After signing for a bit part in the Robert Rodriguez-directed fantasy adventure Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over (2003), actress Selena Gomez tackled one of her first leads. She played Alex Russo, a Manhattanite adolescent grappling with the magical powers of her wizardly ancestry, in the Disney Channel sitcom Wizards of Waverly Place (2007). Disney soon helped her launch a successful pop music career, which she nurtured alongside ongoing roles in such tween-centric fare as Another Cinderella Story (2009), Ramona and Beezus (2010), Monte Carlo (2011), and Spring Breakers (2012). In 2010 she began a high-profile relationship with teen pop sensation Justin Bieber.
Biography by Nathan Southern
- Debuted in Barney & Friends at age 7.
- Discovered by Disney in a nationwide talent search when she was 10.
- Appeared in an episode of The Suite Life of Zack and Cody and in two episodes of Hannah Montana before landing her own show, The Wizards of Waverly Place.
- Sings the theme song for The Wizards of Waverly Place, "Everything Is Not What It Seems."
- Released her first album as part of the band Selena Gomez & the Scene, Kiss & Tell, in 2009.
- Was named a UNICEF Ambassador in 2009; her first field mission was a week-long trip to Ghana.
- Released her first solo album, Stars Dance, in 2013.
- Won a Latin American Music Award for Favorite Dance Song for "I Want to Know You" in 2015.
- Donated money in 2017 to the University of Southern California for the Selena Gomez Fund for Lupus Research after she was diagnosed with the disease herself.