Yet despite breaking into acting aged just seven on Barney & Friends, Gomez didn’t have the easiest of upbringings. For instance, her mother and father split up when she was only five. Moreover, Mandy often struggled to put food on their plates, with Gomez subsequently telling the East Bay Times about having lived “paycheck to paycheck.”
Nevertheless, the pair wouldn’t be struggling for long. In 2004 the then 12-year-old Gomez landed an audition for an upcoming Disney Channel series. After impressing producers, she was soon cast as the lead in a show called Wizards of Waverly Place.
Running from 2007 to 2012, Wizards… made Gomez a star. In addition, her work for Disney also kindled a passion for singing that resulted in her signing a contract with Hollywood Records in 2008. Now a fully-fledged solo artist, Gomez has since sold 3.4 million albums worldwide.