Selena Marie Gomez (born July 22, 1992) is an American actress and singer best known for playing Alex Russo on the Disney Channel Original Series, Wizards of Waverly Place. In 2008 she signed with Hollywood Records, and is currently working on her debut album, which is tentatively set to be released in the summer of 2009.
Gomez, an only child, was born in Grand Prairie, Texas.Her father, Ricardo Gomez, is from Mexico and her mother, Mandy Teefey, is of half Italian/ Mexican descent.She was named after Tejano music singer Selena and has met her family.Her mother is a former stage actress.
Gomez began her acting career at the age of seven, where she spent her birthday at an open casting call competing with thousands of others for a role in the hit children's television series Barney & Friends. She was cast as a recurring character named Gianna in seasons seven and eight.Gomez appeared in national commercials for several companies including Wal-Mart, Hasbro and TGI Friday's.In 2003 she was cast in the movie Spy Kids 3D for a small role. She made a small appearance in the made-for-television movie, Walker, Texas Ranger: Trial By Fire. That same year, she landed the lead role of Emily Grace Garcia alongside Lewis Parry in the movie Brain Zapped. This was her first main role in a film.
In 2004 Gomez was discovered by Disney, in their first worldwide casting search. Three weeks after the auditions in Dallas Texas, her hometown, she was invited to meet the Disney Channel programming executives, in Los Angeles.She was then cast as a guest star in the second season of the Disney Channel Original Series, The Suite Life of Zack & Cody as Gwen, in the episode "A Midsummer's Nightmare". Subsequently, she appeared in the second season of the Disney Channel Original Series, Hannah Montana as Hannah Montana's rival, Mikayla. She had appeared in three episodes, "I Want You to Want Me...To Go to Florida", "That's What Friends Are For?" and "(We're So Sorry) Uncle Earl". A Suite Life spinoff, Arwin!, was supposed to be the original Gomez vehicle, but was not picked up by Disney. She also took part as the lead character in another pilot, What's Stevie Thinking?, a spin-off of the Disney Channel Original Series, Lizzie McGuire, but it was also not picked up.
In 2007, she was cast in the lead role Alex Russo, the mischievous middle child, in the Disney Channel Original Series, Wizards of Waverly Place. The series premiered October 2007 on Disney Channel. Due to the success of the show, a second season was bought and it is currently airing.
In 2008, Gomez was involved in two feature films. The first, was a voice-over of the Mayor's 96 daughters, in the animated film, Horton Hears a Who!. She had shared this role with Samantha Droke. The second was a sequel to A Cinderella Story called Another Cinderella Story. She had played the role of a down on her luck high school dancer, named Mary. That same year, she was cast as Carter, an insecure tomboy in the upcoming Disney Channel Original Movie, Princess Protection Program alongside her friend, Demi Lovato.
Gomez appeared on the olympic-based special miniseries, Disney Channel Games for the third annual show. Subsequently, she had hosted the second show of Studio DC: Almost Live, a special half-hour variety show that features The Muppets as well as Disney Channel stars. She had also made a small appearance on Jonas Brothers: Living the Dream.
On October 30, 2008, TV Guide reported that Gomez had launched her own production company, July Moon Productions. The newly formed company will partner with XYZ Films to create two star vehicles featuring Gomez.
Gomez's music career began in 2006 when she had recorded the theme song for her first movie, Brain Zapped. She then went on to recording another theme song, "Everything Is Not What It Seems", for her Disney Channel Original Series, Wizards of Waverly Place. She contributed a cover of the classic song "Cruella de Vil" for the 101 Dalmatians platinum DVD; the song was also featured in DisneyMania 6. In 2008, she had made an appearance in the Jonas Brothers music video, "Burnin' Up". During this time, she recorded three songs for the movie, Another Cinderella Story, which she appears in. The songs were "Tell Me Something I Don't Know", "Bang a Drum" and "New Classic". She had also recorded one for the animated film Tinker Bell, called "Fly to Your Heart".
In 2008, just before her 16th birthday, she signed a non-exclusive record deal with Hollywood Records. She said that she will be forming a band, rather than being a solo artist.She is currently recording songs for her debut album, which is set for release in 2009. During an inverview at "Target Presents Variety's Power of Youth", an event she had attended, Gomez stated: "Music is another of my passions, I'm working on my first album for Hollywood Records. It'll be fun dance music, out next summer, and I'll be doing a national tour."
Gomez and co-star David Henrie had recorded a song called "Make It Happen" which premiered on the very first episode of Wizards of Waverly Place in 2009, Make It Happen.
Gomez is best friends with fellow actress Demi Lovato, whom she has known since Lovato "asked her to sit on my jacket and draw with crayons with me" at the Barney & Friends auditions.
After Gomez and Lovato posted a video on YouTube in July 2008, Miley Cyrus uploaded a parody of that video as part of the "Miley & Mandy" show, which caught the interest of entertainment media. Reports included the theory that Gomez and Cyrus were arguing over fellow Disney star Nick Jonas,or that Gomez and Lovato might replace Cyrus after Cyrus' Vanity Fair photo shoot.
Gomez and Cyrus extinguished the rumors.On the issue of replacing Cyrus, Gomez clarified, "I'm not interested in being anybody but myself, and I'm not here to replace anyone. I think that she's a wonderful performer, and of course it's a compliment. But I would like to take a different route."