A year and a half after her hospitalization for a drug overdose, Demi Lovato is ready to share her most vulnerable song to date with the public, according to her new interview with Zane Lowe on Apple Music’s Beats 1. The singer performed “Anyone,” a track she said she recorded the vocals for just four days before "everything happened," at the 2020 Grammy Awards.
“I feel really excited and I'm ready. I feel like I've been waiting for this moment for so long. And it's going to be hard not to like go on stage and just like word vomit everything, you know? Like I just want to go up there and tell my story,” Lovato told Lowe on the radio show this week. “And I have three minutes to do so. So I'm just going to do the best that I can. And it's only telling a fraction of my story, but it's still a little bit, and it's enough to kind of show the world where I've been.”
"I tried to talk to my piano/I tried to talk to my guitar," she sang on the stage on Sunday after having to start over due to tearing up. "Talked to my imagination/Confided into alcohol."
Lovato has been sharing her mental health journey with the world for quite some time. In 2017, she released the YouTube documentary Simply Complicated about her struggles with body image issues and eating disorders, substance issues, and self-esteem. In 2018, just one month prior to her overdose, Lovato performed the song “Sober” about her disappointment in herself for breaking the promise she made to herself to abstain from alcohol and drugs.
Following the overdose, Lovato told Lowe that she looked back on the lyrics in “Anyone” and saw them differently.
“At the time when I was recording it, I almost listened back and heard these lyrics as a cry for help. And you kind of listen back to it and you kind of think, how did nobody listen to this song and think, ‘Let's help this girl.’ You know what I'm saying? Because, and I even think that I was recording it in a state of mind where I felt like I was okay, but clearly I wasn't,” she revealed. “And I even listened back to it and I'm like, ‘Gosh, I wish I could go back in time and help that version of myself.’ I feel like I was in denial, but then a part of me definitely knew what I was singing for. I was singing this song and I didn't even realize that the lyrics were so heavy and emotional until after the fact.”
That's especially true in the chorus, when Lovato sings "Anyone, please send me anyone/Lord, is there anyone?/I need someone."
While recovering, Lovato told Lowe she felt compelled to get back out on stage one day and sing this song.
“I remember being in the hospital and listening to the song and it was about a week after I had been in the hospital and I was finally like awake, and I just remember hearing back the songs I had just recorded and thinking, ‘If there's ever a moment where I get to come back from this, I want to sing this song,’” Lovato said.
Lovato's performance is joined by stars like Billie Eilish, Lizzo, and Ariana Grande, and she admitted that it’s “nerve-wracking” to sing something so vulnerable “in front of all [her] peers and coworkers” she “looks up to.” Still, she says that this song is just one part of the puzzle.
“I'm grateful that I have this opportunity to like sit here and talk to you and tell a little bit of my story,” Lovato said on the show. “I think as time goes on, I'm going to tell more and more about it. With the next song that I have coming out, I think I tell more of the story. With this one, it just kind of tells you a little bit about where I was right before and right afterwards.”
If you are struggling with substance abuse, please call the SAMHSA National Helpline at 1-800-662-4357 for free and confidential information.