How Recording a Rock Album Helped ‘Reignite’ Demi Lovato’s Passion for Her Pop Hits
Appearing on the smoke-filled stage of New Jersey’s Prudential Center on Tuesday night (Sept. 12), Demi Lovato was ready to reintroduce herself to a throng of screaming fans. Sporting a black vinyl gown and their now-signature slicked black hair, Lovato showed the MTV VMAs what it means to re-contextualize your pop stardom into rock glory. Two weeks before their star-turn set, Lovato tells Billboard that they’re not feeling the nerves about their first performance in six years on the VMAs stage. “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.” That confidence in her own skills as a performer are largely what helped Lovato make Revamped (out Friday, Sept. 15), her new album of old hits reshaped in her new rock image. The 10-track LP features some of their all-time biggest hits (“Heart Attack,” “Sorry Not Sorry”) alongside fan favorites (“La La Land,” “Tell Me You Love Me”), all refurbished with a punchy pop-punk feel to better fit Lovato’s venture back into the world of rock music. For Lovato, change has been the constant of their career — whether that means transitioning from pop-punk into pure pop and back to rock music, or publicly opening up about their gender identity (Lovato uses both they/them and she/her pronouns). So going back and making aesthetic changes to her music wasn’t anything new. “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.” Below, Billboard chats with Lovato about the origins of Revamped, which song in her discography was the hardest to translate into rock, her abortion rights anthem “Swine” and her recent split from manager Scooter Braun.