Demi Lovato Laments Being a 'Breadwinner' for Family as a Child Star

Drew Barrymore was the perfect guest for Demi Lovato's new podcast, as the two former child stars chatted about their similar experiences. Both stars shot to fame at an early age, and they each struggled with addiction. Lovato discussed how being the "breadwinner" for their family when they were only a teenager changed their family dynamic.

At the start of the latest episode of 4D With Demi Lovato, the "Sorry Not Sorry" singer told Barrymore they wanted to have an "in-depth conversation" with the Drew Barrymore Show host because there are "a lot of parallels" between their lives. "I grew up watching you in movies, so it's so cool to be able to not only relate to someone who I grew up watching, but also has come out on the other side, I'm not gonna say unscathed, because we all have wounds, but you seem to have a pretty good head on your shoulders," Lovato said, reports Entertainment Tonight.

Barrymore recalled getting sober at 13 after her mother put her in an institution. "She didn't know what to do with me, she created a monster," Barrymore recalled. "I was so upset at having my freedom taken away like that, that I just thought it would screw me up for life." Barrymore felt angry, but she didn't really understand what she was feeling at the time. "I think through doing the show and having these types of conversations with some of our peers who have come out the other side as well... I think it takes a long time," she told Lovato. "And I think it would be so nice."

While Barrymore shot to fame in the 1980s, Lovato became a star in the 2000s through her work with Disney. However, there were similarities between the two, especially as their parents struggled to understand how to help a child star when they face struggles. "I noticed that when I came into the spotlight at a young age, and then was the breadwinner, there wasn't a manual for my parents to read and it say, 'Here's what to do to raise a child star,'" Lovato told Barrymore. "They didn't get that."

Lovato recalled how they would talk back to their parents when they would try to ground them, reminding them that they paid their bills. Today, Lovato looks back at that attitude and cringes. "But when the world is putting you on a pedestal, you kind of thing that you could do no wrong," they said. "As I've gotten older, I see my parents just as big kids themselves."


The podcast comes after Lovato appeared on The Drew Barrymore Show in April. During that appearance, Lovato, who recently came out as non-binary, said they were focusing more on what makes them happy and not caring how others judge them. They are even living with some of their friends now, following their split from Max Ehrich.

"I was trying something that didn't work for me now I'm doing something that is working for me and instead of feeling judged by everyone I'm just going to say, 'Look, your opinion about me doesn't matter to me. I'm doing what I need to do for myself and my wellness, my well-being,'" Lovato told Barrymore. "I'm putting myself first and in front of my career and that's something I never did before because I was so preoccupied trying to be a sexy feminine pop star that I just ignored like who I am."