This summer is seeing a touring reunion of sorts, as Demi Lovato and Nick Jonas co-headline the "Honda Civic Tour – Future Now" outing. The two artists are close friends and recently joined together to launch their own label, Safehouse Records – building on a friendship that began when they were both starring in Disney movies and sharing the stage on a tour headlined by Jonas' former group, the Jonas Brothers. This time out, though, fans will see the two former Disney stars at a strikingly different point in their careers and their lives than in 2010, when they first toured together.
For Jonas, he is stepping out solo after a hugely successful stint with his brothers Joe and Kevin in the Jonas Brothers that included two double-platinum albums and a gold album and acting roles in a pair of Camp Rock movies (which also featured Lovato) and their own show, JONAS). After the Jonas Brothers' split, he went solo, releasing a self-titled debut album in 2014 (which went top 10 on Billboard magazine's album chart) and on June 10, his second solo effort, Last Year Was Complicated.
Jonas, in an early June interview, said he's had his struggles in moving beyond his teen pop past, but thinks fans are beginning to see him as a full-fledged adult artist.
"It was challenging at the beginning, for me at least, and still is, to a certain degree," Jonas says of his move from teen idol to adult music artist. "I think that there was an association with people's first introduction to me as opposed to them taking the music and my image for what it is now, in its current representation. So it took some time."
Lovato, meanwhile, almost crashed before she got beyond her initial breakthrough into teen pop stardom. In October 2010, after she had released two successful solo albums and begun starring in the Disney series Sonny With a Chance, Lovato suffered a meltdown while on tour with, ironically enough, the Jonas Brothers, punching one of the backup dancers. The incident sent Lovato, then 18, into rehab. She soon went public to explain she had been suffering from a long-running eating disorder and had been cutting herself. She also had developed a serious cocaine habit.
Lovato emerged from this dark period determined to stay clean and healthy, and has shared her stories of her battles with body image, bingeing and purging and self-abuse to try to help other women who are battling those issues. Some of those encouraging messages of self-worth and confidence have filtered into her music, particularly on her two most recent albums, Demi (2013) and Confident (2015), both of which made top five debuts on the Billboard album chart.
Those albums appear to have left any lingering image of Lovato as a child star in the dust.
"For me, the transition was a little bit easier [than that of Nick Jonas] because I didn't have to do anything to break out of the Disney mold," Lovato says. "It's a lot easier when you just go to rehab. So, I kind of grew up really fast in the public eye in that way. And so when it was time to release my music, I think people looked at me differently. I wanted to prove to people that I wasn't just a stereotypical Hollywood starlet that goes to rehab and falls back into the trap of the things that got her there."
While not wanting to reveal too many details about their performances, Lovato and Jonas say the emphasis will be on the music as opposed to visual flash. Both artists hint that there will be an intermingling of performances, although not quite in the way Jay Z and Justin Timberlake switched off on songs touring together in 2013.
"I actually got the chance to see that concert, the Justin and Jay Z concert, and I thought it was really awesome how they kind of came in and out of each other's sets," Lovato says. "So I think we're going to do something similar to that."