At her New York show on Friday night, Demi Lovato celebrated an important milestone: She is six years sober.
Her tourmates DJ Khaled and Kehlani surprised Lovato during her set by joining the stage to share the moment. Each of them had words of encouragement for the singer. “What you've overcome through trials and tribulations, through dark clouds," Khaled said to Lovato, "you found the sunshine, and now the sun is shining on you forever." Kehlani added to the sweet moment saying, "I'm so, so, so, so proud of you, and honored to know you.”
It wasn’t until the two artists walked offstage that Lovato appeared to feel the full weight of her accomplishment. Thanking her fellow musicians, she told the story of how she got sober to her crowd of fans. Six years and one day ago, the singer recalls drinking vodka out of a Sprite bottle in the morning. It was then she realized something had to change. “The reason I became so open about my story is I know that there are people here tonight that need to ask for help, and I want you to know that it’s okay,” Lovato said.
Since becoming sober, she has been a transparent advocate for mental health awareness and sobriety. Last year, she became Mental Health Ambassador for Global Citizen, an extreme poverty organization. As the audience cheered at the Friday night performance, she encouraged them through tears to get rid of the stigma around the two problems.
Refinery29 spoke to Lovato about her experience getting sober in 2016, when she was celebrating her fourth year. “I’d rather live my life free and open than closed off, where people like me for something that I’m not,” she asserted. One year later, she told People that she took sobriety “one day at a time.”
She sat at the piano and played an especially emotional rendition “Warrior,” a song she wrote about her past. The night before, Lovato tweeted to commemorate the moment. “Just officially turned 6 years sober. So grateful for another year of joy, health and happiness. It IS possible,” she wrote.
"What keeps me on this path is there's a drive that I have to stay sober because I know that my life depends on it," she reflected aloud on stage. "If I would have continued down that road, I don't know if I'd be here today."
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