The Truth Behind Demi Lovato's "Anyone"

On Jan. 26, 2020, singer Demi Lovato stunned the world with her emotional, deeply personal performance at the Grammy Awards. While dazzling in a flowing white gown, Lovato poured her entire heart out to the audience, riveting her peers with a rendition of a new song, "Anyone," as reported by Entertainment Tonight. Digging deeply into her years-long struggle with drugs and alcohol in the lyrics, Lovato held nothing back as she bared her soul, all the while nailing every single note.

The journey to the stage that night was years in the making, as Lovato had been through a lot since she last performed for a crowd. But the singer positively stunned, showing everyone that she could bounce back from anything, no matter how intense and terrifying it may be. Talk about bravery!

Were you on the edge of your seat watching her performance at the Grammy Awards? Are you wondering exactly what inspired the song, and how it came to be? Read on to learn the truth about the heart-wrenching anthem that is Demi Lovato's "Anyone."

This is where Demi Lovato wrote "Anyone"

When Demi Lovato was ready to record the vocals for "Anyone," she decided it would be a good idea to take some time away and focus on getting it done. "I remember I was in Montana when I recorded that song," she revealed in an interview with Apple Music. "I did like a vocal cutting camp for my album that I was working on at the time." But when Lovato laid down the vocals for the song, she didn't realize just how intense the song would ultimately be — that didn't happen until later.

Rather, it was just business as usual for Lovato at the time, or at least she thought it was until everything took a 180-degree turn. "Little did I know my life would take the path that it did, but at that time I was just working on an album and I wanted to record vocals," she continued. "So I went away and I recorded this song and I didn't spend a lot of time perfecting it."

In 2018, Demi Lovato overdosed and almost passed away

If you're not familiar with Demi Lovato's long history of drug and alcohol abuse, you might not know that the singer relapsed after six years of sobriety and overdosed on July 24, 2018 — and she nearly passed away. But thanks to a fast response and excellent medical care, Lovato was stabilized after being hospitalized in Southern California. Clearly that was a harrowing time for both Lovato and her family.

Several weeks later, Lovato took to Instagram to update her fans and share her progress. "I want to thank God for keeping me alive and well," she wrote in the caption (via USA Today). "I have always been transparent about my journey with addiction. What I've learned is that this illness is not something that disappears or fades with time." She added that it's something she has to keep working to overcome in the future, heralding the beginning of her journey back to sobriety.

Demi Lovato wrote and recorded "Anyone" before her overdose

If you listen closely to the lyrics of Demi Lovato's "Anyone," you can hear that the singer feels completely alone and has been desperately searching for someone or something to make her feel heard. As it turns out, Lovato penned the lyrics to the song at an especially fragile time in her life. "This song was written and recorded actually very shortly before everything happened," she explained in an interview with Apple Music. "I recorded the vocals for it four days before [the overdose]." No wonder it's such a searing and heartbreaking piece.

Lovato sees now that what she was writing back then looks a lot different in hindsight, as she was in denial at the time about how serious her addiction had gotten. "The lyrics took on a totally different meaning," she continued. "At the time when I was recording it... I almost listen back and hear these lyrics as a cry for help." Fortunately Lovato was able to get the help she so desperately wanted and needed.

Demi Lovato is surprised no one helped her when she was writing and recording "Anyone"

In addition to realizing that "Anyone" was a "cry for help" that Demi Lovato didn't realize she was making at the time, the singer also had a bit of a revelation about just how sad and harrowing the song is. "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,'" she shared in an interview with Apple Music. It's a good question.

But to be fair, Lovato didn't realize she was in desperate need of an intervention at the time, as she wasn't seeing the situation she was in for what it truly was. "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 continued. "I even listen back to it and I'm like, 'Gosh, I wish I could go back in time and help that version of myself." She added that she feels she was deep in denial, but that a part of her knew what she was singing for deep down.

When she was in the hospital, Demi Lovato pledged she would perform "Anyone" live

After being unresponsive after her overdose, Demi Lovato regained consciousness and began to comprehend what had happened to her. It was at that moment that she decided it was time to revisit the work she'd been doing — including her song "Anyone" — when things spiraled out of control. "I remember being in the hospital and listening to the song," she recalled in an interview with Apple Music. "It was about a week after I had been in the hospital." You can wager that she was incredibly sensitive in those moments and was thinking deeply about her life after a close brush with death.

Once she was lucid and in control of her senses, Lovato set her intentions and made a serious vow to herself. "I was finally like awake," she continued. "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.'" 

When Demi Lovato first went public after her overdose, she was nervous

It took about a year and a half for Demi Lovato to feel comfortable appearing in public again after her overdose, which is completely understandable — she'd been through a lot. So when Lovato was ready to open up to her fans once again, she was both nervous and exhausted. "What a lot of people don't realize is that I'm actually an extremely sensitive person," she affirmed at a summit for Teen Vogue in November 2019 (via The Hollywood Reporter). "I am human, so be easy on me. And I'm so tired of pretending like I'm not human." She added that she just can't do that anymore.

And while Lovato acknowledged that she has overcome incredible obstacles, she also stayed humble in classic Lovato fashion. "I genuinely see a fighter," she continued. "I don't see a championship winner in there, but I see a fighter and I see someone that's going to continue to fight no matter [what] challenges are thrown their way."

Demi Lovato was excited to perform "Anyone" at the 2020 Grammy Awards

In the days leading up to the 2020 Grammy Awards, Demi Lovato was feeling energetic and optimistic. As she tells it, she was honestly looking forward to debuting her song "Anyone" with the entire world, despite the intense pressure of the moment. "I feel really excited and I'm ready," she gushed in an interview with Apple Music. "I feel like I've been waiting for this moment for so long, and it's going to be hard not to like go onstage and just like word vomit everything."

But rather than let her nerves get the best of her, Lovato remained focused on the task at hand, keeping her eye on the prize. "I just want to go up there and tell my story," she continued. "And I have three minutes to do so, so I'm just going to do the best that I can."

Demi Lovato's "Anyone" performance at the Grammys was her first in nearly two years

Although Demi Lovato had appeared in public prior to her performance of "Anyone" at the 2020 Grammy Awards, she hadn't given a concert in nearly two years. In fact, her last performance was on July 22, 2018, at the Mid-State Fair in Paso Robles, Calif., according to the Paso Robles Daily News. Lovato overdosed and was hospitalized just two days after the show, and she had to cut her Tell Me You Love Me tour short, as noted by CNN.

While some might think that choosing the Grammy Awards as the venue in which to make a comeback would be too much pressure, Lovato was confident that she could deliver a solid performance. "I told you the next time you'd hear from me I'd be singing," she shared in a post on her Instagram page on Jan. 14, 2020, announcing that she would be a Grammy act. Way to be confident, Demi!

Demi Lovato cried while performing "Anyone" at the 2020 Grammy Awards

When the big night of the 2020 Grammy Awards finally arrived, Demi Lovato was ready to sing "Anyone" live for the very first time. She stepped out onto the stage wearing a dazzling white gown designed by Christian Siriano, accompanied only by a pianist and her microphone. For a brief moment, it seemed that Lovato wouldn't be able to perform, as she was crying too much to sing, and she had to start over after regaining her composure. Fortunately the audience was kind and responded with gentle applause and support.

But once she got going, any crippling emotions or nerves took a backseat, as Lovato delivered an absolutely gorgeous and heartbreaking rendition of "Anyone." And at the end of the song, the crowd immediately got on their feet, giving Lovato a standing ovation. Among those visibly riveted by her performance were Daily Show host Trevor Noah and singer Lizzo, both of whom were applauding somberly. To say Lovato knocked it out of the park would be an understatement! Demi Lovato's "Anyone" performance marked one of the best things that happened at the 2020 Grammys.

Demi Lovato is super grateful for how her performance of "Anyone" was received

Demi Lovato was all smiles after she finished singing "Anyone" at the 2020 Grammy Awards. She had good reason to be, as bringing the crowd at that event to their feet is a serious accomplishment — that audience is comprised of the best in the business! 

After the lights went back on and the show concluded, Lovato took to social media to bask in the glow of it all, sharing her happiness in a post on her Instagram page. "What an unbelievable night. My first time back on stage in almost 2 years," she wrote in the caption. "So emotional for me. Thank you all for the love, support and for sharing this moment with me. I love you all." What a wonderful sentiment to share.

While Lovato — without question — nailed her comeback, it's clear that she's still as humble as ever and is putting gratitude front and center in her life. 

How celebs reacted to Demi Lovato's "Anyone" performance at the 2020 Grammy Awards

Given how stunning Demi Lovato's "Anyone" performance was at the 2020 Grammy Awards, it's not surprising that a bunch of celebs celebrated it on social media following the awards show. For one, Selena Gomez had a serious compliment for her friend Lovato. "I wish there were words to describe how beautiful, inspirational and DESERVED this moment was," she wrote in an Instagram story, as reported by Us Weekly. "Demi, I'm so happy for you. Thank you for your courage and bravery."  

Singer Pink had a heartfelt message for Lovato as well. "Oh Demi Lovato, you just tore me down," she gushed in a tweet. "I'm so glad you're here to sing those words, to sing like that. You just gave the whole world a gift straight from the heart. Thank you."

Designer Christian Siriano chimed in as well. "#DemiLovato I love you and love creating for you!!!" he proclaimed in a tweet.

Demi Lovato's "Anyone" is just the start of the singer's story

Because so much has happened in Demi Lovato's life since her overdose in July 2018, it's taken her time to process everything she's been through. But now she's ready to open up and to be candid with the public about her experiences. "I'm grateful that I have this opportunity to, like, sit here and talk to you and tell you a little bit of my story," Lovato, who's had one of the most stunning transformations of the last decade, told Zane Lowe in an interview with Apple Music. "I think as time goes on I'm going to tell more and more about it."

Of course, Lovato is going to continue telling her story through her music, just as she did at the 2020 Grammy Awards. And although Demi Lovato's" Anyone" was deeply personal, it's just a fraction of the star's narrative, so there's, of course, more music to come. "With the next song that I have coming out, I think I tell more of the story," she continued. "With this one, it just kind of tells you a little bit about where I was before and right afterwards." We'll be waiting, Demi!