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Demi Lovato's rebirth

Once she was a seemingly perfect Disney teen star. Then came a public meltdown and rehab. Now the young performer has channeled her emotional journey back to health into a new album, 'Unbroken.'

September 23, 2011|By Amy Kaufman, Los Angeles Times

On "Unbroken," Lovato holds little back. One song, "For the Love of a Daughter" — initially slated for release on her last album — has a 4-year-old Lovato pleading with her father to "put the bottle down" and questioning, "How could you … put your hands on the ones that you swore you loved?"

"A few years ago, when I was with the Disney Channel, I didn't want parents having to explain to their children the depth of the lyrics," Lovato said somewhat dismissively, seeming reluctant to delve into more emotional territory.

For years, Lovato was able to hide the pain stemming from her upbringing. When she first recorded her current single, "Skyscraper," over a year ago, she felt so disconnected from the song's uplifting message that she doubled over in the studio, sobbing. "People just thought I was really into the song," she shrugged.

At the time, Lovato was forcing herself to vomit after eating, which damaged her vocal cords; she blamed the raspiness on acid reflux.

After treatment, Lovato rerecorded the single but ultimately opted to put the original version on "Unbroken."

"My voice is different now, but there just wasn't that same spark," she said. "I wanted to come out of the gate with this song, because a lot of people were expecting me to talk about what I've been through the past year. I want my music to do the explaining."

amy.kaufman@latimes.com

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