I could use some tape, I could use some glue

From

The two joined forces on the second chorus, which they cleaned up for TV. The original lyrics are printed below, courtesy of Genius:

I used to call my mom every Sunday
So she knew her love wasn’t far away
But now I’m all fucked up out in LA
‘Cause I care more about what other people say
I used to not take chances with God’s name
But it’s been so long since I last prayed
And now I’m all fucked up and my heart’s changed
‘Cause I care more about what other people say

“What Other People Say”

The two blended beautifully, but Lovato was a stunner: she delivered the gut-wrenching chorus with a level of vocal and emotional power I’d forgotten she had. (It’s easy to forget what a great singer she is.) Her duet with Fischer brought me to tears. The performance is embedded below:

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