No longer the child star of Disney’s Wizards of Waverly Place, Selena Gomez has grown to become a gorgeous and highly-successful singer and actress. Just looking at her, one realizes that Gomez is mesmerizing. She’s beautiful with an adorable smile and tons of dedicated admirers. Selena Gomez is also more than a pretty face.
Through her naturally kind personality and enormous talent, Gomez has established herself as an all-around triple threat. She’s not only talented but also tough, fighting her way through her battle with Lupus and always rising to accomplish even more.
Here are ten facts you didn’t know about Selena Gomez.
1. She starred in two failed TV pilots.
After being discovered by Disney Channel scouts in 2004, Gomez guest starred in The Suite Life of Zack & Cody and then had a recurring role alongside Miley Cyrus on Hannah Montana. After that, she filmed two spin-off pilots that were never picked up. Eventually she landed the role of Alex Russo on Wizards. The third time’s a charm!
2. She was named after Tejano singer Selena Quintanilla Perez.
Gomez grew up listening to Selena’s music and her father even took her to the late star’s memorial statue in Texas. Gomez has said she was a huge fan Jennifer Lopez’s portrayal of Selena in the 1997 biopic. After watching it at the age of five years old, Gomez apparently asked her mom for a rhinestone corset!
3. Selena Gomez is a mother to six rescue dogs.
Her collection includes Willie, Wallace, Fina, Chip, Chazz and Baylor. She actually adopted Baylor, an adorable husky mix, while on a trip to Canada with her former boyfriend Justin Bieber. “We went to a shelter just for fun … and we saw this adorable, adorable puppy,” she explained. “I literally felt like he said my name. So, I had to have him.”
4. She’s the youngest UNICEF Ambassador in history.
In August 2009, 17-year-old Gomez became the youngest UNICEF ambassador ever. She traveled to Ghana with the organization for her first field mission. In 2011, the actress traveled to Chile to meet families in one of the organization’s programs. “To witness firsthand these families’ struggles, and also their hope and perseverance, was truly inspiring,” she said.
5. She was crowned 2016’s queen of Instagram.
She beat out top celebrities such as Beyonce, Taylor and Kim Kardashian for having the most followers on the photo-sharing app. Her most-liked photo, an ad for Coca-Cola featuring her lyrics on the bottle, has garnered than 5.9 million double taps. Her Coca-Cola picture was only recently overthrown by Beyonce’s pregnancy announcement.
6. She’s big on philanthropy.
She is the ambassador for Do Something, an organization that advocates for safe driving through State Farm and hosts an annual charity concert for UNICEF. She was named ambassador to the Ryan Seacrest Foundation in 2012.
7. She was on Barney.
At seven years old, Selena Gomez spent her days with Barney the big purple dinosaur. “I was very shy when I was little,” she said in a 2008 interview. “I didn’t know what ‘camera right’ was. I didn’t know what blocking was. I learned everything from Barney.” That’s also where she met her childhood BFF Demi Lovato.
8. She has her own clothing line.
Gomez launched Dream Out Loud by Selena Gomez in 2010. She insisted on using eco-friendly materials and even said the “tags will all have some of my inspirational quotes on them. I’m just looking to send a good message.” You can still buy her “pretty, feminine, bohemian” styles at Kmart.
9. Her favorite actress is Rachel McAdams.
Who doesn’t love Rachel McAdams? The Notebook is a classic.
10. She once got in trouble with PETA.
For her band’s 2011 music video “Love You Like a Love Song,” Gomez had horses spray-painted pink. This led to accusations from PETA about mistreating animals.