"I was very conflicted when he passed because he was abusive. He -- he was mean, but he wanted to be a good person," said Lovato in a YouTube clip explaining the song. "And he wanted to have his family. And when my mom married my stepdad, he still had this huge heart where he would say, 'I'm so glad that he's taking care of you and doing the job that I wish I could do."
Lovato, who has spoken about her own journey with mental illness, said that her father also lived with mental illness.
"He knew he wasn't capable of raising a family, um, and it was because of his mental illness," said Lovato. "To know that it wasn't fully his fault really was saddening to me. I wanted to write about it; I wanted to process it."
Fans been extremely supportive of the song, saying in the comments, "I am so proud of her opening up about this," and "Demi, you're so strong and so brave to talk about it."
Demi Lovato had been estranged from her biological father since 2007. He died after battling cancer in 2013.
Listen to the moving song, "Father," below:
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