While Gomez couldn't be more of superstar now, she actually came from humble beginnings.
"I am from Texas, Grand Prarie, Texas. When I was about 6 or 7 years old, I asked my mom if I could be on the TV, and she said, 'All right. We'll try it,' and I've been here ever since,'" Gomez told ET in 2008, one year after we met her for the first time.
Yes, it was the actress' mom who supported her daughter's big dreams. Mandy Teefey gave birth to Gomez at just 16 years old and worked three jobs to support her -- until Gomez made it big. The actress scored her first role as a kid on Barney with another Disney alum, Demi Lovato -- and the rest was (a very complicated) history.
"Demi's my best friend, clearly. I have such a connection with her. She's always there for me," Gomez told ET of their friendship, which started in 2002. The pair both became big stars of Disney's golden age -- alongside Miley Cyrus and the Jonas Brothers -- but it didn't stay golden forever.
Nick Jonas dated both Cyrus and Gomez at various points during the height of JoBros -- while Gomez became close with Joe Jonas' then-girlfriend, Taylor Swift. The Wizards of Waverly Place star's new friendship reportedly didn't sit well with Lovato -- who later also dated Joe.
Gomez eventually moved on with Justin Bieber (as the pair dated intermittently from 2011 to 2015) and patched things up with Lovato, but it was her health which proved to be her biggest challenge. The "Fetish" singer went through a series of health struggles in recent years, including entering rehab in 2014 and undergoing chemotherapy for Lupus.
"I wish I could have been able to keep that to myself," she told ET of her health struggles in 2011. "But that's OK. I'm better now. That's all that matters."