Selena Marie Gomez (born July 22, 1992) is an American actress and singer. Born and raised in Grand Prairie, Texas, she was first featured on the children's series Barney & Friends in the early 2000s. In 2007, Gomez came to prominence after being cast in the Disney Channel television series Wizards of Waverly Place. She portrayed the starring character Alex Russo until its conclusion in 2012. She formed her band Selena Gomez & the Scene after signing a recording contract with Hollywood Records in 2008; they released the studio albums Kiss & Tell (2009), A Year Without Rain (2010), and When the Sun Goes Down (2011) before beginning a hiatus in 2012.
Gomez entered the film industry with star billings in feature films including Ramona and Beezus (2010), Monte Carlo (2011 film)|Monte Carlo (2011), and Hotel Transylvania (2012). She embraced an increasingly mature public image with her star billing in the controversial film Spring Breakers (2013) and her debut solo studio album Stars Dance (2013). The latter project debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 and spawned the Billboard Hot 100 top-ten single "Come & Get It". Gomez was released from her recording contract with Hollywood Records following the completion of her greatest hits album For You (2014). She subsequently signed with Interscope Records to continue work on her second studio album.
Beyond entertainment, Gomez has ventured into other endeavors. She has worked with numerous organizations for charitable causes, and has most notably worked with UNICEF for several years. She formed her own production company, July Moon Productions, in 2008. In Fall of 2010, Gomez launched her clothing line "Dream Out Loud" through Kmart; the brand features all material that was made from eco-friendly or recycled material. In 2011, she released a self-titled perfume. Since beginning her music career, Gomez has sold an estimated 2.8 million albums and 18.1 million singles.
Gomez is Demi Lovato's best friend and Miley's best friend. They have worked together in the Disney Channel Original Movie Princess Protection Program and in their younger days, Barney and Friends. In 2009, Selena and Demi were very close. They were seen together on many occasions.