Demi Lovato channeled their angst over a traumatizing teen experience into a jaw-dropping live performance of her latest single “29,” uploaded to their YouTube channel on Monday (Aug. 22).
The track, set to appear on their upcoming album Holy Fvck, is widely believed to be about Lovato’s former boyfriend Wilmer Valderrama, who was 29 years old when he first met the then-17-year-old star. The duo began dating after the “Skyscraper” singer turned 18. Lovato’s emotional feelings over the situation are apparent in the new live performance, in which the singer’s unmatched vocal ability amplifies the scathing lyrics.
“Finally twenty-nine / Funny, just like you were at the time / Thought it was a teenage dream just a fantasy / But was it yours or was it mine? / Seventeen, twenty-nine,” Lovato, who is now 29 years old themselves, sings the chorus in a red-and-black room, rocking a smokey eye, punk-inspired dress and choker necklace, complete with vampy lipstick and their latest black mullet. They also seem to reference 42-year-old Valderrama’s 30-year-old wife, Amanda Pacheco, when they sing, “I see you’re quite the collector / Yeah, you’re twelve years her elder / Maybe now it doesn’t matter / But I know f—ing better.”
“I would be lying if I said I didn’t have a ton of anxiety about putting out this song. I just said, ‘I have to go for this. I have to own my truth.’ And I do still walk that line very finely,” Lovato previously said of the song to Apple Music’s Zane Lowe. “I’ve learned that sometimes saying less is more. And it’s taken me to 30 years old to maybe learn that, but here I am approaching the way that I express myself differently in front of the media because it’s okay to have boundaries.”
Watch the official live performance of “29” below.
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