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Demi Lovato recorded 'Anyone' just days before her 2018 overdose and it tells a powerful story of resilience

Demi Lovato debuted her new song 'Anyone' at the 2020 Grammys and while it may not have been the return everyone expected from the singer, it was a declaration of survival and resilience
UPDATED JAN 28, 2020
Demi Lovato (Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for The Recording Academy)
Demi Lovato (Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for The Recording Academy)

Demi Lovato returned to the stage after nearly two years, performing a new song 'Anyone' at the 62nd Grammy Awards to an audience so moved by her performance they rewarded her with a standing ovation.

Lovato went on a hiatus following her apparent overdose and subsequent hospitalization in the summer of 2018.

Prior to the incident, Lovato was known for being extremely vocal about her struggles with addiction, depression, self-harm, and the aftermath of being bullied, discussing all of it in her 2017 documentary 'Demi Lovato: Simply Complicated'.

Her honesty was seen as a breath of fresh air coming from within an industry that either glorifies substance abuse or demonizes it entirely, never truly creating a safe space to have an open discussion around what it means to suffer through it.

Lovato was praised for telling her story and everything seemed to be going great for the singer. But then, in 2018, things changed.


Lovato revealed to her fans that she had relapsed after six years of sobriety in a song titled 'Sober'. The track was first teased on Instagram with the caption "My truth".

Fans were again quick to praise Lovato for being honest about her journey, sending her messages of support. But just 33 days after the release of 'Sober', Lovato was hospitalized after an apparent overdose, leaving everyone stunned.

Lovato spent the next few months in rehabilitation and went silent on social media. In August 2018, she shared in a statement saying "I have always been transparent about my journey with addiction. What I've learned is that this illness is not something that disappears or fades with time."

"It is something I must continue to overcome and have not done yet." She added, "The love you have all shown me will never be forgotten and I look forward to the day where I can say I came out on the other side. I will keep fighting."

She ended her statement by saying that someday she would "tell the world what exactly happened, why it happened and what my life is like today.. but until I'm ready to share that with people please stop prying and making up sh*t that you know nothing about. I still need space and time to heal."

Demi Lovato performs onstage during the 62nd Annual GRAMMY Awards at STAPLES Center on January 26, 2020, in Los Angeles, California (Getty Images)

Lovato slowly returned to social media and in 2019, she surprised fans by choosing to return to acting with a role in Season 11 of the show 'Will & Grace'.

At the end of 2019, Lovato shared that she would be a performer at the 62nd Grammy Awards, and fans were overjoyed. Those signature powerhouse vocals were about to make a comback and remind us all of exactly why Demi Lovato is considered one of the best vocalists of our time.

And yet, when she took to the stage with her new single called 'Anyone', tears streaming down her face as she stumbled and had to start again, fans could see this was not going to be the valiant return they were expecting.

'Anyone' was not the declaration of survival and resilience that most expected it would be. Instead, it was a raw and painful revelation of what a spiral truly feels like, with Lovato's signature notes used to carry her desperate plea for help out to anyone who could hear her.

Demi Lovato performs during 'Tell Me You Love Me' World Tour at The Forum on March 2, 2018, in Inglewood, California (Getty Images)

'Anyone', Lovato revealed, was recorded just four days before her 2018 relapse.

Where most might have anticipated lyrics that discuss finding strength and hope again, Lovato shares how hollow the journey to recovery can feel, singing "I tried to talk to my piano, I tried to talk to my guitar. / Talked to my imagination / Confided into alcohol / I tried and tried and tried some more / Told secrets ’til my voice was sore.”

Lovato, for all her honesty and vulnerability, found no solace in sharing all of her stories. Ultimately, despite all her cries for help and despite all her attempts to empower herself by taking control of her narrative, she still found herself falling, hopelessly, with no one to hold on to.

Lovato gave arguably one of the best performances of her career at the Grammys. And as always, when she shares her truth, she received an outpouring of love and support from fans and celebrities alike.

But despite everything seeming to be going well again, there is an important lesson within 'Anyone' that cannot be ignored. Speaking to Apple Music, Lovato shared, "This song was written and recorded actually very shortly before everything happened…"

"You kind of listen back to it and you think, how did nobody listen to this song and think, 'Let's help this girl'. I even think that I was recording it in a state of mind where I felt like I was okay, but clearly I wasn't," she shared.

Demi Lovato smiles after her performance onstage during the 62nd Annual GRAMMY Awards at STAPLES Center on January 26, 2020 in Los Angeles, California (Getty Images)

"And I even listened back to it and I'm like, 'Gosh, I wish I could go back in time and help that version of myself.' I feel like I was in denial, but then a part of me definitely knew what I was singing for. I was singing this song and I didn't even realize that the lyrics were so heavy and emotional until after the fact."

"And that's what kind of brings us to this moment…I remember being in the hospital and listening to the song and it was about a week after I had been in the hospital and I was finally awake," she recalled.

"And I just remember hearing back the songs I had just recorded and thinking, 'If there's ever a moment where I get to come back from this, I want to sing this song'."

'Anyone', as it stands, is not a victory song. It is a song that lays bare the truth that sometimes even our most reliable pillars of strength, whether they be song or prayer can fail to hold us up when we fall. Sometimes, it can feel like absolutely nobody is listening.

And it is exactly at that moment that we need to listen to ourselves the most.