American singer ‘had three strokes and a heart attack’ after 2018 overdose

Demi Lovato arrives at the 2020 E! People's Choice Awards
Demi Lovato has been largely absent from the public eye since her overdose in 2018

Demi Lovato has opened up about her 2018 drug overdose for the first time, revealing in a new documentary that she was minutes from death. The US pop star, 28, was taken to hospital after she was found unconscious at her home in Los Angeles.

She had been sober for six years after treatment for alcohol and drug addictions, Lovato spoke about her overdose in a trailer for her new YouTube documentary series, Dancing With The Devil. “I had three strokes,” Lovato said. “I had a heart attack. My doctors said that I had five to 10 more minutes.” In an interview with the Associated Press, the singer said the overdose had left her with “brain damage”, adding, “I still deal with the effects of that today.” Lovato was a child actor on Barney and Friends, but found wider fame on the Disney Channel as a teenager.

She starred in its hugely popular Camp Rock film series and then launched a successful solo music career. She has released six studio albums and has also appeared as a judge on the US version of the X Factor. Lovato has been open about her struggles with mental health and addiction throughout her career. In a 2017 documentary, she talked about the extent of her substance abuse during her teen years, and in 2018, Lovato released a song titled Sober, in which she revealed she had broken six years of sobriety. A month later, US news website TMZ broke the news of an apparently near-fatal opiate overdose by the star.

Demi Lovato performs the national anthem before the 2020 Super Bowl
Lovato sang the national anthem at the 2020 Super Bowl

“One of the main reasons I’m coming forward is so I never have to live that life again,” Lovato told the Associated Press. Lovato re-launched her singing career at last year’s Grammy Awards and sang the national anthem at the 2020 Super Bowl. Last month, Lovato sang on a TV special marking US President Joe Biden’s inauguration. Dancing With The Devil is due to be released on YouTube on 23 March.

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